Contaminants and Pathogens
While the Upper Midwest Water Science Center investigates a wide variety of factors affecting water quality, there are some issues that need particular focus due to their potential to enter the environment and cause known or suspected adverse ecological and/or human health effects. They originate from a wide variety of sources and causes, including industry, agriculture, urbanization, human and animal waste, and nature itself. They may be found in high quantities and cause immediate effects, or occur in very low quantities that only cause problems after long-term exposure. They may even be safe and beneficial at lower amounts, but harmful when overused. This group of projects addresses current water-quality issues that are causing concern among water-resource managers and the public, such as chemical pollutants, human and animal pathogens, and the biological effects of chemical and biological contaminants on natural ecosystems.