Environmental Health - Toxic Substances Hydrology Program

Transport and Fate

Diagram showing processes controlling the fate of organic contaminants in the Mississippi River
Diagram showing processes controlling the fate of organic contaminants in rivers. Figure from USGS Circular 1133, p. 114-135.
Prior water-quality sample colection from stream
USGS scientist collecting a water sample from the stream prior to a swine manure spill. Photo Credit: Dana W. Kolpin, USGS.

In order to minimize ecological effects, it is essential to understand how a contaminant moves and is altered in the environment.

Research provides a basic understanding of the biologic, chemical, and hydrologic processes that affect partitioning into various environmental media (e.g. water, sediment and tissue) and chemical and microbial transformation. These processes can have a significant effect on the potential toxicity of a contaminant.

Emerging Chemical Contaminants

Emerging Microbial Contaminants

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