State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project Id: 2010IN251B
Title: Transport and fate of pharmaceutical compounds in an Indiana stream
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2010
End Date: 2/28/2011
Congressional District: 9
Focus Categories: Wastewater, Water Quality, Toxic Substances
Keywords: pharmaceuticals, streams, wastewater treatment plant, natural assimilative capacity
Principal Investigator: Royer, Todd V
Federal Funds: $ 11,080
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 22,487
Abstract: Pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) have been documented throughout the surface waters of the U.S., but many questions remain regarding the fate and transport of PPCPs in streams. The research proposed here will quantify the longitudinal loss rate for up to 15 individual PPCPs downstream from the Ellettsville, IN wastewater treatment plant. Throughout a 1.5 km reach of stream, the longitudinal changes in the concentration of PPCPs will be assessed relative to the change in concentration of a conservative tracer (bromide) over the same distance. The bromide will be injected to the stream at the wastewater treatment plant outfall. Downstream sampling stations will be established below the point of complete mixing. Sampling of PPCPs will follow established "clean" procedures. The transport of the PPCPs will be modeled using the U.S. Geological Survey's OTIS model. The biological activity occurring in the stream will be quantified with several standard ecological measurements. Two field experiments will be conducted, one in summer and the other in autumn, both periods of low stream flow and maximum biological activity. Focusing on these periods will yield upper estimates of the ability of streams to naturally attenuate PPCPs. This research will contribute to the science-based knowledge of PPCP transport and fate. The results have important application for water resource management in Indiana and the nation.

Progress/Completion Report, 2010, PDF

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