Faecal sterols detection is a promising method for identifying sources of faecal pollution. In this study, faecal contamination in water samples from point source (sewage treatment plants, chicken farms, quail farms and horse stables) was extracted using the solid phase extraction (SPE) technique. Faecal sterols (coprostanol, cholesterol, stigmasterol, beta-sitosterol and stigmastanol) were selected as parameters to differentiate the source of faecal pollution. The results indicated that coprostanol, cholesterol and beta-sitosterol were the most significant parameters that can be used as source tracers for faecal contamination. Chemometric techniques, such as cluster analysis, principal component analysis and discriminant analysis were applied to the data set on faecal contamination in water from various pollution sources in order to validate the faecal sterols' profiles. Cluster analysis generated three clusters: coprostanol was in cluster 1, cholesterol and beta-sitosterol formed cluster 2, while cluster 3 contained stigmasterol and stigmastanol. Discriminant analysis suggested that coprostanol, cholesterol and beta-sitosterol were the most significant parameters to discriminate between the faecal pollution source. The use of chemometric techniques provides useful and promising indicators in tracing the source of faecal contamination.
Boron is extensively used in the ceramic industry for enhancing mechanical strength of the tiles. The discharge of boron containing wastewater to the environment causes severe pollution problems. Boron is also dangerous for human consumption and causes organisms' reproductive impediments if the safe intake level is exceeded. Current methods to remove boron include ion-exchange, membrane filtration, precipitation-coagulation, biological and chemical treatment. These methods are costly to remove boron from the wastewater and hence infeasible for industrial wastewater treatment. In the present research, adsorption-flocculation mechanism is proposed for boron removal from ceramic wastewater by using Palm Oil Mill Boiler (POMB) bottom ash and long chain polymer or flocculant. Ceramic wastewater is turbid and milky in color which contains 15 mg/L of boron and 2000 mg/L of suspended solids. The optimum operating conditions for boron adsorption on POMB bottom ash and flocculation using polymer were investigated in the present research. Adsorption isotherm of boron on bottom ash was also investigated to evaluate the adsorption capacity. Adsorption isotherm modeling was conducted based on Langmuir and Freundlich isotherms. The results show that coarse POMB bottom ash with particle size larger than 2 mm is a suitable adsorbent where boron is removed up to 80% under the optimum conditions (pH=8.0, dosage=40 g bottom ash/300 ml wastewater, residence time=1h). The results also show that KP 1200 B cationic polymer is effective in flocculating the suspended solids while AP 120 C anionic polymer is effective in flocculating the bottom ash. The combined cationic and anionic polymers are able to clarify the ceramic wastewater under the optimum conditions (dosage of KP 1200 B cationic polymer=100 mg/L, dosage of AP 120 C anionic polymer=50 mg/L, mixing speed=200 rpm). Under the optimum operating conditions, the boron and suspended solids concentration of the treated wastewater were reduced to 3 mg/L and 5 mg/L respectively, satisfying the discharge requirement by Malaysia Department of Environment (DOE). The modeling study shows that the adsorption isotherm of boron onto POMB bottom ash conformed to the Freundlich Isotherm. The proposed method is suitable for boron removal in ceramic wastewater especially in regions where POMB bottom ash is abundant.
This study presents an examination on the correlation of sonication operating condition, sludge property, formation and behaviour of cavitation bubbles in sludge disruption under low-frequency ultrasound sonication. The influence of sonication time, sonication density, type of sludge and solids content on the disruption was evaluated. The most vigorous particle disruption was achieved in the initial period of sonication, which subsided subsequently. The explosive effect was likely due to the rapid cavitation arising from powerful transient bubbles generated in fractions of microseconds. A rating for the type of sludge was derived based on the finding that particles in secondary sludge were more readily disrupted than both primary sludge and mixed sludge. While sonication density exhibited the most significant role in cavitation bubble formation and behaviour, particle disruption could be optimised for energy input by sonicating at higher sonication density and shorter sonication time. Based on theoretical consideration, it was deduced that within an optimum sludge solids content ranging between 2.3% and 3.2%, superior particle disruption could be accomplished within a minute for secondary sludge sonicated at a density of 0.52 W/mL. Useful guidelines for sonication system installation, equipment protection and process reliability could be established from knowledge derived from a good understanding on the influence of solids content on sludge sonication.
