Environmental science and pollution research international

Fish embryo tests with Danio rerio as a tool to evaluate surface water and sediment quality in rivers influenced by wastewater treatment plants using different treatment technologies.

PMID 25391229


In order to evaluate surface water and the sediment quality of rivers connected to wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) with different treatment technologies, fish embryo tests (FET) with Danio rerio were conducted using native water and sediment samples collected upstream and downstream of four WWTPs in Southern Germany. Two of these WWTPs are connected to the Schussen River, a tributary of Lake Constance, and use a sand filter with final water purification by flocculation. The two others are located on the rivers Schmiecha and Eyach in the area of the Swabian Alb and were equipped with a powdered activated carbon stage 20 years ago, which was originally aimed at reducing the release of stains from the textile industry. Several endpoints of embryo toxicity including mortality, malformations, reduced hatching rate, and heart rate were investigated at defined time points of embryonic development. Higher embryotoxic potentials were found in water and sediments collected downstream of the WWTPs equipped with sand filtration than in the sample obtained downstream of both WWTPs upgraded with a powdered activated carbon stage.

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