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Screening for contaminants of emerging concern in Northern Colorado Plateau Network waters: 2015 surface-water data

July 13, 2016

In 2015, as part of an on-going screening program for contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 8, surface waters at 18 locations in or near seven national park units within the Northern Colorado Plateau Network (NCPN) were sampled for pesticides and pesticide degradation products, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, hormones, organic-wastewater-indictor chemicals, and nutrients. Most sites were sampled in spring (May or June) and fall (September).

The Colorado River at the Potash boat ramp site, just upstream of Canyonlands National Park, continued to show chronic contamination by caffeine, the pesticide 2,4-D, and prescription drugs (gabapentin, lamotrigine, metformin, and sulfamethoxazole). Samples at the Moab wastewater treatment plant effluent outflow pipe showed a high number and concentration of contaminants entering the river about 14 miles upstream of the long-term sampling location and are the nearest point source for contaminants of emerging concern. Samples from 400 m downstream of the effluent pipe in the Colorado River had decreased numbers and concentrations of contaminants, indicating relatively quick dilution by the river. However, some contaminants persisted at the long-term sampling site downstream.

Patterns of detections at other sampling locations will be explored in future reports. This is an interim report. Limited sampling will continue in 2016 at selected sites in coordination with the USGS. A final report is expected upon completion of the USGS project in 2017.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2016
Title Screening for contaminants of emerging concern in Northern Colorado Plateau Network waters: 2015 surface-water data
DOI
Authors R Weissinger, William A. Battaglin, Paul M. Bradley
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype Federal Government Series
Series Title Natural Resource Report
Series Number 2016-1239
Index ID 70174231
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization South Atlantic Water Science Center

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