projects > assessment of emerging pollutants of concern (EPOCs) in wastewater influent and effluent and receiving waters of South Florida > scope of work
Project Scope of Work
Project Scope of Work 2003
Assessment of Emerging Pollutants of Concern (EPOCs) in Wastewater Influent and Effluent and Receiving Waters of South Florida
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is to conduct a study to 1) identify emerging pollutants of concern (EPOCs) that are present in wastewater influent and effluent at the South Dade wastewater treatment plant and 2) determine whether the identified contaminants are removed during treatment. To accomplish this task, the USGS shall collect wastewater and ambient water samples at sites and conditions outlined in this scope of work. The wastewater water samples will be analyzed for the antibiotic, pharmaceutical, household and industrial wastewater products, and a subset of the hormones identified in USGS Open File Report 02-94. The USGS shall prepare an Open-File Report that includes the results of this investigation and recommendations for further EPOC studies. The USGS will publish this work in the reviewed scientific literature if the data warrant this.
The Wastewater Reuse Technology Pilot Project is a component of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Program (CERP). This pilot project will investigate the economic and ecologic feasibility of using up to 150 million gallons per day (mgd) of highly treated wastewater effluent to re-hydrate impaired wetlands in south Miami-Dade County. The reuse pilot project includes the design, construction, and operation of a pilot scale (up to 5 mgd) advanced wastewater treatment plant that will discharge highly treated, low nutrient effluent into a small coastal freshwater wetland located within the Biscayne Bay drainage basin.
As part of developing the pilot project plan, the Project Delivery Team (PDT) will document the expected impact of discharging reuse water into the south Miami-Dade and Biscayne Bay ecosystems. In addition to ecological impacts caused by the discharge of typical wastewater pollutants, the PDT has determined that the presence of Emerging Pollutants of Concern (EPOCs) in the wastewater effluent should be studied. The ecological and human health impact of EPOCs in wastewater effluent has in recent years come to the attention of scientists as well as environmental regulators. Biscayne Bay and Biscayne Bay National Park are Outstanding Florida Waters and as such have an "anti-degradation" criteria applied to them. Anti-degradation criteria require that new discharges cannot cause or contribute to a decrease in water quality. For this reason it is critical to have an inventory of EPOCs in the wastewater in order to design treatment to remove them prior to their being discharged into Biscayne National Park. In the future, it is likely that reuse applications will be evaluated relative to the impact of discharging trace levels of the EPOCs. The USGS (2002, Vol. 36, Env. Science & Technology) has identified 95 emergent pollutants of concern (EPOCs). The list of compounds is divided into the following four categories:
Many of these compounds can be found at low concentrations in treated wastewater and sometimes in potable water. Although the science is relatively new, there is evidence that exposure to EPOCs can cause cancer as well as physiological changes to humans and animals. Of particular concern, is human and animal exposure to so called Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (EDCs). Recent Safe Drinking Water Act amendments include requirements to test drinking water supplies for EDCs.
These emerging health concerns, non-degradation criteria in Biscayne Bay, and future regulatory requirements necessitate a thorough evaluation of the potential for wastewater reuse products to adversely impact human health and/or the environment. This is particularly relevant to the CERP Wastewater Reuse project because of the proximity of the proposed reuse facilities to sensitive ecosystems (Biscayne and Everglades National Parks) as well as a public water supply source (West Miami-Dade Wellfield).
3.0 STUDY PURPOSE and PLAN
The purpose of this study is to provide insight to the following questions:
To address these questions, water samples will be collected at the South Dade WWTP because the planned CERP Reuse Pilot Project will be sited at this plant. Table 1 includes a list of the sampling locations and number of samples by season for this project. The wet season sampling should occur in October-November and the dry season should occur in January-February. Table 2 includes a list of the compounds and corresponding method detection limits of the analytes of interest.
The sampling scheme proposed here is not intended to fully address all the issues related to the fate and transport of EPOCs in the South Dade WWTP. This scope of work is intended to be a limited effort to investigate the presence of and potential for removal of EPOCs at the South Dade WWTP as related to discharge of reuse effluent into the South Florida environment. Results of this limited investigation may help to identify the direction and extent of future investigations related to wastewater reuse projects associated with the CERP efforts in South Florida.
4.0 STUDY DESIGN
Funding by the USACE for this scope of work covers project initiation, sampling and associated analyses of 29 samples, final report preparation and one PDT presentation. The funding by the Biscayne National Park (BNP) covers only the additional expenses for collection and analysis of 19 samples as identified on Table 1. If funding from BNP is not available three weeks prior to the first scheduled sampling event, the USGS and USACE will consider modification to the sampling scheme on Table 1.
6.0 STUDY SCHEDULE
This EPOC study is a task outlined in the Project Management Plan for the CERP Wastewater Reuse Technology Pilot project. The current schedule is to award this contract by August 1, 2003 and complete the study by December 2004. The following is the expected performance schedule:
Barnes, K.K., Kolpin, D.W., Meyer, M.T., Thurman, E.M., Furlong, E.T., Zaugg, S.D., and Barber, L.R., 2002, Water-quality data for pharmaceuticals, hormones, and other organic wastewater contaminants in U.S. streams, 1999-2000: U. S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 02-94, 37 p.
Kolpin, D.W., Furlong, E.T., Meyer, M.T., Thurman, E.M., Zaugg, S. D., Barber, L.B., and Buxton, H.T., 2002, Pharmaceuticals, hormones, and other organic wastewater contaminants in U.S. streams, 1999-2000: A national reconnaissance: Environmental Science and Technology, v. 36, p. 1202-1211.
7.0 ADMINISTRATIVE CONSIDERATIONS
1 Sample funding by US Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
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Last updated: 04 September, 2013 @ 02:08 PM(KP)