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22 representative antibiotics, including 8 quinolones (QNs), 9 sulfonamides (SAs), and 5 macrolides (MCs) were selected to investigate their occurrence and removal efficiencies in a Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) and their distribution in the receiving water of the Chaobai River in Beijing, China. Water quality monitoring was performed in an integrated way at different selected points in the WWTP to explore the potential mechanism of antibiotics removal during wastewater treatment. Water quality of the Chaobai River was also analyzed to examine environmental distribution in a river ecosystem. The results showed that within all the 22 compounds examined, 10 antibiotics were quantified in wastewater influent, 10 in effluent, and 7 in river. Sulfadiazine (SDZ, 396 ng/L) and Sulfamethazine (SMZ, 382 ng/L) were the dominating antibiotics in the influent. Both the conventional treatment and advanced Biological Aerated Filter (BAF) system was important for the removal of antibiotics from the wastewater. And the concentrations of selected antibiotics were ranged from 0-41.8 ng/L in the effluent-receiving river. Despite the fact that the concentrations were reduced more than 50% compared to effluent concentrations, WWTP discharge was still regarded as a dominant point-source input of antibiotics into the Chaobai River.
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