A toxicity-based method for evaluating safety of reclaimed water for environmental reuses

Jianying Xu , Chuntao Zhao , Dongbin Wei , Yuguo Du


Received November 22, 2013,Revised December 08, 2013, Accepted , Available online October 22, 2014

Volume 26,2014,Pages 1961-1969

A large quantity of toxic chemical pollutants possibly remains in reclaimed water due to the limited removal efficiency in traditional reclamation processes. It is not enough to guarantee the safety of reclaimed water using conventional water quality criteria. An integrated assessment method based on toxicity test is necessary to vividly depict the safety of reclaimedwater for reuse. A toxicity test battery consisting of lethality, genotoxicity and endocrine disrupting effect was designed to screen themultiple biological effects of residual toxic chemicals in reclaimed water. The toxicity results of reclaimed water were converted into the equivalent concentrations of the corresponding positive reference substances (EQC). Simultaneously, the predicted no-effect concentration (PNEC) of each positive reference substance was obtained by analyzing the species sensitivity distribution (SSD) of toxicity data. An index "toxicity score" was proposed and valued as 1, 2, 3, or 4 depending on the ratio of the corresponding EQC to PNEC. For vividly ranking the safety of reclaimed water, an integrated assessment index "toxicity rank" was proposed, which was classified into A, B, C, or D rank with A being the safest. The proposed method was proved to be effective in evaluating reclaimed water samples in case studies.

Copyright © Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press. All rights reserved.京ICP备05002858号-3