Attenuation of Emerging Contaminants in Streams Augmented with Recycled Water
This report presents the motivation and technical results of a combined field and laboratory study that was designed to assess attenuation of microconstituents in a creek augmented with recycled water. This research study was designed to supplement a planned stream augmentation pilot project in which the flow of Coyote Creek, a small, semiurban creek in San Jose, CA, was to be augmented with local recycled water via release to the tributary Upper Silver Creek. This report also provides a discussion of the rationale that led to project termination when results indicated the presence of potentially harmful contaminants in the recycled water.
The overall project approach was divided into two components—the field site assessment and laboratory investigations of contaminant fate. Field site assessment included the selection of water quality constituents, their analytical method development, and sampling campaigns for the targeted analytes in the recycled water, surface water, and groundwater. Additional site characterization included assessment of stream and groundwater hydrology via well installation and planned stream gauging and tracer tests. The laboratory investigation of environmental fate included biodegradation, sorption, and photolysis of particular organic contaminants.
The report presents the lessons learned from the collaborative work to implement a stream flow augmentation pilot project. The results of the environmental impact review of the project, conducted pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act, are included in this report, as is a discussion of the technical and programmatic challenges faced by the project team. The augmentation was ultimately cancelled because the investigation detected compounds that posed potential legal vulnerability. Unknown compounds and compounds with undefined regulatory limits make the environmental impact review process difficult and implementation of water recycling unpredictable.
(2011, 61 pages, 06-020-1)
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