Home > News Bytes > DRBC Receives Grant to Survey for Contaminants of Emerging Concern
DRBC Receives Grant to Survey for Contaminants of Emerging Concern

The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) and Temple University have received a grant to partner on a survey to study contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in Pennsylvania tributaries to the Delaware River. The survey is being funded by the Pennsylvania Water Resources Research Center and Pennsylvania Sea Grant. DRBC project leads are Dr. Ron MacGillivray, Environmental Toxicologist, and Dr. Tom Fikslin, Modeling, Monitoring, and Assessment Branch Manager.

CECs are chemicals that have been detected in surface waters, are not routinely monitored for, and are unregulated; examples include pharmaceuticals and personal care products. Although most of these compounds have been detected at very low concentrations, there is concern about how CECs impact drinking water and the river's ecology. Therefore, it is important to understand their presence, sources, source pathways, fate, and how they degrade in surface water.

Previous studies of the tidal Delaware River showed concentrations of CECs are generally higher in urbanized and industrialized areas. Using these grant funds, ten sampling sites are proposed to be surveyed in an area of southeastern Pennsylvania with numerous municipal and industrial discharges to surface water. The chosen sampling locations are above and below potential source discharges for CECs in streams draining to the tidal Delaware River.

The survey will begin in March 2013 and be completed in February 2014.