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South Atlantic Water Science Center - Georgia Publications

Organic wastewater compounds in urban streams, Atlanta, Georgia

Norman E. Peters1, Elizabeth A. Frick1, Jaime A. Painter1, and Tracy A. Hillick2

1U.S. Geological Survey, 1770 Corporate Drive
Suite 500
Norcross, GA 30093
(678) 924-6700

National Groundwater Association's 4th International Conference on Pharmaceutical and Endocrine Pharmaceutical and Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in Water, October 13-15, 2004, Minneapolis, Minnesota, p. 63-69.


The Clean Water Atlanta (CWA) Program began a Long-Term Watershed Monitoring Program during December 2002 to evaluate the effects of proposed and ongoing wastewater treatment infrastructure upgrades on water quality. As part of this monitoring program, the U.S. Geological Survey collected and analyzed organic wastewater compounds (OWCs) samples from tributary streams in the City of Atlanta. Eighty-seven synoptic samples were collected from 43 sites during low- and high-baseflow conditions. An additional 20 sites on seven tributary streams were sampled more routinely (125 times) to better assess temporal changes in water quality and water-quality conditions across more diverse flow conditions. The OWC results from the CWA stream sampling were compared to 17 samples collected as part of the National Water-Quality Assessment Program on the Chattahoochee River upstream of the confluence with COA streams. Of the 64 OWCs analyzed, 57 were detected (excluding phenol and acetophenone because of detections in field blanks) with the number of OWCs detected in the 229 samples ranging from 1 to 43 compounds. Generally, the number of OWCs detected and the concentrations of OWCs detected increase at higher flows in basins with higher percentages of commercial and industrial land use. In contrast, fewer OWCs were detected and the number of OWCs tends to decrease with increasing flow in basins dominated by residential land use.

This report is available online in pdf format (1 MB): peters-etal-2004NGA

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