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Suspect screening and prioritization of chemicals of concern (COCs) in a forest-water reuse system watershed
Hedgespeth, M., N. Gibson, J. McCord, M. Strynar, D. Shea, AND E. Guthrie Nichols. Suspect screening and prioritization of chemicals of concern (COCs) in a forest-water reuse system watershed. SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT. Elsevier BV, AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, 694:133378, (2019). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.07.184
This study represents the first comprehensive, watershed-scale study of COCs in a forested land application/water reuse site using a suspect screening approach to assess chemicals in wastewater effluent and ground- and surface waters.
Much research has assessed organic chemicals of concern (COCs) in municipal wastewater and receiving waters, but few studies have examined COCs in land treatment systems. Many prior studies have implemented targeted methods that quantify a relatively small fraction of COCs present in wastewater and receiving waters. This study used suspect screening to assess chemical features in ground- and surface waters from a watershed where secondary-treated wastewater is irrigated onto 900 ha of temperate forest, offering a more holistic view of chemicals that contribute to the exposome. Chemical features were prioritized by abundance and ToxPi scoring across seasonal sampling events to determine if the forest-water reuse system contributed to the chemical exposome of ground- and surface waters. The number of chemical features detected in wastewater was usually higher than on- and off-site ground- and surface waters; in wastewater, chemical features trended with precipitation in which greater numbers of features were detected in months with low precipitation. The number of chemical features detected in off- and on-site waters was similar. The lower overlap between chemical features found in wastewater and downstream surface waters, along with the similar numbers of features being detected in upstream and downstream surface waters, suggests that though wastewater may be a source of chemicals to ground and surface waters on-site, dissipation of wastewater-derived features (in number and peak area abundance) likely occurs with limited off-site surface water export by the forested land treatment system. Further, the numbers of features detected on site and the overlap between wastewater and surface waters did not increase during periods of low rainfall, counter to our initial expectations. The chemical features tentatively identified in this watershed appear common to features identified in other studies, warranting further examination on the potential for resulting impacts of these on humans and the environment.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY
EXPOSURE METHODS & MEASUREMENT DIVISION
SENSING & SPATIAL ANALYSIS BRANCH