Water Resources Research Act Program

Details for Project ID 2015CT294B

Internally-Calibrated Passive Samplers for Water Quality Assessment of Pharmaceuticals and Other Organic Compounds of Wastewater Origin

Institute: Connecticut
Year Established: 2015 Start Date: 2015-03-01 End Date: 2016-02-29
Total Federal Funds: $20,328 Total Non-Federal Funds: $45,413

Principal Investigators: Allison Mackay

Abstract: The release of pharmaceuticals and other compounds of wastewater origin (CWO) is of concern because of potential bioactivity exerted on downstream aquatic organisms or humans who may contact or consume water. Detailed understanding of the attenuation mechanisms that may lower downstream CWO exposure concentrations is hampered by the labor intensity and expense of conventional water analyses. Thin film diffusive gradient (DGT) samplers impregnated with high polarity sorptive resins offer an alternative approach to obtain time-weighted average CWO concentrations in field settings with lowered expense and enhanced detection limit. The purpose of this proposal is to refine DGT samplers by (i) incorporating performance reference compounds to provide in situ calibration against small variations in sampler CWO uptake rates; (ii) assessing sensitivity of time-weighted average CWO concentrations to concentration variations under controlled input scenarios, and (iii) applying DGT samplers in a field setting with moderate wastewater inputs to assess the impacts of temperature and light intensity on the downstream environmental degradation rates of CWO. Findings will validate bench-scale experiments that identify photodegradation as an important removal mechanism for CWO in wastewater-impacted aquatic systems.