John Libbey Eurotext

Environnement, Risques & Santé

Assessing contamination in drinking water: a global approach Ahead of print


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1 Anses
Laboratoire d’hydrologie de Nancy
40, rue Lionnois
54000 Nancy
2 Anses, DER
Unité d’évaluation des risques liés à l’eau
14, rue Pierre-et-Marie-Curie
94701 Maisons-Alfort cedex
* Tirés à part
  • Key words: water analysis , drinking water , drug residues , national screening programme
  • DOI : 10.1684/ers.2017.1069

The presence of 44 human and veterinary pharmaceuticals was studied in samples of raw and treated water from public water systems: 2/3 from groundwater and 1/3 from surface water. In treated water, 19 pharmaceuticals were detected at least once, 14 of them at levels above the limit of quantification. Some 75% of the treated water samples did not contain any of the studied pharmaceuticals. In the other 25%, we quantified from 1 to 4 pharmaceuticals. The substances detected most often (caffeine excepted) are epoxycarbamazepin, carbamazepin, oxazepam, and hydroxyibuprofen. For 90% of these samples, concentrations totaled less than 25 ng/L. In the raw water samples, about 35% of surface water and 70% of groundwater contained no pharmaceuticals. In these raw water samples, 30 substances were detected at least once, 16 of them at levels above the limit of quantification. Raw water generally contained more pharmaceuticals than treated water. Cumulative concentrations in raw surface water were generally higher than in raw groundwater.