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Environmental Health - Toxic Substances

Investigations - Contaminants of Emerging Concern in the Environment

Water Resources of Colorado

Map of Stream Sampling Sites in Colorado
Map of Stream Sampling Sites in Colorado
(click image to enlarge)

Between 2001 and 2003, 23 urban stream samples, 17 forested stream samples, 75 domestic wells and 12 municipal wells were collected by the U.S. Geological Survey in Colorado and measured for 62 wastewater contaminants (see figure). The available data indicate that urban streams were the most vulnerable to contamination, with one or more wastewater chemicals being found in 100% of the samples from urban streams, and with 57 of the 62 wastewater chemicals being detected in at least 1 sample from these sites. Samples from the domestic wells generally had lower concentrations compared to the urban streams sampled, but a wide variety of chemicals were detected (34 of 62). The forested stream samples had fewer wastewater chemicals detected (11 of 62) and lower concentrations compared to the urban streams and domestic wells sampled. The deeper municipal wells had the fewest wastewater chemicals detected (6 of 62) and lowest concentrations measured.

Available Publications

Sprague, L.A. and Battaglin, W.A., 2004, Wastewater chemicals in Colorado's streams and ground water: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2004-3127, 4 p.

More Information

  • Project contact: Lori Sprague
  • Project contact: Bill Battaglin
  • USGS water programs in Colorado

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