Tuesday, November 14, 2006 - 9:40 AM

The Occurrence and Fate of Selected Pharmaceuticals in Land-Applied Manure and Biosolids.

Keith A. Loftin, Michael T. Meyer, Edward T. Furlong, Steven D. Zaugg, Mark R. Burkhardt, Melissa Schultz, Larry B. Barber II, and Dana W. Kolpin. USGS, Kansas Water Science Center/Organic Geochemistry Research Lab, 4821 Quail Crest Place, Lawrence, KS 66049-3839

The occurrence and fate of pharmaceutical, hormonally active, and other organic wastewater compounds (OWCs) in surface water and groundwater have become a widely recognized environmental issue over the last decade due to known and perceived health effects. Urban and agricultural wastewater treatment facilities are recognized as important vectors for the release of these compounds into the environment. However, there is a sparcity of data regarding the occurrence, fate, transport, and effects of OWCs in manure and biosolids and their fate upon land application. This sparcity of data can be attributed to the difficulty of processing, extraction and cleanup of complex and variable sample matrices for quantitative analysis.  Recently, methods have been developed using accelerated solvent extraction, solid-phase extraction, and analyte detection by gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS), liquid chromatography mass spectrometry (LC/MS), or liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC/MS/MS) for the analysis of a wide variety of OWCs in manure, biosolids, and sediment.  Preliminary results from a reconnaissance study of waste materials indicate that OWCs are common in multiple human and agricultural sources.  Subsequent studies of these matrices indicate that many OWCs readily partition into the solid phase. Thus, biosolids may be a large source for many OWCs. A small survey of class A and B biosolids for more than 70 OWCs indicates that many of these compounds are sequestered at high part-per-billion to part-per-million levels, whereas in many wastewater effluents and ambient waters, they occur at low part-per-trillion levels.