Australian Centre for Water
and Environmental Biotechnology

Project Dates: 2014 to 2016


Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCP), crop protection products (like herbicides, fungicides, etc.) and other xenobiotics are found in many water bodies around the globe. While crop protection products are usually flushed into surface waters during rain events or percolate through to ground water level, pharmaceuticals originate from household and hospital waste water effluents. The Pharmaceutically Active Compounds (PhAC) are metabolised to an extent, residues are excreted and transported to the waste water treatment plants via sewer systems.

In various projects, the Sewer Research Group investigates the biotransformation of PhACs in sewers, including illicit drugs, and their use as biomarker for sewage epidemiology studies, as well as the co-metabolisation of these substances through microbial activity in downstream wastewater treatment systems.