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Environmental Health - Toxic Substances


A National Reconnaissance of Pharmaceuticals, Hormones, and Other Organic Wastewater Contaminants in Sources of Drinking Water, 2001

This field reconnaissance is using newly developed laboratory methods to provide baseline information on the environmental occurrence of a wide range of organic wastewater contaminants in surface and ground water used as sources of drinking water. Preliminary results from other field reconnaissance studies have shown that many organic wastewater contaminants may persist in environmental waters, it is important to determine if the same compounds can be found in surface and ground water used as sources of drinking water. Following the study design of the first phases of this program activity, which targeted streams and wells susceptible to animal or human wastewaters, sources of drinking water were sampled downstream or near potential sources of animal or human wastewaters. A network of 76 drinking water sources across 25 states and Puerto Rico were sampled during the summer of 2001. Samples were collected prior to any water treatment practices at locations such as river intakes or raw-water sampling ports used by the individual utilities. The sampling network consisted of 25 ground-water sources and 51 surface-water sources of drinking water. Most water systems included in the reconnaissance served at least 10,000 people with some ground-water systems serving 1,000 or less. All samples were collected by U.S. Geological Survey personnel using consistent protocols and procedures designed to obtain a sample representative of the targeted raw drinking-water source. Data currently are being analyzed.

map of sampling sites
Locations of 25 ground-water and 51 surface-water sites sampled for the source-water reconnaissance

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