In this study, the interactive effects of feed flow rate (QF) and up-flow velocity (V up) on the performance of an up-flow anaerobic sludge fixed film (UASFF) reactor treating palm oil mill effluent (POME) were investigated. Long-term performance of the UASFF reactor was first examined with raw POME at a hydraulic loading rate (HRT) of 3 d and an influent COD concentration of 44300 mg/l. Extreme reactor instability was observed after 25 d. Raw POME was then chemically pretreated and used as feed. Anaerobic digestion of pretreated POME was modeled and analyzed with two operating variables, i.e. feed flow rate and up-flow velocity. Experiments were conducted based on a central composite face-centered design (CCFD) and analyzed using response surface methodology (RSM). The region of exploration for digestion of the pretreated POME was taken as the area enclosed by the feed flow rate (1.01, 7.63 l/d) and up-flow velocity (0.2, 3 m/h) boundaries. Twelve dependent parameters were either directly measured or calculated as response. These parameters were total COD (TCOD) removal, soluble COD (SCOD) removal, effluent pH, effluent total volatile fatty acid (TVFA), effluent bicarbonate alkalinity (BA), effluent total suspended solids (TSS), CH4 percentage in biogas, methane yield (Y M), specific methanogenic activity (SMA), food-to-sludge ratio (F/M), sludge height in the UASB portion and solid retention time (SRT). The optimum conditions for POME treatment were found to be 2.45 l/d and 0.75 m/h for QF and V up, respectively (corresponding to HRT of 1.5 d and recycle ratio of 23.4:1). The present study provides valuable information about interrelations of quality and process parameters at different values of the operating variables.
The present study was designed to evaluate the potential of microbial adaptation and its affinity to biodegradation as well as bioconversion of soluble/insoluble (organic) substances of domestic wastewater treatment plant (DWTP) sludge (activated domestic sludge) under natural/non-sterilized conditions. The two filamentous fungi, Penicillium corylophilum (WWZP1003) and Aspergillus niger (SCahmA103) were used to achieve the objectives. It was observed that P. corylophilum (WWZP1003) was the better strain compared to A. niger (SCahmA103) for the bioconversion of domestic activated sludge through adaptation. The visual observation in plate culture showed that about 95-98% of cultured microbes (P. corylophilum and A. niger) dominated in treated sludge after 2 days of treatment. In this study, it was also found that the P. corylophilum was capable of removing 94.40% of COD and 98.95% of turbidity of filtrate with minimum dose of inoculum of 10% v/v in DWTP sludge (1% w/w). The pH level was lower (acidic condition) in the fungal treatment and maximum reduction of COD and turbidity was observed (at lower pH). The results for specific resistance to filtration (SRF) showed that the fungi played a great role in enhancing the dewaterability and filterability. In particular, the strain Penicillium had a more significant capability (than A. niger) of reducing 93.20% of SRF compared to the uninoculated sample. Effective results were observed by using fungal inoculum after 2 days of treatment. The developed LSB process is a new biotechnological approach for sludge management strategy.
The adsorption of residue oil from palm oil mill effluent (POME) using chitosan powder and flake has been investigated. POME contains about 2g/l of residue oil, which has to be treated efficiently before it can be discharged. Experiments were carried out as a function of different initial concentrations of residue oil, weight dosage, contact time and pH of chitosan in powder and flake form to obtain the optimum conditions for the adsorption of residue oil from POME. The powder form of chitosan exhibited a greater rate compared to the flake type. The results obtained showed that chitosan powder, at a dosage of 0.5g/l, 15min of contact time and a pH value of 5.0, presented the most suitable conditions for the adsorption of residue oil from POME. The adsorption process performed almost 99% of residue oil removal from POME. Equilibrium studies have been carried out to determine the capacity of chitosan for the adsorption of residue oil from POME using the optimum conditions from the flocculation at different initial concentrations of residue oil. Langmuir and Freundlich adsorption models were applied to describe the experimental isotherms and isotherm constants. Equilibrium data fitted very well with the Freundlich model. The pseudo first- and second-order kinetic models and intraparticle diffusion model were used to describe the kinetic data and the rate constants were evaluated. The experimental data fitted well with the second-order kinetic model, which indicates that the chemical sorption is the rate-limiting step, i.e. chemisorption between residue oil and chitosan. The significant uptake of residue oil on chitosan was further proved by BET surface area analysis and SEM micrographs.
