Discussion: “Drugs in Wastewater” Article

Clean Water Friends:

This is a wonderful first step and one that has been requested for at least 15 years now.  Unfortunately, they don’t include study of estrogens and other hormones, which may be the most critically important substances to study.  That will happen down the road, but at least we are now on the right track.

It is also critically important that we have information about what remains in the wastewater after treatment and the cumulative impacts of ongoing exposures of these substances to living organisms dependent on clean water to survive.  This current study is the tip of the iceberg of what we need to know, but it is a critical first step.

I believe Santa Rosa was requested to obtain this information by the Regional Board as preparation for their wastewater irrigation program.   We need to keep harping on the issue of toxins in wastewater as they keep spreading this wastewater around in ways that increases exposure to humans, pets, and wildlife.  With biodiversity of species being threatened as never before, humans have been dismantling the web of life upon which we all depend at an alarming and unprecedented rate.  It is only through awareness of the problem and study of the issues and education of the public can we turn the tide.


We are blessed in having all these active and knowledgeable people in our county


Please send any questions you may have about the attached to Len at lholt@sonic.net before end March.

I would be interested to know what percentages of these contaminants are removed by current treatment methods at the Laguna plant.

I saw the results of a similar study of drugs in the Poe river in Italy several years ago. The fate of these emerging contaminants was one of the reasons why I resisted the pressure of the Regional water quality Control Board, and rejected the idea of constructing an activated sludge treatment plant for Graton CSD. The current pond system provides detention time which activated sludge does not provide. These emerging contaminant  biodegradation at a nearly linear rate over a relatively long period of time. In effect detention time with exposure to healthy biological processes is the answer to dealing with these endocrine compounds once they enter the sewer. It would be better to keep them out of the sewer but that is not completely under our control.  In the case of Santa Rosa they have large storage ponds after their activated sludge treatment train and those ponds are doing the bulk of the biodegradation of the drugs in question.

Bob Rawson

Hey Ya’ll,

I thought that some of you might find these new study results (attached) from Santa Rosa’s wastewater of interest…

Water tells no lies,

DrugsinWastewater.pdf:  http://xa.yimg.com/kq/groups/3344210/2050636502/name/DrugsinWastewater%2Epdf