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Contaminants of Emerging Concern

The Board of Public Utilities (BPU) has requested Utilities staff to present an annual update to the Board on contaminants of emerging concern – a topic that has become an area of focus in the water/wastewater industry. Presentations were made to the BPU in April 2007 and July 2008, and a third presentation is scheduled for April 1, 2010.

In the past year, Oregon State University received a federal grant to analyze illicit and legal drugs in municipal sewage. This is the first time this analysis had been performed on raw sewage within the United States to the best of our knowledge. The City of Santa Rosa Utilities Department participated in this study in an effort to guarantee the high quality of its recycled water and support research on these particular analytical methods. The drugs included in the analysis were:

Drugs/Metabolites/Biomarker
Methamphetamine*1
Amphetamine*1,3
p-Hydroxy methamphetamine*3
Cocaine*1
Benzoylecgonine*4
Hydrocodone*5,2
Hydromorphone*6
Oxycodone*7
Methadone*7
Phencyclidine (PCP)*1
Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)*1
2-oxo-dydroxy-LSD*8
3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)*9
Nicotine*10,11
Cotinine*10,12
Caffeine*10
Class
1 illicit drug
2 legal drug
3 metabolite of meth
4 metabolite of cocaine
5 precursor of meth
6 metabolite of hydrocodone
7 prescription opiod
8 metabolite of LSD
9 rave drug
10 human urinary indicator
11 smoking biomarker
12 nicotine metabolite