Organic compounds studied in this U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assessment generally are man-made, including pesticides, solvents, gasoline hydrocarbons, personal-care and domestic-use products, refrigerants, and propellants. A total of 103 of 277 compounds were detected at least once among the 30 samples of source water for a community water system on the Elm Fork Trinity River near Carrollton, Texas, collected approximately monthly during 2002-05. The diversity of compounds detected indicates a variety of different sources and uses (including wastewater discharge, industrial, agricultural, domestic, and others) and different pathways (including overland runoff and groundwater discharge) to drinking-water supplies. Nine compounds were detected year-round in source-water samples, including chloroform, methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE), and selected herbicide compounds commonly used in the Trinity River Basin and in other urban areas across the United States. About 90 percent of the 42 compounds detected most frequently in source water (in at least 20 percent of the samples) also were detected most frequently in finished water (after treatment but before distribution). Concentrations for all detected compounds in source and finished water generally were less than 0.1 microgram per liter and always less than human-health benchmarks, which are available for about one-half of the detected compounds.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Organic Compounds in Elm Fork Trinity River Water Used for Public Supply near Carrollton, Texas, 2002-05