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Veterinary pharmaceutical residues in water resources and tap water in an intensive husbandry area in France

Abstract : Background and objectives The continuous use of veterinary pharmaceuticals may represent a diffuse and pseudo-persistent pollution in the environment. This is supported by the fact that veterinary pharmaceutical residues (VPRs) have been detected in natural waters at concentrations ranging from ng/L to μg/L, thanks to advances in analytical methods. Furthermore, there is a public health concern as VPRs may reach drinking water treatment plants, and consequently, the population could be chronically exposed to these compounds. Brittany is an intensive husbandry area in France. Moreover, 75% of tap water in this region is produced from surface waters, which are very vulnerable to contamination. VPRs can be released into the environment either directly with urine and feces of animals in pastures or during aquaculture activities, or indirectly during the spreading of contaminated manure and slurry. The project aims at realizing an overview of the contamination (types molecules and levels of concentrations) of water resources and tap water in an area subjected to a high subjected to a strong agricultural pressure. Sampling sites and Method Selected sites and sampling strategy: 25 catchments (23 surface waters and 2 groundwater) used for tap water production in Brittany, located in intensive husbandry watersheds (ARS / DREAL 2013-2015). Sampling strategy’s purpose is to reflect variations in veterinary practices, manure/slurry spreading times and water regime (low water or high water) (Jaffrézic et al., 2017). Four sampling campaigns (March 2017, May 2017, September 2017 and January 2018) were carried out on the sites of interest, on water resources and corresponding tap waters (200 samples). Methods: 35 VPRs ranked according to 4 criteria: veterinary practices in Brittany (Soulier et al., 2015, ARS / DREAL 2013-2015), pharmacokinetics, fate in the environment and analytic feasibility (Lise Charuaud Ph.D., 2016-2018). VPRs are analyzed by solid phase extraction, followed by a liquid chromatography separation coupled with tandem mass spectrometry detection. Results VPRs were quantified in water resources (23 surface waters and 2 groundwater) in 25% (January 2018) to 47% (September 2017) of the samples according to the campaigns. The diversity of quantified molecules was greater during the low water levels period campaign in September (10 different compounds. The quantified concentrations ranged from 5 ng.L-1 (quantification limit) to 2946 μg.L-1, for the antibiotic sulfadiazine in September. In the corresponding tap waters, VPRs were also quantified in 4% (March 2017) up to 65% (May 2017) of the samples according to the campaigns. Positive samples percentage and diversity of quantified molecules were greater during manure/slurry spreading period in May. Concentrations in tap waters ranged from 5 ng.L-1 to 211 ng.L-1, for the florfenicol antibiotic in September. Conclusion VPRs have been quantified both in water resources and tap water in Brittany. Thus, the population may be exposed chronically via tap water to those contaminants. To our knowledge, this study in the most complete dataset of contamination by VPRs in France (200 samples), over a long period (about 1 year) and at the scale of an entire region.
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Contributor : Isabelle Dubigeon <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 2:11:52 PM
Last modification on : Friday, June 4, 2021 - 2:37:48 PM


  • HAL Id : insu-02042444, version 1


Lise Charuaud, Emilie Jardé, Anne Jaffrézic, Thierry Panaget, Maud Billon, et al.. Veterinary pharmaceutical residues in water resources and tap water in an intensive husbandry area in France. 6th Annual International Forum on Water, Center for Environmental Pollution, Climate & Ecology (CEPCE), Jul 2018, Athènes, Greece. ⟨insu-02042444⟩



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