Recent studies have documented that antibiotics are present in streams of the United States. Several of the antibiotics found are those used in livestock production; however, the primary transport mechanisms of antibiotics to streams are not yet understood. Samples were collected during runoff in Midwestern streams to identify the dominant source of antibiotics in streams. If point sources such as sewage treatment discharges are the dominant source, then concentrations should be much lower during runoff than during lower flow conditions. However, if nonpoint sources (such as manure applications to fields) are dominant, then concentrations should be about the same or higher during runoff (May-June, June-July, and September-November). During 2002, 154 samples were collected from 51 streams in nine Midwestern States during three periods of runoff. Sulfamethoxazole was detected at a concentration of 0.14 µg/L in a sample from the Scioto River near Prospect, Ohio, and at a concentration of 0.10 µg/L in a sample from the Rock River at Afton, Wisconsin.
| Antibiotics in Spring Flush
Related Science Feature Articles
- Scribner, E.A., Battaglin, W.A., Dietze, J.E., and Thurman, E.M., 2003, Reconnaissance data for glyphosate, other selected herbicides, their degradation products, and antibiotics in 51 streams in nine Midwestern States, 2002: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 03-217, 101 p.
- Kolpin, D.W., Thurman, E.M., Lee, E.A., Meyer, M.T., Furlong, E.T., and Glassmeyer, S.T., 2006, Urban contributions of glyphosate and its degradate AMPA to streams in the United States: Science of the Total Environment, v. 354, no. 2-3, p. 191-197, doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2005.01.028.
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