Sulfamethoxazole contamination of a deep phreatic aquifer

Dror Avisar, Yaal Lester, Daniel Ronen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

61 Scopus citations


Groundwater samples were obtained from the water table region of a phreatic aquifer (unsaturated zone depth up to 28 m) under land irrigated with wastewater effluents for about 5 decades and a relatively deep pumping well (109 m), used as a drinking water source till 2007, located downstream (1300 m) of wastewater effluent and sludge infiltration facilities. Sulfamethoxazole (SMX) concentrations in secondary effluents varied between 90 and 150 ng/L. SMX was extracted using SPE and was analyzed by HPLC-MS/MS. SMX (maximum concentration of 37 ng/L) was detected in the water table region, in two monitoring wells, after an unsaturated zone transport period of about 16 years. The maximum SMX concentration detected in the pumping well was of 20 ng/L. These results question wastewater effluent disposal strategies including the suitability of irrigation with effluents on the replenishment area of an aquifer supplying drinking water.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4278-4282
Number of pages5
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Issue number14
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2009


  • Antibiotic residues
  • Effluent
  • Groundwater contamination

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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