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Heather Gall and Chip Elliott receive PA Sea Grant

Posted: June 21, 2016

Research on PPCPs in drinking water sources and effects of different treatment technologies is a relatively new field, and this proposal will make progress towards understanding PPCP occurrence, persistence, variability, and fluxes in drinking water sources and finished drinking water supplies.

Funding Source: PA Sea Grant
Project Timeline: Feb 2016 – December 2017

Project Summary: Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) enter surface water from wastewater, combined sewer overflow events, some agricultural practices, landfill leachate, and methods of improper PPCP disposal. Concentrations are likely to be low (ng – μg/L levels), but their spatial and temporal distributions and biological impacts are poorly understood. Several of the PPCPs of interest are antimicrobials of concern due to selection for drug-resistant microorganisms. Research on PPCPs in drinking water sources and effects of different treatment technologies is a relatively new field, and this proposal will make progress towards understanding PPCP occurrence, persistence, variability, and fluxes in drinking water sources and finished drinking water supplies.

The objectives of this project are to: (i) assess the occurrence and concentrations of selected PPCPs (at a minimum, acetaminophen, caffeine, metformin, naproxen, and the antimicrobials ampicillin, ofloxacin, sulfamethoxazole, triclosan, and trimethoprim) in both raw and drinking water supplies for six locations in the Susquehanna River Basin; (ii) assess the temporal variability of PPCPs in the raw drinking water sources; and (iii) estimate removal efficiencies in the treatment plants as a function of treatment technologies to identify best practices.

Collaborators are: Jack Watson and Bryan Swistock (ESM); and Jim Clark and Amy Galford (Extension Associates) along with Faith Kibuye (Graduate Assistant).