Organic waste compounds as contaminants in Milwaukee-area streams

Fact Sheet 2015-3056
Prepared in cooperation with the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District
By: , and 

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Abstract

Organic waste compounds (OWCs) are ingredients and by-products of common agricultural, industrial, and household substances that can contaminate our streams through sources like urban runoff, sewage overflows, and leaking septic systems. To better understand how OWCs are affecting Milwaukee-area streams, the U.S. Geological Survey, in cooperation with the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, conducted a three-year study to investigate the presence and potential toxicity of 69 OWCs in base flow, stormflow, pore water, and sediment at 14 stream sites and 3 Milwaukee harbor locations. This fact sheet summarizes the major findings of this study, including detection frequencies and concentrations, potential toxicity, the prevalence of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and the influence of urbanization.

Suggested Citation

Baldwin, A.K., Corsi, S.R., Magruder, Christopher, Magruder, Matthew, and Bruce, J.L., 2015, Organic waste compounds as contaminants in Milwaukee-area streams: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2015-3056, 4 p., http://dx.doi.org/10.3133/fs20153056.

ISSN: 2327-6932 (online)

ISSN: 2327-6916 (print)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • What Are Organic Waste Compounds (OWCs)?
  • How Often Did We Find Organic Waste Compounds?
  • How Much Did We Find?
  • Did We Find Potentially Toxic Amounts of Organic Waste Compounds?
  • Featured Result: Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
    (PAHs)
  • Featured Result: Urbanization and Storm Runoff
  • References Cited

Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Organic waste compounds as contaminants in Milwaukee-area streams
Series title Fact Sheet
Series number 2015-3056
DOI 10.3133/fs20153056
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Wisconsin Water Science Center
Description 4 p.
Country United States
State Wisconsin
City Milwaukee
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N