Water transfer systems are the main vectors for potable water distribution for residential and commercial occupants in the majority of inhabited communities. For decades, these transfer systems were, and continue to be, the foundation for economic and social growth in communities worldwide. However, long-term observational studies, following changes in the supplied water from these transfer systems raised several concerns. Most prominent was a consistent long-term decline in the water quality of the reservoirs that these transfer systems drew from . Consistent negative trends, like the ones observed from these studies, help to anticipate and remediate prospective water quality issues.
Communities around these reservoirs have experienced a marked increase in industrial and commercial development in recent decades. As such, water drawn from these reservoirs has consistently been subjected to elevated levels of perflourinated compounds (PFCs), heavy metals, organic toxins, nitrogen, mercury and pesticides . Subsequent studies focused on these reservoirs show that these large bodies of water also absorb atmospheric pollutants like sulfur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and aerosolized lead from the atmosphere [1,3]. Due to the crucial role these reservoirs and water systems play in the surrounding environment, enacting long-term sequestration protocols is vital to increasing the water quality of communities that draw from these systems .
Further studies also show that even the presence of trace amounts of organic pollutants in water can have far reaching effects on the public health and environmental stability. Historically, air based industrial pollution was a major source of consistent chemical loading of organic pollutants like poly chlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and pesticides in reservoirs [1,4]. However, through stricter air quality regulations, concentrations of air based pollutants resulted in a dramatic pollution decrease in recent decades [4,5]. Nevertheless, potable water quality still remains an issue for municipalities worldwide. It is believed that though we have experienced a reduction in air pollution, surface runoff, heavy metal and chemical discharge from super-fund sites and old industrial parks into streams that feed these reservoirs keep the overall quality of the drawn water consistently low [3,5].
Communities that draw from reservoirs contaminated with atmospheric and ground based sources of pollution present an ongoing dilemma for federal and local regulatory agencies [1,2]. Recently, the EPA was prompted by one such case where occupants at a trade-port in Pease, New Hampshire were found to have blood PFC concentrations that were four times higher than the recommended federal limit . Further, testing on ground water reservoirs around the community found that the reservoirs had PFC concentrations that were 30 times higher than current EPA regulations [2,6]. Though the long-term health risks in exposed residents are yet to be determined, federal authorities are expected to fund a health monitoring program and a long-term health study of the toxicological effects that residents were subjected to .
Successful reduction in water-based pollutants is often a protracted process that jointly works to increase overall water quality in targeted water systems. Investigators note that persistently high levels of surface runoff and chemical discharge are primarily due to a failure “to regularly measure and analyze pollutants” . Consistent in-depth testing, analysis and management of water-based pollutants has been linked to increases in overall potable water quality. Implementing a strategy with regards to surface runoff from these toxic sites near reservoirs is the current best prevention and remediation plan [1,6]. Regulatory agencies like the EPA, DEP and NOAA all advise that testing for these pollutants be performed through accredited and certified laboratories like Sure-BioChem Laboratories. Our experienced team offers industry leading year-round chemical and biological monitoring testing services.
For more information contact Sure-BioChem at 888-398-7247 to get your consultation.
1. Brack, Werner, et al. "Towards the review of the European Union Water Framework Directive: Recommendations for more efficient assessment and management of chemical contamination in European surface water resources."Science of the Total Environment 576 (2017): 720-737.
2. Casey, Micheal. "Families on Edge over Water Contamination at Former Air Base."NewsOK.com. Associated Press, 04 Mar. 2017. Web. 06 Mar. 2017.
3. Moss, Brian. "Water pollution by agriculture."Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London B: Biological Sciences363.1491 (2008): 659-666.
4. Stephanie T. Ota, Geraldine L. Richmond. Chilling Out: A Cool Aqueous Environment Promotes the Formation of Gas–Surface Complexes. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2011; 110426082204049 DOI:10.1021/ja201027k
5. University of Rhode Island. "Great Lakes pollution no longer driven by airborne sources; land, rivers now bigger factors." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 December 2014.
6. Wernersson, Ann-Sofie, et al. "The European technical report on aquatic effect-based monitoring tools under the water framework directive."Environmental Sciences Europe 27.1 (2015): 1-11.