Presentation Title

Contaminants of Emerging Concern from Nearshore On-Site Wastewater Systems: Characterization, Potential Impacts, and their Utility as Tracers of Bacterial Contamination

Session Title

Session S-09C: Occurrences and Impacts of Emerging Contaminants

Conference Track

Emerging Contaminants and Emergencies

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (2014 : Seattle, Wash.)

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Start Date

2-5-2014 10:30 AM

End Date

2-5-2014 12:00 PM

Abstract

On-site wastewater treatment systems are utilized in a significant proportion of non-urban residential developments, particularly along shorelines. It is well known that poorly functioning systems may lead to bacterial and nutrient contamination to nearby receiving waters. The associated levels of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), and their potential to impact aquatic biota, is less well understood. In order to characterize the inputs of CECs from nearshore on-site wastewater treatment systems, we have undertaken a monitoring program focusing on groundwater seeps and discharges entering Puget Sound. The objectives of the sampling program are to 1) characterize and quantify the range of septic-associated CEC at the receiving waters, and 2) evaluate the utility of CECs as tracers of wastewater-associated bacteria and nutrient contamination. Sampling was performed at a set of locations with known septic impacts, in addition to areas affected by bacterial contamination from unidentified sources, as well as control sites. Samples were analyzed for a suite of approximately 20 CECs by LC-MS-MS, in addition to fecal coliform bacteria, nitrogen and phosphorus. Nearly every sample contained detectable levels of at least one CEC, suggesting widespread anthropogenic influence. Detection frequency for the CECs at all sites ranged from 0% (benzylparaben) to ~90% (sucralose). Concentrations of ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and nicotine occurred at levels near or above published Predicted No Effects Concentrations (PNEC) suggesting potential environmental concern at receiving waters. The temporal variation of CECs in seep water was also investigated. With regard to utilizing CECs as tracers of septic system impact, extensive variation in concentration suggests that a single marker will likely not be suitable. Statistical analysis suggests that ratios and combinations of CECs might act as suitable tracers.

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Type

Text

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May 2nd, 10:30 AM May 2nd, 12:00 PM

Contaminants of Emerging Concern from Nearshore On-Site Wastewater Systems: Characterization, Potential Impacts, and their Utility as Tracers of Bacterial Contamination

Room 606

On-site wastewater treatment systems are utilized in a significant proportion of non-urban residential developments, particularly along shorelines. It is well known that poorly functioning systems may lead to bacterial and nutrient contamination to nearby receiving waters. The associated levels of contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), and their potential to impact aquatic biota, is less well understood. In order to characterize the inputs of CECs from nearshore on-site wastewater treatment systems, we have undertaken a monitoring program focusing on groundwater seeps and discharges entering Puget Sound. The objectives of the sampling program are to 1) characterize and quantify the range of septic-associated CEC at the receiving waters, and 2) evaluate the utility of CECs as tracers of wastewater-associated bacteria and nutrient contamination. Sampling was performed at a set of locations with known septic impacts, in addition to areas affected by bacterial contamination from unidentified sources, as well as control sites. Samples were analyzed for a suite of approximately 20 CECs by LC-MS-MS, in addition to fecal coliform bacteria, nitrogen and phosphorus. Nearly every sample contained detectable levels of at least one CEC, suggesting widespread anthropogenic influence. Detection frequency for the CECs at all sites ranged from 0% (benzylparaben) to ~90% (sucralose). Concentrations of ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and nicotine occurred at levels near or above published Predicted No Effects Concentrations (PNEC) suggesting potential environmental concern at receiving waters. The temporal variation of CECs in seep water was also investigated. With regard to utilizing CECs as tracers of septic system impact, extensive variation in concentration suggests that a single marker will likely not be suitable. Statistical analysis suggests that ratios and combinations of CECs might act as suitable tracers.