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Occurrence of Selected Pharmaceutical and Organic Wastewater Compounds in Effluent and Water Samples from Municipal Wastewater and Drinking-Water Treatment Facilities in the Tar and Cape Fear River Basins, North Carolina, 2003-2005

May 9, 2009

Samples of treated effluent and treated and untreated water were collected at 20 municipal wastewater and drinkingwater treatment facilities in the Tar and Cape Fear River basins of North Carolina during 2003 and 2005. The samples were analyzed for a variety of prescription and nonprescription pharmaceutical compounds and a suite of organic compounds considered indicative of wastewater. Concentrations of these compounds generally were less than or near the detection limits of the analytical methods used during this investigation. None of these compounds were detected at concentrations that exceeded drinking-water standards established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Bromoform, a disinfection byproduct, was the only compound detected at a concentration that exceeded regulatory guidelines. The concentration of bromoform in one finished drinking-water sample, 26 micrograms per liter, exceeded North Carolina water-quality criteria. Drinking-water treatment practices were effective at removing many of the compounds detected in untreated water. Disinfection processes used in wastewater treatment - chlorination or irradiation with ultraviolet light - did not seem to substantially degrade the organic compounds evaluated during this study.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2009
Title Occurrence of Selected Pharmaceutical and Organic Wastewater Compounds in Effluent and Water Samples from Municipal Wastewater and Drinking-Water Treatment Facilities in the Tar and Cape Fear River Basins, North Carolina, 2003-2005
DOI 10.3133/ofr20091046
Authors G.M. Ferrell
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Open-File Report
Series Number 2009-1046
Index ID ofr20091046
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization South Atlantic Water Science Center