Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2013IN360B

Abundance, Transport, and Retention of Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) in Central Indiana Streams

Institute: Indiana
Year Established: 2013 Start Date: 2013-03-01 End Date: 2015-02-28
Total Federal Funds: $15,424 Total Non-Federal Funds: $32,178

Principal Investigators: Melody Bernot

Abstract: Persistence of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in the environment is an emerging concern due to potential adverse effects on aquatic ecosystems and transport to human drinking water sources. Preliminary data indicate both human and veterinary PPCPs are ubiquitous in freshwaters throughout central Indiana. Proposed research will combine descriptive sampling of abundance with innovative enrichment studies to directly quantify PPCP transport and retention in freshwater. It is essential that we better understand spatial and temporal heterogeneity of freshwater PPCP abundance, transport and retention to protect aquatic ecosystems and assess regulatory need. Research will be guided by two objectives: 1) Develop predictive models of PPCP abundance in lotic ecosystems. Spatial and temporal variation in PPCP concentrations will be measured monthly in water and sediment at 8 streams in the Upper White River watershed in addition to measurement of watershed and stream physiochemical characteristics to identify factors controlling PPCP abundance. These data will identify compounds, areas, and periods of time of concern and will be used to develop predictive models. 2) Quantify variation in PPCP retention and transport. Short-term enrichment experiments of target compounds (carbamazepine, acetaminophen, DEET, triclosan) will be conducted in spring and summer on a university-owned property. Environmentally-relevant concentrations of target PPCPs will be dripped into a 1 km stream reach, with a conservative tracer, followed by measurement of dissolved and sediment-bound PPCP concentrations downstream. Retention and transport metrics will be calculated and compared among compounds and seasons. Research will provide novel data essential regulatory need associated with this emerging topic.