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Wastewater treatment plant effluent inputs influence the temporal variability of nutrient uptake in an intermittent stream

Castelar, Sara; Bernal, Susana; Ribot, Miquel; Merbt, Stephanie N.; Tobella, Marta; Sabater, Francesc; Ledesma, José L. J. ORCID iD icon 1; Guasch, Helena; Lupon, Anna; Gacia, Esperança; Drummond, Jennifer D.; Martí, Eugènia
1 Institut für Geographie und Geoökologie (IFGG), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)


Wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents alter water chemistry and in-stream nutrient uptake rates of receiving freshwaters, thus changing the magnitude and fate of the nutrients exported. In Mediterranean regions, the dilution capacity of receiving streams can vary strongly over time due to the seasonal occurrence of floods and droughts, causing temporal variability of nutrient uptake. We assessed the temporal patterns and the controlling factors of net nutrient uptake in an intermittent Mediterranean stream receiving WWTP effluent inputs. We compiled the longitudinal concentration profiles of ambient dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) and soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) along a 800 m reach on 47 sampling dates between 2001 and 2017, encompassing a wide range of hydrological conditions. We estimated net nutrient uptake in the receiving stream. In 72% of the dates, high rates of net ammonium uptake co-occurred with net releases of either nitrate or nitrite. This pattern suggests that the receiving stream has a high nitrification capacity. Conversely, 75% of the dates did not show any longitudinal pattern in SRP concentration, suggesting that uptake and release processes for this element were either counterbalanced or both occurred at very low rates. ... mehr

Verlagsausgabe §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000145935
Veröffentlicht am 05.10.2022
DOI: 10.1007/s11252-022-01228-5
Zitationen: 3
Web of Science
Zitationen: 3
Zitationen: 3
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Geographie und Geoökologie (IFGG)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsjahr 2022
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 1083-8155, 1573-1642
KITopen-ID: 1000145935
Erschienen in Urban Ecosystems
Verlag Springer
Band 25
Heft 4
Seiten 1313–1326
Vorab online veröffentlicht am 20.04.2022
Nachgewiesen in Dimensions
Web of Science
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