GIS-based landscape analysis to identify sources of endocrine disrupting chemicals

Science Center Objects

A key component to assessing the contaminant exposure pathways in streams and rivers of the Chesapeake Bay is using GIS-based landscape analysis to identify sources of endocrine disrupting chemicals. Municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) discharges are potentially major sources of EDCs to streams, and therefore understanding the de facto wastewater reuse (represented as fraction of stream flow consisting of WWTP effluent) at the watershed-scale is essential for predicting risk to downstream water users (human and wildlife). Another important component of landscape analysis that is important to understanding exposure pathways is the river hydrogeology, in particular areas of significant groundwater/surface water interactions, which often play a key role in habitat functions.

Overview:

A key component to assessing the contaminant exposure pathways in streams and rivers of the Chesapeake Bay is using GIS-based landscape analysis to identify sources of endocrine disrupting chemicals. Municipal and industrial wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) discharges are potentially major sources of EDCs to streams, and therefore understanding the de facto wastewater reuse (represented as fraction of stream flow consisting of WWTP effluent) at the watershed-scale is essential for predicting risk to downstream water users (human and wildlife). Another important component of landscape analysis that is important to understanding exposure pathways is the river hydrogeology, in particular areas of significant groundwater/surface water interactions, which often play a key role in habitat functions.

 

Project objectives:

  • Further research on landscape-based hydrogeological analysis of groundwater/surface water interactions in the Shenandoah River, 
  • Provide geographic and sampling support to geophysical, geochemical, and flow characterizations,
  • Provide geographic and sampling support to mobile fish laboratory experiments,
  • Assess de facto municipal and industrial wastewater reuse in the Shenandoah River Watershed,
  • Develop an interactive wastewater reuse assessment tool.