Assessment of endocrine-disrupting chemicals attenuation in a coastal plain stream prior to wastewater treatment plant closure

Journal of the American Water Resources Association
By:  and 

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Abstract

The U.S. Geological Survey is conducting a combined pre/post-closure assessment at a long-term wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) site at Fort Gordon near Augusta, Georgia. Here, we assess select endocrine-active chemicals and benthic macroinvertebrate community structure prior to closure of the WWTP. Substantial downstream transport and limited instream attenuation of endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) was observed in Spirit Creek over a 2.2-km stream segment downstream of the WWTP outfall. A modest decline (less than 20% in all cases) in surface water detections was observed with increasing distance downstream of the WWTP and attributed to partitioning to the sediment. Estrogens detected in surface water in this study included estrone (E1), 17β-estradiol (E2), and estriol (E3). The 5 ng/l and higher mean estrogen concentrations observed in downstream locations indicated that the potential for endocrine disruption was substantial. Concentrations of alkylphenol ethoxylate (APE) metabolite EDCs also remained statistically elevated above levels observed at the upstream control site. Wastewater-derived pharmaceutical and APE metabolites were detected in the outflow of Spirit Lake, indicating the potential for EDC transport to aquatic ecosystems downstream of Fort Gordon. The results indicate substantial EDC occurrence, downstream transport, and persistence under continuous supply conditions and provide a baseline for a rare evaluation of ecosystem response to WWTP closure.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Assessment of endocrine-disrupting chemicals attenuation in a coastal plain stream prior to wastewater treatment plant closure
Series title Journal of the American Water Resources Association
DOI 10.1111/jawr.12165
Volume 50
Issue 2
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher American Water Resources Association
Publisher location Herndon, VA
Contributing office(s) South Carolina Water Science Center, Toxic Substances Hydrology Program
Description 13 p.
First page 388
Last page 400
Country United States
State Georgia
City Augusta
Other Geospatial Fort Gordon;Spirit Creek
Projection Albers Equal-Area Conic projection
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
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