Natural and environmental-friendly disposal of wastewater sludge is a great concern. Recently, biological treatment has played prominent roles in bioremediation of complex hydrocarbon- rich contaminants. Composting is quite an old biological-based process that is being practiced but it could not create a great impact in the minds of concerned researchers. The present study was conducted to evaluate the feasibility of the solid-state bioconversion (SSB) processes in the biodegradation of wastewater sludge by exploiting this promising technique to rejuvenate the conventional process. The Indah Water Konsortium (IWK) domestic wastewater treatment plant (DWTP) sludge was considered for evaluation of SSB by monitoring the microbial growth and its subsequent roles in biodegradation under two conditions: (i) flask (F) and (ii) composting bin (CB) cultures. Sterile and semi-sterile environments were allowed in the F and the CB, respectively, using two mixed fungal cultures, Trichoderma harzianum with Phanerochaete chrysosporium 2094 (T/P) and T. harzianum with Mucor hiemalis (T/M) and two bulking materials, sawdust (SD) and rice straw (RS). The significant growth and multiplication of both the mixed fungal cultures were reflected in soluble protein, glucosamine and color intensity measurement of the water extract. The color intensity and pH of the water extract significantly increased and supported the higher growth of microbes and bioconversion. The most encouraging results of microbial growth and subsequent bioconversion were exhibited in the RS than the SD. A comparatively higher decrease of organic matter (OM) % and C/N ratio were attained in the CB than the F, which implied a higher bioconversion. But the measurement of soluble protein, glucosamine and color intensity exhibited higher values in the F than the CB. The final pH drop was higher in the CB than the F, which implied that a higher nitrification occurred in the CB associated with a higher release of H+ ions. Both the mixed cultures performed almost equal roles in all cases except the changes in moisture content.
This review focuses on the development of polyamide (PA) thin film nanocomposite (TFN) membranes for various aqueous media-based separation processes such as nanofiltration, reverse osmosis and forward osmosis since the concept of TFN was introduced in year 2007. Although the total number of published TFN articles falls far short of the articles of the well-known thin film composite (TFC) membranes, its growth rate is significant, particularly since 2012. Generally, by incorporating an appropriate amount of nanofiller into a thin selective PA layer of a composite membrane, one could produce TFN membranes with enhanced separation characteristics as compared to the conventional TFC membrane. For certain cases, the resulting TFN membranes demonstrate not only excellent antifouling resistance and/or greater antibacterial effect, but also possibly overcome the trade-off effect between water permeability and solute selectivity. Furthermore, this review attempts to give the readers insights into the difficulties of incorporating inorganic nanomaterials into the organic PA layer whose thickness usually falls in a range of several-hundred nanometers. It is also intended to show new possible approaches to overcome these challenges in TFN membrane fabrication.
The applicability of the enhanced biological phosphorus removal (EBPR) process for the removal of phosphorus in warm climates is uncertain due to frequent reports of EBPR deterioration at temperature higher than 25 °C. Nevertheless, a recent report on a stable and efficient EBPR process at 28 °C has inspired the present study to examine the performance of EBPR at 24 °C-32 °C, as well as the PAOs and GAOs involved, in greater detail. Two sequencing batch reactors (SBRs) were operated for EBPR in parallel at different temperatures, i.e., SBR-1 at 28 °C and SBR-2 first at 24 °C and subsequently at 32 °C. Both SBRs exhibited high phosphorus removal efficiencies at all three temperatures and produced effluents with phosphorus concentrations less than 1.0 mg/L during the steady state of reactor operation. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) revealed Accumulibacter-PAOs comprised 64% of the total bacterial population at 24 °C, 43% at 28 °C and 19% at 32 °C. Based on fluorescent in situ hybridisation (FISH), the abundance of Competibacter-GAOs at both 24 °C and 28 °C was rather low (<10%), while it accounted for 40% of the total bacterial population at 32 °C. However, the smaller Accumulibacter population and larger population of Competibacter at 32 °C did not deteriorate the phosphorus removal performance. A polyphosphate kinase 1 (ppk1)-based qPCR analysis on all studied EBPR processes detected only Accumulibacter clade IIF. The Accumulibacter population shown by 16S rRNA and ppk1 was not significantly different. This finding confirmed the existence of single clade IIF in the processes and the specificity of the clade IIF primer sets designed in this study. Habitat filtering related to temperature could have contributed to the presence of a unique clade. The clade IIF was hypothesised to be able to perform the EBPR activity at high temperatures. The clade's robustness most likely helps it to fit the high-temperature EBPR sludge best and allows it not only to outcompete other Accumulibacter clades but coexist with GAOs without compromising EBPR activity.
