Contaminant Biology

Drinking Water

Filter Total Items: 16
Date published: June 1, 2022
Status: Active

Per-and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) Integrated Science Team

Increasing scientific and public awareness of the widespread distribution of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in U.S. drinking-water supplies, aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, wildlife, and humans has raised many public health and resource management questions that U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) science can inform.  The USGS Environmental Health Program's PFAS Integrated Science...

Date published: May 26, 2021
Status: Active

Ecotoxicology and Ecological Risks of Per‐ and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances

Ecotoxicology and ecological risks of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances are summarized to highlight critical gaps and uncertainties, and to provide potential approaches to fill those gaps, including the development of targeted monitoring programs and cross-disciplinary approaches.

Date published: May 19, 2021
Status: Active

Nationwide Occurrence

A National-scale approach is used to examine and analyze per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) prevalence and magnitude in watersheds and aquifers. As an initial step to fill known science gaps in the understanding of human and and wildlife exposure, the team will provide a snapshot of PFAS in drinking water paired with bioaccumulation in fish and wildlife near known or suspected...

Date published: May 19, 2021
Status: Active

Advanced PFAS Measurement Methods

Environmental Health Program scientists, in collaboration with other USGS scientists, are developing complementary field and laboratory methods and capabilities to detect and quantify a range of target and nontarget per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) compounds and indicator compounds at low levels (parts per trillion) in a variety of environmental matrices. The PFAS Integrated...

Date published: February 25, 2019
Status: Completed

Uranium in Springs Sampled Near the Grand Canyon Likely from Natural Sources

Scientists measured nine naturally occurring elements including uranium at 37 spring sites in the Grand Canyon area to establish baseline conditions and to understand the sources of uranium to local springs. Scientists found relatively greater concentrations of uranium at 6 of the 37 springs. A comprehensive geochemical analysis coupled with an understanding of the flow patterns in the area...

Date published: February 25, 2019
Status: Completed

Pilot Study Provides Information on Contaminant Exposure from Tap Water at Residential and Workplace Sites in the United States

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), in collaboration with National Institutes of Health, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and academia, completed a pilot study to provide information on contaminant exposure from tap water at 26 locations including public and private supplies. Public-supply tap water generally met enforceable standards for those compounds with standards. Samples consisted...

Date published: February 5, 2019
Status: Active

Novel Approach Improves Understanding of Virus Occurrence in Drinking Water

Waterborne viruses, one of the leading causes of gastrointestinal illnesses, were measured in United States drinking water sources and finished water. Scientists used a combination of measurement and statistical techniques to overcome limitations to quantifying these viruses, thus offering an enhanced method for virus monitoring.

Contacts: Edward Furlong, Dana W Kolpin, Susan T. Glassmeyer
Date published: September 26, 2018
Status: Active

Can There be Unintended Benefits when Wastewater Treatment Infrastructure is Upgraded?

Science from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and other entities has shown that a mixture of natural and synthetic estrogens and other similar chemicals are discharged from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) to streams and rivers.

USGS and University of Colorado hydrologists, chemists, geologists, and biologists studied the chemistry and biology of Boulder Creek downstream of Boulder ...

Date published: September 24, 2018
Status: Active

What is the Chemical and Microbial Content of Our Tap Waters?

Safe Drinking Water Act compliance addresses the safety of public-supply water systems. The composition of public-supply drinking water is generally only tested at the treatment facility, and not at the tap in homes and businesses after traveling through the water distribution system. Only lead and copper are tested at a subset of residential and other taps.

Testing of water in private...

Date published: September 11, 2018
Status: Active

Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Science Team

The team studies toxicants and pathogens in water resources from their sources, through watersheds, aquifers, and infrastructure to human and wildlife exposures. That information is used to develop decision tools that protect human and wildlife health.

Date published: September 11, 2018
Status: Active

Toxins and Harmful Algal Blooms Science Team

The team develops advanced methods to study factors driving algal toxin production, how and where wildlife or humans are exposed to toxins, and ecotoxicology.  That information is used to develop decision tools to understand if toxin exposure leads to adverse health effects in order to protect human and wildlife health....

Date published: August 30, 2018
Status: Active

Algal and Other Environmental Toxins — Lawrence, Kansas

About the Laboratory

The Environmental Health Program collaborates with scientists at the Organic Geochemistry Research Laboratory (OGRL) in Lawrence, Kansas, to develop and employ targeted and non-targeted analytical methods for identification and quantitation of known and understudied algal/cyanobacterial toxins.  The laboratory contructed  in 2019 is a 2,500 square...