UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

The fate of estrone (E1), 17beta-estradiol (E2), estriol (E3) and 17alpha-ethinylestradiol (EE2) in surface waters Brett, Tricia Korrin


Lakes and rivers receiving wastewater treatment plant effluent contain many different endocrine disrupting compounds. Previous research into the fate of these compounds has focused on laboratory experiments that investigate a single scavenging mechanism, and there has been little research on the overall loss rate constants in receiving waters. This study evaluated the fate of estrone (E1), 17β-estradiol (E2), estriol (E3) and 17α-ethinylestradiol within three different receiving waters (a river, a large lake and a small reservoir) represented by two different mathematical models (plug flow reactor and continuously stirred tank reactor) and three different hydraulic residence times (<8 hours, >50 years and about 1 year). Wastewater treatment plant effluent samples and receiving waters were analysed for the four estrogens over a one year period. E1 and E2 were the only compounds detected and there was only enough data determine the fate of E1. A receiving water loss rate constant for E1 was calculated assuming first-order reaction kinetics. E1 loss was not detectable in the river and the large lake due to a very short and very long residence time, respectively. The time-weighted E1 loss rate constant within the small reservoir was found to be 0.0106 d-¹. Data suggested that there may be a seasonal component to this loss rate that requires further investigation. The rate constant found suggests that E1 can be transported great distances within rivers.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 Canada