15 November 2019

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

Organised by:

SCI’s Environment, Health & Safety Group and the RSC Water Science Forum

RSC, London

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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. Typically, between 30–90% of the active compound gets excreted. Globally, two-thirds of antibiotics produced are used on animals.

With increased worldwide 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.

For further information please visit RSC Conference and Events website.

  • 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

09.50 Registration and refreshments (Fish Room)
  Morning Session (Science Conference Room)
10.20 Welcome and information for the day
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 “Predicting selective windows in wastewater treatment plants: effect of plasmid transfer versus antibiotic concentration”
Dr Jan-Ulrich Kreft, University of Birmingham School of Biosciences
12.30 “Antibiotics in the environment and their stereochemistry: from molecules to the catchment perspective”
Dr Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern, Dept of Chemistry, University of Bath
13.00 Buffet lunch (Fish Room)
  Afternoon Session (Science Conference Room)
14.00 “Antimicrobial resistant bacteria in the drinking water: chlorine tolerance, stress and its selection”
Dr Charles Knapp, University of Strathclyde
14.30 “Prevalence and removal of selected antibiotics through conventional wastewater treatment processes”
Mark Craig, Severn Trent Water Ltd, Coventry
14.50 “Antibiotics - a view from the Environment Agency”
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
16.00 Close

Venue and Contact


Burlington House

Conference Team

+44 (0)20 7598 1561



Early bird fees before Friday 11 October 2019

£105   Members of SCI, RSC, IChemE
£55   Student/Retired Members
£155   Non-Members
£70   Student/Retired Non-Members

Standard fees after Friday 11 October 2019

£145   Members of SCI, RSC, IChemE
£70   Student/Retired Members
£185   Non-Members
£85   Student/Retired Non-Members

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