Principal Investigator: 
Robin Brightbill
U.S. Geological Survey

This study investigated whether or not concentrations of Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) have changed in raw samples near drinking-water intakes in the Susquehanna and Delaware Watersheds in the last 10 years. The study also determined whether concentrations of PPCPs in raw water samples near drinking-water intakes and in treated (finished) waters in the Susquehanna, Delaware, and Lake Erie Watersheds are above reporting levels and how much is being removed from drinking water through the water treatment process. This was accomplished by determining 2016 concentrations of PPCPs in raw water samples at six stream sites previously sampled near drinking-water intakes in the Susquehanna and Delaware Watersheds (Reif and others, 2012) and at an additional site not analyzed by Reif and others (2012) near a drinking-water intake in the Lake Erie Watershed. Finished water samples were collected just before the water is released to the distribution system. Concentrations of PPCPs in raw water samples 2007-2009 (Reif and others, 2012) and concentrations in 2016 at the same sites are presented. Concentrations in 2016 raw water samples are also presented, along the corresponding finished drinking-water samples.

Isokinetic, depth-integrated raw water samples were collected using the equal-width increment method of the U. S. Geological Survey protocols (, accessed 8/11/2015) during September and again in November of 2016. Corresponding field parameters included water temperature, pH, specific conductance, barometric pressure, and dissolved oxygen and were measured at the time each raw sample was collected. Finished water samples were collected along with field parameters from a spigot before the water entered the distribution system, on the same day as raw water samples. All samples were filtered, placed in 20 mL amber glass vials, chilled, and shipped overnight to the USGS National Water Quality Laboratory (NWQL). NWQL used liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry to complete the analysis.

PPCPs detected in raw water samples ranged between 40 (Lake Erie) and 87 (Schuylkill River) in number. Numbers of PPCPs detected in the corresponding finished water samples ranged between 39 (Lake Erie) and 60 (Delaware River). Note that there was no finished water sample for the Schuylkill River site.

Research Year: 
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Current or Past research?: 
Past Research

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