Worcester Polytechnic Institute Electronic Theses and Dissertations Collection

Title page for ETD etd-121613-183658

Document Typethesis
Author NameEckert, Lesley
TitlePermethrin for Mosquito Control: Drinking Water Impacts and Treatment
DepartmentCivil & Environmental Engineering
  • Jeanine Plummer, Advisor
  • John Bergendahl, Co-Advisor
  • Keywords
  • pesticides
  • powdered activated carbon
  • drinking water treatment
  • permethrin
  • Date of Presentation/Defense2013-12-02
    Availability unrestricted


    The goals of this study were (1) to evaluate the

    impacts of pesticides used for mosquito control on

    drinking water and (2) to investigate the removal

    of permethrin from water using activated carbon.

    A review of current literature on pesticide usage,

    toxicity, occurrence in the environment, and

    treatment techniques to remove pesticides from

    drinking water was conducted. The focus of the

    literature review was on pesticides used for

    mosquito control. Permethrin is a synthetic

    pyrethroid insecticide used extensively in the

    United States (US) for mosquito control and in

    agriculture, with approximately 2 million pounds

    applied each year. Permethrin was selected for

    investigation based on its widespread use in the

    US, its inclusion on the Contaminant Candidate

    List 3 (CCL3), its health hazards, and the lack of

    previous research on the removal of permethrin

    from drinking water. The removal of permethrin

    from water using powdered activated carbon (PAC)

    was investigated. Equilibrium adsorption

    experiments to assess removal of cis-, trans-, and

    total permethrin were conducted using two types of

    PAC (WPH 650 and WPH 1000). Initial total

    permethrin concentrations ranged from 2.0 to 4.6

    ug/L. PAC doses ranged from 0.0 to 10 mg/L.

    Results showed that PAC addition is an effective

    method for removing permethrin from water. Total

    permethrin concentrations were reduced by 38% with

    0.05 mg/L of PAC WPH 650, and reduced to below the

    detection limit with 3 mg/L of PAC WPH 650. Total

    permethrin concentrations were reduced by 35% with

    0.05 mg/L of PAC WPH 1000 and by 83% with 5 mg/L

    of PAC WPH 1000. Results for cis- and trans-

    permethrin were similar. The Freundlich isotherm

    model provided appropriate fits to the data with

    an R-squared value of 0.91 for both WPH 650 and

    WPH 1000.

  • LEckert.pdf

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