This work investigated the removal of boron from wastewater and its recovery by electrocoagulation and hydrothermal mineralization methods respectively. The experimental design was developed using Box-Behnken Model. An initial study was performed based on four preselected variables (pH, current density, concentration and time) using synthetic wastewater. Response surface methodology (RSM) was used to evaluate the effect of process variables and their interaction on boron removal. The optimum conditions were obtained as pH 6.3, current density 17.4 mA/cm(2), and time 89 min. At these applied optimum conditions, 99.7% boron removal from an initial concentration of 10.4 mg/L was achieved. The process was effectively optimized by RSM with a desirability value of 1.0. The results showed that boron removal efficiency enhanced with increase in current density and treatment time. Removal efficiency also increased when pH was increased from 4 to 7 and subsequently decreased at pH 10. Adsorption kinetics study revealed that the reaction followed pseudo second order kinetic model; evidenced by high correlation and goodness of fit. Thermodynamics study showed that mechanism of boron adsorption was chemisorption and the reaction was endothermic in nature. Furthermore, the adsorption process was spontaneous as indicated by negative values of the adsorption free energy. Treatment of real produced water using electrocoagulation resulted in 98% boron removal. The hydrothermal mineralization study showed that borate minerals (Inyoite, Takadaite and Nifontovite) can be recovered as recyclable precipitate from electrocoagulation flocs of produced water.
In this study, the operational factors affecting the bioregeneration of AO7-loaded MAMS particles in batch system, namely redox condition, initial acclimated biomass concentration, shaking speed and type of acclimated biomass were investigated. The results revealed that with the use of mixed culture acclimated to AO7 under anoxic/aerobic conditions, enhancement of the bioregeneration efficiency of AO7-loaded MAMS and the total removal efficiency of COD could be achieved when the bio-decolorization and bio-mineralization stages were fully aerated with dissolved oxygen above 7 mg/L. Shorter duration of bioregeneration was achieved by using relatively higher initial biomass concentration and lower shaking speed, respectively, whereas variations of biomass concentration and shaking speed did not have a pronounced effect on the bioregeneration efficiency. The duration and efficiency of bioregeneration process were greatly affected by the chemical structures of mono-azo dyes to which the biomasses were acclimated.
The UASB process among other treatment methods has been recognized as a core method of an advanced technology for environmental protection. This paper highlights the treatment of seven types of wastewaters i.e. palm oil mill effluent (POME), distillery wastewater, slaughterhouse wastewater, piggery wastewater, dairy wastewater, fishery wastewater and municipal wastewater (black and gray) by UASB process. The purpose of this study is to explore the pollution load of these wastewaters and their treatment potential use in upflow anaerobic sludge blanket process. The general characterization of wastewater, treatment in UASB reactor with operational parameters and reactor performance in terms of COD removal and biogas production are thoroughly discussed in the paper. The concrete data illustrates the reactor configuration, thus giving maximum awareness about upflow anaerobic sludge blanket reactor for further research. The future aspects for research needs are also outlined.
In advanced oxidation processes (AOPs), the aqueous hydroxyl radical (HO) acts as a strong oxidant to react with organic contaminants. The hydroxyl radical rate constant (kHO) is important for evaluating and modelling of the AOPs. In this study, quantitative structure-property relationship (QSPR) method is applied to model the hydroxyl radical rate constant for a diverse dataset of 457 water contaminants from 27 various chemical classes. The constricted binary particle swarm optimization and multiple-linear regression (BPSO-MLR) are used to obtain the best model with eight theoretical descriptors. An optimized feed forward neural network (FFNN) is developed to investigate the complex performance of the selected molecular parameters with kHO. Although the FFNN prediction results are more accurate than those obtained using BPSO-MLR, the application of the latter is much more convenient. Various internal and external validation techniques indicate that the obtained models could predict the logarithmic hydroxyl radical rate constants of a large number of water contaminants with less than 4% absolute relative error. Finally, the above-mentioned proposed models are compared to those reported earlier and the structural factors contributing to the AOP degradation efficiency are discussed.
