The Lower Columbia River in Oregon and Washington, USA, is an important resource for aquatic and terrestrial organisms, agriculture, and commerce. An 86-mile stretch of the river was sampled over a 3 year period in order to determine the spatial and temporal trends in the occurrence and concentration of water-borne organic contaminants. Sampling occurred at 10 sites along this stretch and at 1 site on the Willamette River using the semipermeable membrane device (SPMD) and the polar organic chemical integrative sampler (POCIS) passive samplers. Contaminant profiles followed the predicted trends of lower numbers of detections and associated concentrations in the rural areas to higher numbers and concentrations at the more urbanized sites. Industrial chemicals, plasticizers, and PAHs were present at the highest concentrations. Differences in concentrations between sampling periods were related to the amount of rainfall during the sampling period. In general, water concentrations of wastewater-related contaminants decreased and concentrations of legacy contaminants slightly increased with increasing rainfall amounts.
Additional publication details
Spatial and temporal trends in occurrence of emerging and legacy contaminants in the Lower Columbia River 2008-2010