Occurrence, Distribution, and Concentration of Pharmaceuticals and Other Organic Wastewater-Related Compounds in New Jersey’s Surface-Water Supplies: Research Project Summary



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Trenton, N.J. : New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Science, Research and Technology


The Unregulated Contaminant Monitoring Rule, which is part of the Federal Safe Drinking Water Act, directs states to develop sampling plans to identify contaminants of emerging concern that may merit future regulatory consideration as part of the USEPA’s Candidate Contaminant List (CCL) process. Many of the traditional analytical methodologies used for regulatory compliance, however, lack the sensitivity and selectivity needed to detect organic contaminants of anthropogenic origin. Recently, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) developed analytical methods for the determination of more than 95 contaminants typically found in domestic, industrial, and agricultural wastewaters. Examples of these unregulated contaminants include pharmaceuticals, antibiotics, hormones, personal care products, and various industrial and commercial products. These newly developed analytical methods have been used by the USGS in cooperation with the N.J. Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to evaluate the occurrence of contaminants of emerging concern in New Jersey’s streams and drinking water supplies. Results from this study indicate that trace level organic contaminants that represent a broad suite of uses and origins can enter and persist in ambient waters and subsequently occur in finished drinking water supplies. This study provides information that will be useful for designing future monitoring efforts and for setting research and regulatory priorities.



New Jersey