Evaluating Pollutants of Emerging Concern in Aquatic Media Through E-PRTR Regulation. A Case Study: Cordoba, Spain, 2009-2018


  • R. Marin Galvin Control de Calidad, Empresa Municipal de Aguas de Cordoba, S.A. (EMACSA), Cordoba, Spain
Volume: 9 | Issue: 5 | Pages: 4795-4800 | October 2019 | https://doi.org/10.48084/etasr.3130


The E-PRTR EU Regulation can be followed for the evaluation of the level of pollutants of emerging concern in treated wastewater. This regulation is of regional responsibility in the UE, and establishes for the Andalusian region of Spain the following pollution parameters as mandatory to be controlled periodically in treated wastewater in Waste Water Treatment Plants (WWTPs) with more than 100.000 equivalent inhabitants of treatment capacity: COD, N-Kjeldahl, total P, Cl-, F- (conventional pollution); As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Zn and Pb, as heavy metals; PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons), adsorbed organic halides (AOXs), benzene and chloroform, as organic compounds. This paper shows results obtained in the application of the E-PRTR Regulation to the wastewater of Cordoba during 2009-2018. As shown, average of COD, N-Kjeldahl an total P values, respectively, in urban and treated wastewater were 604 and 89 mg/L, 54.1 and 33.4 mg/L and 3.4 and 1.4 mg/L. With respect to heavy metals, the mean content in treated wastewater was 0.135 mg/L, starting from 0.226 mg/L in raw wastewater. The majority of these are Cu and Zn (0.043 mg/L and 0.107 mg/L, respectively, in raw wastewater). For pollutants of emerging concern, the mean content of PAHs was 13 ng/L in treated water vs 31 ng/L in raw wastewater. Moreover, concentration of AOXs in raw wastewater was of 20 ng/L while in treated wastewater decreased up to 16 ng/L. Also, benzene content in raw wastewater and treated wastewater decreased from 40 ng/L to 11 ng/L. Finally, the major organic compound was chloroform, with a level in raw wastewater of 5.6 ng/L that was reduced along the treatment up to 3.2 ng/L. The provided data indicated a low concentration of the compounds of emerging concern in the wastewater of Cordoba and its minimal impact on the receiving aquatic environment (the Guadalquivir river).


PRTR Regulation, pollutants of emerging concern, heavy metals, HAPs, AOXs, benzene, chloroform


Download data is not yet available.


D. Barcelo, M J. Lopez, “Contaminacion y calidad química del agua: el problema de los contaminantes emergentes”, Panel Científico-Técnico de seguimiento de la política de aguas, Instituto de Investigaciones Químicas y Ambientales-CSIC, Barcelona, 2007 (in Spanish)

R. Lopez, R. R. Irusta, “Tendencias en el tratamiento de contaminantes emergentes”, Foro Regional de Sostenibilidad e I+D+i (Junta de Castilla y Leon), 2010 (in Spanish)

M. J. Gil, A. M. Soto, J. I. Usma, O. D. Gutierrez, “Contaminantes emergentes en aguas, efectos y posibles efectos”, Produccion+Limpia, Vol. 7, No. 2, pp. 52-73, 2012 (in Spanish)

Metcalf and Eddy, Wastewater engineering: treatment and reuse, 4th ed., Mc Graw Hill, Boston, 2003

R. Marín Galvin. Fisicoquimica y microbiologia de los medios acuáticos. Tratamiento y control de calidad de aguas, 2ª ed. Ed. Diaz de Santos, Madrid, 2018 (in Spanish)

American Water Works Association, Standard Methods for the examination of water and wastewater, Water Environment Federation, 23rd ed., New York, 2017

R. Marin Galvin, “El estado de las aguas continentales espanolas y la contribucion de las EDAR en su consecucion”, VIRTUALPRO, No. 208, pp. 1-30, 2019

M. Petrovic, S. Gonzalez, D. Barcelo, “Analysis and removal of emerging contaminants in wastewater and drinking water”, Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Vol. 22, No. 10, pp. 685-696, 2003 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/S0165-9936(03)01105-1

T. Reemtsma, S. Weiss, J. Mueller, M. Petrovic, S. Gonzalez, D. Barcelo, F. Ventura, T. P. Knepper, “Polar pollutants entry into the water cycle by municipal wastewater: a European perspective”, Environmental Science and Technololgy, Vol. 40, No. 17, pp. 5451-5458, 2006 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/es060908a

A. Musolff, S. Leschik, M. Moder, G. Strauch, F. Reinstorf, M. Schirmer, “Temporal and spatial patterns of micropollutants in urban receiving waters”, Environmental Pollution, Vol. 157, No. 11, pp. 3069–3077, 2009 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2009.05.037

G. Teijon, L. Candela, K. Tamoh, A. Molina-Diaz, A. R. Fernandez-Alba, “Occurrence of emerging contaminants, priority substances (2008/105/CE) and hevay metals in treated wastewater and groundwater at Depurbaix facility (Barcelona, Spain)”, Science of The Total Environment, Vol. 408, No. 17, pp. 3584-3595, 2010 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2010.04.041

P. J. Simon Andreu, C. Lardin Mifsut, R. Gonzalez Herrero, A.V. Sanchez Beltran, J. A. Vicente Gonzalez, “Estudio de la presencia de contaminantes emergentes en las distintas etapas de las depuradoras”, RETEMA, Vol. 186, pp. 84-91, 2015 (in Spanish)

S. Sauve, M. Desrosiers, “A review of what is an emerging contaminant”, Chemistry Central Journal, Vol. 8, No. 15, pp. 1-7, 2014 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1186/1752-153X-8-15

C. C. Montagner, C. Vidal, R. D. Acayaba, “Contaminantes emergentes em matrizes aquáticas do Brasil: cenário atual e aspectos analiticos, ecotoxicologicos e regulatorios”, Quimica Nova, Vol. 40, No. 9, pp. 1094-1110, 2017 (in Spanish) DOI: https://doi.org/10.21577/0100-4042.20170091

R. Marin Galvin, “Emerging pollutants and veavy metals into Spanish sanitation: a case study”, SCIREA Journal of Enivronment, Vol. 2, No. 1, pp. 1-11, 2017

K. Khaskhoussy, B. Kahlaoui, B. Messoudi Nefzi, O. Jozdan, A. Dakhell, M. Hachicha, “Effect of Treated Wastewater Irrigation on Heavy Metals Distribution in a Tunisian Soil”, Engineering, Technology & Applied Science Research, Vol. 5, No. 3, pp. 805-810, 2015 DOI: https://doi.org/10.48084/etasr.563

M. Narasimha Vara Prasad, M. Vithanage, A. Kapley, “Pharmaceuticals and personal care products: waste management and treatment technology”, Elsevier, 2019


How to Cite

R. Marin Galvin, “Evaluating Pollutants of Emerging Concern in Aquatic Media Through E-PRTR Regulation. A Case Study: Cordoba, Spain, 2009-2018”, Eng. Technol. Appl. Sci. Res., vol. 9, no. 5, pp. 4795–4800, Oct. 2019.


Abstract Views: 332
PDF Downloads: 219

Metrics Information
Bookmark and Share

Most read articles by the same author(s)