Antibiotics in the Water Environment:- Occurrence, Detection, Fate

15 November 2019 09:50-16:00, London, United Kingdom

Antibiotics are widespread and persistent contaminants in aquatic environments. They occur in urban water cycles (in surface, groundwater, drinking and waste waters) and in association with intensive animal rearing. With increased global usage of antibiotics there is a growing risk of new drug-resistant microorganisms evolving when they interact with bacteria present in the water. This can lead to formation of so-called ‘superbugs’ and is currently of serious health concern. Antibiotics and their metabolites are also under scrutiny over their wider ecological impact and interaction with water treatment systems. Consequently the need for stricter regulation of antibiotics in the environment is under review. The European Commission has recently included antibiotics on the updated Watch List under the Water Framework Directive and the UK Water Utility companies have an active Chemicals Investigation Programme to quantify the environmental inputs of selected antibiotics from wastewater outfalls across the UK. The workshop will address the impact and fate of antibiotics in aquatic systems, mechanisms involved in the selection for antimicrobial resistance and implications for water treatment.

09:50 - 10:20 Registration and refreshments (Fish Room)
Morning Session 10.20 - 13.00 (Science Conference Room)
10.20 Welcome and information for the day.
Opening Remarks.
Session 1 Chair, WSF Committee.
10.30 Pharmaceutical pollution and water quality - a global problem.
Dr John Wilkinson, University of York Department of Geography.
11:00 “AMR in the environment and its relevance to environmental regulators”.
Dr Andrew Singer, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Wallingford.
11.30 Considering the environmental dimension of antibiotic resistance using an integrated theoretical framework.
Prof William Gaze, University of Exeter Medical School.
12:00 Presentation 4.
Dr Jan-Ulrich Kreft, University of Birmingham School of Biosciences.
12:30 Presentation 5.
Dr Josh Bunce, Environment Agency (tbc).
13:00 - 13:55 Buffet Lunch (Fish Room)
Afternoon Session 14:00 - 16.00 (Science Conference Room)
14.00 “Prevalence and removal of selected antibiotics through conventional
wastewater treatment processes”.
Mark Craig, Severn Trent Water Ltd, Coventry.
14:30 Recent Progress in the UKWIR Chemicals Investigation Programme.
Mark Sinton, Environment Agency, Wallingford.
15.00 “Antimicrobial resistance: Are wastewater treatment plants a problem or a solution?".
Prof David Graham, Newcastle University School of Engineering.
15.30 Final discussion.
Tea/Coffee Available (Fish Room)
16.00 Close.

Conference Aims
This workshop brings together experts to review current research aimed at understanding the significance and extent of antibiotic pollution through its impact on freshwater ecology, wastewater treatment, and the likely contribution this makes to the development of antibiotic resistance mechanisms in bacteria (recognised as a serious and growing threat to global health). The requirement for closer monitoring of antibiotics and their metabolites in water will be presented, together with evidence enabling risk assessment evaluation of their impact on the environment and health. A key part of the workshop will be to discuss the need for tighter regulatory controls.

Who should attend?
- Environmental regulators, planners and policymakers
- Drinking water regulator
- Water treatment engineers
- Freshwater biologists
- Water Industry personnel
- Water quality managers
- Groundwater specialists
- Veterinary services and Animal Welfare
- Agriculture and Aquaculture sectors
- Analytical services
- Public health employees & pharmaceutical industry
The Royal Society of Chemistry

The Royal Society of Chemistry, Burlington House, Piccadilly, London, W1J 0BA, United Kingdom

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