Today, a major issue about water pollution is the residual dyes from different sources (e.g., textile industries, paper and pulp industries, dye and dye intermediates industries, pharmaceutical industries, tannery and craft bleaching industries, etc.), and a wide variety of persistent organic pollutants have been introduced into our natural water resources or wastewater treatment systems. In fact, it is highly toxic and hazardous to the living organism; thus, the removal of these organic contaminants prior to discharge into the environment is essential. Varieties of techniques have been employed to degrade those organic contaminants and advanced heterogeneous photocatalysis involving zinc oxide (ZnO) photocatalyst appears to be one of the most promising technology. In recent years, ZnO photocatalyst have attracted much attention due to their extraordinary characteristics. The high efficiency of ZnO photocatalyst in heterogeneous photocatalysis reaction requires a suitable architecture that minimizes electron loss during excitation state and maximizes photon absorption. In order to further improve the immigration of photo-induced charge carriers during excitation state, considerable effort has to be exerted to further improve the heterogeneous photocatalysis under UV/visible/solar illumination. Lately, interesting and unique features of metal doping or binary oxide photocatalyst system have gained much attention and became favourite research matter among various groups of scientists. It was noted that the properties of this metal doping or binary oxide photocatalyst system primarily depend on the nature of the preparation method and the role of optimum dopants content incorporated into the ZnO photocatalyst. Therefore, this paper presents a critical review of recent achievements in the modification of ZnO photocatalyst for organic contaminants degradation.
Reserve lipids of microalgae are promising for biodiesel production. However, economically feasible and sustainable energy production from microalgae requires optimization of cultivation conditions for both biomass yield and lipid production of microalgae. Biomass yield and lipid production in microalgae are a contradictory problem because required conditions for both targets are different. Simultaneously, the mass cultivation of microalgae for biofuel production also depends extremely on the performance of the microalgae strains used. In this study a green unicellular microalgae Chlorella sorokiniana (DS6) isolated from the holding tanks of farm wastewater treatment plant using multi-step screening and acclimation procedures was found high-lipid producing facultative heterotrophic microalgae strain capable of growing on dairy farm effluent (DFE) for biodiesel feedstock and wastewater treatment. Morphological features and the phylogenetic analysis for the 18S rRNA identified the isolated strains. A novel three stage cultivation process of facultative strain of C. sorokiniana was examined for lipid production.
The physical characteristics, microbial activities and kinetic properties of the granular sludge biomass were investigated under the influence of different hydraulic retention times (HRT) along with the performance of the system in removal of color and COD of synthetic textile wastewater. The study was conducted in a column reactor operated according to a sequential batch reactor with a sequence of anaerobic and aerobic reaction phases. Six stages of different HRTs and different anaerobic and aerobic reaction time were evaluated. It was observed that the increase in HRT resulted in the reduction of organic loading rate (OLR). This has caused a decrease in biomass concentration (MLSS), reduction in mean size of the granules, lowered the settling ability of the granules and reduction of oxygen uptake rate (OUR), overall specific biomass growth rate (ìoverall), endogeneous decay rate (kd) and biomass yield (Yobs, Y). When the OLR was increased by adding carbon sources (glucose, sodium acetate and ethanol), there was a slight increase in the MLSS, the granules mean size, ìoverall, and biomass yield. Under high HRT, increasing the anaerobic to aerobic reaction time ratio caused an increase in the concentration of MLSS, mean size of granules and lowered the SVI value and biomass yield. The ìoverall and biomass yield increased with the reduction in anaerobic/aerobic time ratio. The HRT of 24 h with anaerobic and aerobic reaction time of 17.8 and 5.8 h respectively appear to be the best cycle operation of SBR. Under these conditions, not only the physical properties of the biogranules have improved, the highest removal of color (i.e. 94.1±0.6%) and organics (i.e. 86.5±0.5%) of the synthetic textile dyeing wastewater have been achieved.
