Influences of Sampling Frequency, Location, and Method Reporting Levels on Benchmarking EDC/PPCP


  • Ben Stanford, PhD, Erik Rosenfeldt, PE, PhD, Allison Reinert, EIT - Hazen and Sawyer Mi-Hyun Park, PhD - University of Massachus

Anthropogenic compounds such as antibiotics, herbicides, insecticides, endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) and pharmaceuticals/personal care products (PPCPs) have been routinely detected in trace amounts in raw and treated drinking waters. Most EDCs/PPCPs are not currently regulated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), though certain classes of compounds could be regulated in the future. Given the uncertainty regarding regulation and increasing concern form the public, many water utilities have responded by initiating their own monitoring programs to establish a baseline or benchmark concentrations of contaminants in their water supply. Unfortunately, the selection of monitoring sites and frequency of sampling has often been conducted without regard to the end use of the monitoring data, and the sources, loading dynamics, and behavior of trace contaminants in the environment.

This work provides an update to the a posteriori analysis (reported at ACE12) of over 10,000 data points from Lake Mead consisting of over 80 EDC/PPCPs from July 2002 to October 2010 in order to ascertain what impacts sample location, sample frequency, and analyte reporting limits have on interpretation of the base line data set. In addition to the previously reported historical data analysis, new analysis from additional watersheds (Assabet (MA), Cape Fear (NC), and Santa Ana (CA)) and recent sampling campaigns has been included.

This presentation will provide the culmination of results and conclusions from the Water Research Foundation Project #4260, “EDC/PPCP Benchmarking Strategies for Drinking Water Utilities” and recommendations for utilities interested in conducting EDC/PPCP benchmarking campaigns. The results of this study point toward the possibility of reduced frequency and duration of sampling campaigns, depending on the type of watershed and the objective of the sampling campaigns/benchmarking exercise. The presentation will provide an overview of results while also providing guidance to utilities on the types of questions to ask and the types of compounds to monitor in order to reach specific objectives.

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