Alison Franklin1, Danielle M. Andrews1 and John E. Watson2, (1)Ecosystem Science and Management, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA (2)Ecosystem Science and Management, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA
The discovery of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in wastewater effluent and the increase of antibiotic resistance in clinical health settings has resulted in the need to quantify antibiotics within the environment in order to evaluate the possible impacts on susceptible organisms and overall, public health. The main objective of this study was to quantify antibiotic concentrations in waste water effluent, groundwater and soil samples at the Penn State’s Living Filter, a wastewater irrigated site, in central Pennsylvania. Penn State uses this wastewater irrigation system to promote water reuse and has been in full scale operation since the 1980s. Effluent from the local wastewater treatment plant is used to irrigate cropped, forested and grassed lands. The soils are silt loam in texture and are very deep and well drained. For over 20 years, these soils have been receiving wastewater irrigation at 2” per week year-round. Preliminary analysis of effluent samples using a quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometer (QTOF) resulted in four antibiotics of interest - sulfamethoxazole (SXM), trimethoprim (TRM), ofloxacin (OFL), and lincomycin (LIN). Additionally, research over the past decade has shown that these specific antibiotics have been present at significant levels within many waterways nation wide and at levels that may cause toxicity within susceptible organisms or lead to increased antibiotic resistance. Following the use of the QTOF, a tandem quadrupole mass spectrometer was used to determine the concentrations of SXM, TRM, OFL, and LIN in the samples. Data will be presented that shows the quantification of the four antibiotics in the waste water effluent, groundwater and soil samples. We will also present method recovery rates of the four antibiotics from soils using both batch and Accelerated Solvent Extraction procedures.