Fanck, B. , Heberer, T. (2005): Transport and attenuation of antibiotic residues during river bank filtration in Berlin, Germany.

p 4 In: 5th International Symposium on Management of Aquifer Recharge / IHP-VI, Series on Groundwater. Berlin. 11. –16.6.2005


This paper presents the results on the occurrence and fate of antibiotic residues during bankfiltration obtained from a study carried out in terms of an interdisciplinary project at three transects in Berlin, Germany. Six antibiotic compounds and two metabolites were detected at ng/L concentrations in water samples from the lakes or in the monitoring wells of the transects. Clarithromycin, roxithromycin (macrolide), trimethoprim (synergist for sulfonamides) and acetyl-sulfamethoxazole (metabolite) are efficiently removed by bank filtration. Residues of clindamycin (lincosamid) and dehydro-erythromycin (metabolite) were completely attenuated during the soil passage. For sulfamethoxazole (sulfonamide), a significant but not complete removal during bank filtration was observed. It was the only compound that could be detected at tracelevels in samples collected from water-supply wells.


Bank filtration and artificial ground water recharge are important, effective, and cheap techniques for surface water treatment and removal of microbes, as well as inorganic, and some organic, contaminants. Nevertheless, physical, chemical, and biological processes of the removal of impurities are not understood sufficiently. A research project titled Natural and Artificial Systems for Recharge and Infiltration attempts to provide more clarity in the processes affecting the removal of these contaminants. The project focuses on the fate and transport of selected emerging contaminants during bank filtration at two transects in Berlin, Germany. Several detections of pharmaceutically active compounds (PhACs) in ground water samples from bank filtration sites in Germany led to furthering research on the removal of these compounds during bank filtration. In this study, six PhACs including the analgesic drugs diclofenac and propyphenazone, the antiepileptic drugs carbamazepine and primidone, and the drug metabolites clofibric acid and 1-acetyl–1-methyl–2-dimethyloxamoyl– 2-phenylhydrazide were found to leach from the contaminated streams and lakes into the ground water. These compounds were also detected at low concentrations in receiving public supply wells. Bank filtration either decreased the concentrations by dilution (e.g., for carbamazepine and primidone) and partial removal (e.g., for diclofenac), or totally removed PhACs (e.g., bezafibrate, indomethacine, antibiotics, and estrogens). Several PhACs, such as carbamazepine and especially primidone, were readily transported during bank filtration. They are thought to be good indicators for evaluating whether surface water is impacted by contamination from municipal sewage effluent or whether contamination associated with sewage effluent can be transported into ground water at ground water recharge sites.

Heberer, T. , Mechlinski, A. , Fanck, B. (2003): Occurrence and Fate of Pharmaceuticals During Bank Filtration.

p 5 In: Wasser Berlin 2003. Berlin. 2003-11-01


Bank filtration and artificial groundwaterecharge are important, effective and cheap techniques for surface water treatment and removal of microbes, inorganic and some organic contaminants. Nevertheless, mechanisms of the removal of impurities and of the chemical reactions of the water components have not been understood sufficiently and are therefore subject of this research project. The interdisciplinary project of the Berlin Centre of Competence for Water (KWB gGmbH) entitled NASRI (Natural and Artificial Systems for Recharge and Infiltration) concentrates among other topics also on nicroorganisms and trace organic substances frequently detected in surface waters.


The present report characterizes the field sites Lake Tegel and Lake Wannsee as well as the artificial recharge site GWA Tegel in terms of their clogging layer, sedimentary, hydraulic and hydrochemical properties. As a result, a solid basis for the interpretation of specific compounds evaluated within NASRI and for subsequent modeling and quantification of the data is given. Major problems or difficulties where identified, in order to focus investigations on aspects not fully understood to date in the next project phase. The combination of different tracers enables the interpretation of the flow regime. With the help of T/He analysis, ages of different water bodies can be estimated. The analysis of tracer showing distinct seasonal variations is used to estimate travel times while water constituents which are either mainly present in the bank filtrate or the background water are used for mixing calculations. The proportions of treated wastewater in the surface water were estimated in front of the transects. The surface water composition varies largely both in time and space, which is a problem at Wannsee, where the surface water sampling point is not representative for the bank filtration input. Estimates for travel times of the bank filtrate to individual observation and production wells are given and vary between days and several months. The production wells are a mixture of bank filtrate and water from inland of the wells and deeper aquifers, proportions of bank filtrate are given where possible to differentiate between contaminant removal and dilution. They vary between < 20 and > 80 %. The new observation wells enable a vertical differentiation of the infiltrate. It becomes clear that at Tegel and Wannsee, there is a strong vertical succession towards larger proportions of considerably older bank filtrate with depth. At the Wannsee transect, the observation wells deeper than the lake do not reflect the surface water signal at all. It will be important to combine the new information with hydraulic information of existing flow models (mainly of the IGB “model” group). The evaluation of the redox conditions shows that redox successions proceed with depth rather than (only) in flow direction. In addition, the redox zoning (as characterised by the appearance or disappearance of redox sensitive species) is very transient. The zones are much wider in winter than in summer, in particular at the artificial recharge site GWA Tegel, probably due to temperature effects. This poses a challenge for the desired modelling and the interpretation of data from redoxsensitive substances.

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