New Jersey Water Science Center
Great Falls of the Passaic River at Paterson, N.J.
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Evaluation of OWCs in Ground Water Near Septic Systems in NJ
Project Title: Evaluation of OWCs in Ground Water Near Septic Systems in NJ
To determine the occurrence, concentration, and spatial distribution of pharmaceuticals, personal care products (PPCPs), and other OWCs impact on shallow ground water from large capacity septic wastewater treatment systems in New Jersey. An evaluation of the factors associated with the prevalence of compounds and concentrations detected; such as hydrogeology; facility type, size and clientele; and systems construction will be conducted. Up to thirty one facilities will be sampled throughout the State. Upon completion of the State wide reconnaissance, a second phase of the study will be conducted. This second phase will determine the mobilization, transport and fate of PPCPs and OWCs found in the ground water during the State wide reconnaissance.
Statement of Problem
Demands on ground water resources in New Jersey require the availability of high quality water for multiple uses. Water resources planning must address these and other needs to insure a water supply of sufficient quality capable of meeting present and future needs throughout the State. The development and implementation of a study on PPCPs and OWCs released to shallow ground water from large scale septic disposal systems will assist in the management of these resources and potentially protect the public health and environment in New Jersey.
Strategy and Approach
The facilities chosen to be sampled will be selected based on the type of facility (nursing homes/hospitals), location of the facility and if the facility is permitted by the State of New Jersey to discharge its wastewater to ground water. A total of 36-42 samples will be analyzed; which includes one ground water sample from each facility, blanks and duplicates. Sampling will start in the summer of 2009 and finish by the end of summer 2010. Samples will be taken within 30 feet of the septic leach field at each individual facility. Water samples will be collected using recommended USGS sampling techniques (USGS, 2008). All samples will be analyzed for the following field parameters; DO, SC, pH, temperature, alkalinity and turbidity. Samples will be collected and sent to the USGS National Water Quality Laboratory (NWQL) to be analyzed for major ions, nutrients, boron, TOC, DOC, waste indicator compounds, human antibiotics and pharmaceuticals, hormones and steroids.