Water Pollution

I do most of my running on the Jordan River Parkway that borders the Jordan River in Utah. One day, I finished my run and saw in the parking lot a truck from Salt Lake County; a man was getting equipment from the truck. I went over to see what he was doing, and he said he was testing the water in the river for pharmaceuticals. He said the equipment used to clean the water wasn't designed to remove pharmaceuticals. I had read about this problem occurring in larger cities in the US, but this was my first opportunity to talk with a technician about the problem. Pollution of water is widespread and could easily become a world-wide disaster.

Scientists are concerned about this problem and are actively researching water pollution. Here are results of some of their research.
As part of Dartmouth's Toxic Metals Superfund Research Program, researchers studied metal concentrations in the sediment, water and Atlantic killifish in the Goose Pond estuary at the closed Callahan Mine Site in Brooksville, Maine. The former open-pit, hard-rock mine is now a Superfund site being cleaned up by the Environmental Protection Agency. The Atlantic killifish, also known as mummichogs and mud minnows, live in brackish and shallow coastal waters in the eastern United States and Canada and are important food for larger fish that humans consume.
Invented for surgeons in the 1960s, triclosan slows or stops the growth of bacteria, fungi, and mildew. Currently, around half of liquid soaps contain the chemical, as well as toothpastes, deodorants, cosmetics, liquid cleansers, and detergents. Triclosan enters streams and rivers through domestic wastewater, leaky sewer infrastructure, and sewer overflows, with residues now common throughout the United States.
Even though sewage treatment plants are not designed to remove tiny amounts of pesticides, they do an excellent job of dealing with the most widely used family of home and garden insecticides, scientists have reported. Their study on pyrethroid insecticides -- used in more than 3,500 products -- was part of the 246th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), held in Indianapolis this week.
In a new study led by Wei Zheng, a senior research scientist at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center and an adjunct faculty member in the University of Illinois department of natural resources and environmental sciences, researchers determined the effectiveness of rural lagoon systems at removing these compounds from wastewater. The research was conducted jointly with the Illinois State Water Survey. The study appears in the journal Science of the Total Environment.

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