Fate and transport of thirteen pharmaceutical and personal care products in a controlled irrigated turfgrass system

Lena Wright, Dale A. Devitt, Michael H. Young, Jay Gan, Brett J. Vanderford, Shane A. Snyder, Michael McCullough, Laurel Dodgen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


An environmentally acceptable alternative to discharging recycled water to rivers, lakes, and other bodies of water is to use the water for irrigation of large areas of turfgrass. Such waters contain pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), of which, some may have high mobility in irrigated soil-plant systems, potentially impacting groundwater resources. To determine the movement of 13 PPCPs under irrigated turfgrass conditions, a field-based lysimeter study was conducted. Aft er 745 d of monitoring, 9 of the 13 compounds were detected in drainage samples. The compounds with the highest detection rate in the drainage water were sulfamethoxazole and primidone in both soil types (100% in the loamy sand soil for both compounds and 50 and 65%, respectively, in the sandy loam soil) and carbamazepine in the loamy sand soil (50%). Factors influencing the movement of these compounds varied based on the compound and the imposed treatments. In the case of primidone, 94% of the variability in the mass discharge could be accounted for by taking into account the number of unsaturated pore volumes draining, the sand content, and the redox potential at 105 cm. The highest mass flux, scaled on a hectare basis, was recorded for sulfamethoxazole (0.25 g ha-1 yr-1). Based on our results, restricting the use of recycled water based solely on the presence of PPCPs should only be a consideration at sites where soils are extremely sandy and irrigation regimes are not based on an evapotranspiration feedback approach.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1244-1254
Number of pages11
JournalAgronomy Journal
Issue number5
StatePublished - Nov 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science


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