Presentation Abstract

Toxic contamination is a significant concern in the Columbia River Basin in Washington and Oregon. To help water managers and policy makers in decision making about future sampling efforts and toxic-reduction activities, the USGS did a reconnaissance to assess contaminant concentrations contributed directly to the Columbia River through wastewater-treatment-plant (WWTP) effluent and stormwater runoff from adjacent urban environments, as well as to evaluate instantaneous loadings to the Columbia River Basin from these inputs. Nine cities were selected in Oregon and Washington to provide diversity in physical setting, climate characteristics, and population density. Samples were collected from a WWTP in each city and analyzed for personal care products, pharmaceuticals, PCBs, PBDEs, and legacy and currently used pesticides. Of the 210 compounds analyzed in the WWTP-effluent samples, 112 (53 percent) were detected, and the detection rate for most compound classes was greater than 80 percent. Despite the differences in location, population, treatment type, and plant size, detection frequencies were similar for many of the compounds detected among the WWTPs. By contrast, the occurrence of PAHs was sporadic, and PCBs were detected at only three WWTPs With a better understanding of the presence of these contaminants in the environment, future work can focus on developing research to characterize the effects of these contaminants on aquatic life and prioritize toxics reduction efforts for the Columbia River Basin. One example is an interdisciplinary project designed to assess contaminants and characterize habitats in the lower Columbia River Basin. Using a foodweb approach, CECs were measured in Osprey (a fish-eating raptor), the fish they eat (Laregescale Suckers), benthic invertebrates, streambed sediment, and the water column. Multiple fish biomarkers and osprey productivity provide an assessment of the potential biological effects of these contaminants. The ultimate goal is to provide information about contaminant distributions and contribute to understanding how CECs are affecting the ecosystem and the foodweb in the lower Columbia River Basin.

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.)

Document Type

Event

Start Date

2-5-2014 10:30 AM

End Date

2-5-2014 12:00 PM

Location

Room 606

Contributing Repository

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

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.

Type

Text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

Share

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

What Goes Down the Drain Eventually Reaches the River: Characterizing Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CECs) in the Columbia River Basin

Room 606

Toxic contamination is a significant concern in the Columbia River Basin in Washington and Oregon. To help water managers and policy makers in decision making about future sampling efforts and toxic-reduction activities, the USGS did a reconnaissance to assess contaminant concentrations contributed directly to the Columbia River through wastewater-treatment-plant (WWTP) effluent and stormwater runoff from adjacent urban environments, as well as to evaluate instantaneous loadings to the Columbia River Basin from these inputs. Nine cities were selected in Oregon and Washington to provide diversity in physical setting, climate characteristics, and population density. Samples were collected from a WWTP in each city and analyzed for personal care products, pharmaceuticals, PCBs, PBDEs, and legacy and currently used pesticides. Of the 210 compounds analyzed in the WWTP-effluent samples, 112 (53 percent) were detected, and the detection rate for most compound classes was greater than 80 percent. Despite the differences in location, population, treatment type, and plant size, detection frequencies were similar for many of the compounds detected among the WWTPs. By contrast, the occurrence of PAHs was sporadic, and PCBs were detected at only three WWTPs With a better understanding of the presence of these contaminants in the environment, future work can focus on developing research to characterize the effects of these contaminants on aquatic life and prioritize toxics reduction efforts for the Columbia River Basin. One example is an interdisciplinary project designed to assess contaminants and characterize habitats in the lower Columbia River Basin. Using a foodweb approach, CECs were measured in Osprey (a fish-eating raptor), the fish they eat (Laregescale Suckers), benthic invertebrates, streambed sediment, and the water column. Multiple fish biomarkers and osprey productivity provide an assessment of the potential biological effects of these contaminants. The ultimate goal is to provide information about contaminant distributions and contribute to understanding how CECs are affecting the ecosystem and the foodweb in the lower Columbia River Basin.