Using the size fractionation method, we measured the decay rates of Escherichia coli, Salmonella Typhi and Vibrio parahaemolyticus in the coastal waters of Peninsular Malaysia. The size fractions were total or unfiltered, <250 μm, <20 μm, <2 μm, <0.7 μm, <0.2 μm and <0.02 μm. We also carried out abiotic (inorganic nutrients) and biotic (bacterial abundance, production and protistan bacterivory) measurements at Port Dickson, Klang and Kuantan. Klang had highest nutrient concentrations whereas both bacterial production and protistan bacterivory rates were highest at Kuantan. We observed signs of protist-bacteria coupling via the following correlations: Protistan bacterivory-Bacterial Production: r = 0.773, df = 11, p < 0.01; Protist-Bacteria: r = 0.586, df = 12, p < 0.05. However none of the bacterial decay rates were correlated with the biotic variables measured. E. coli and Salmonella decay rates were generally higher in the larger fraction (>0.7 μm) than in the smaller fraction (<0.7 μm) suggesting the more important role played by protists. E. coli and Salmonella also decreased in the <0.02 μm fraction and suggested that these non-halophilic bacteria did not survive well in seawater. In contrast, Vibrio grew well in seawater. There was usually an increase in Vibrio after one day incubation. Our results confirmed that decay or loss rates of E. coli did not match that of Vibrio, and also did not correlate with Salmonella decay rates. However E. coli showed persistence where its decay rates were generally lower than Salmonella.
Microbial granular sludge that is capable to treat textile wastewater in a single reactor under intermittent anaerobic and aerobic conditions was developed in this study. The granules were cultivated using mixed sewage and textile mill sludge in combination with anaerobic granules collected from an anaerobic sludge blanket reactor as seed. The granules were developed in a single sequential batch reactor (SBR) system under alternating anaerobic and aerobic condition fed with synthetic textile wastewater. The characteristics of the microbial granular sludge were monitored throughout the study period. During this period, the average size of the granules increased from 0.02 +/- 0.01 mm to 2.3 +/- 1.0 mm and the average settling velocity increased from 9.9 +/- 0.7 m h(-1) to 80 +/- 8 m h(-1). This resulted in an increased biomass concentration (from 2.9 +/- 0.8 g L(-1) to 7.3 +/- 0.9 g L(-1)) and mean cell residence time (from 1.4 days to 8.3 days). The strength of the granules, expressed as the integrity coefficient also improved. The sequential batch reactor system demonstrated good removal of COD and ammonia of 94% and 95%, respectively, at the end of the study. However, only 62% of color removal was observed. The findings of this study show that granular sludge could be developed in a single reactor with an intermittent anaerobic-aerobic reaction phase and is capable in treating the textile wastewater.
Magnetically separable photocatalyst beads containing nano-sized iron oxide in alginate polymer were prepared. This magnetic photocatalyst beads are used in slurry-type reactors. The magnetism of the catalyst arises from the nanostructured particles gamma-Fe(2)O(3), by which the catalyst can be easily recovered by the application of an external magnetic field. These synthesized beads are sunlight-driven photocatalyst. In the system without magnetic photocatalyst beads, no chromium reduction was observed under sunlight irradiation due to the stability of the chromium (VI). Upon the addition of magnetic photocatalyst beads, the photo-reduction of Cr(VI) was completed in just after only 50min under sunlight irradiation due to the photocatalytic activity of the beads. However when placed away from sunlight, the reduction rate of the chromium is just about 10%. These observations were explained in terms of absorption occurrence of chromium (VI) onto the catalyst surface which took place in this reaction. In addition, photo-reduction rate of chromium (VI) was more significant at lower pH. The results suggest that the use of magnetic separable photocatalyst beads is a feasible strategy for eliminating Cr(VI).
This paper reports the result of sewage pollution monitoring conducted in South and Southeast Asia during 1998-2003 using linear alkylbenzenes (LABs) as molecular tracers of sewage contamination. Eighty-nine water samples collected from Malaysia, Vietnam, and Japan (Tokyo), and 161 surface sediment samples collected from Tokyo, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, Indonesia, and India were analyzed for alkylbenzenes. The concentration range of SigmaLABs in river water particles in Southeast Asia (<0.005-0.913 microg/L) was comparable to or higher than those found in Tokyo (<0.005-0.638 microg/L). I/E ratios (a ratio of internal to external isomers of LABs) in tropical Asian waters were close to the value of LABs in raw sewage ( approximately 1) and much lower than those in secondary effluents (3-5). This suggests that untreated or inadequately treated sewage is discharged into the water. SigmaLABs concentrations in sediments from South and Southeast Asia ranged from <0.002-42.6 microg/g-dry with the highest concentration occurring at several populous cities. Low I/E ratios of the sediments with high SigmaLABs concentrations suggest a heavy load of untreated sewage. Clearly in view of the current data and evidence of the implications of sewage pollution, this paper highlights the necessity of the continuation of water treatment system improvement in tropical Asia.