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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:

  1. Veterinary and human antibiotics

  2. Prescription and non-prescription pharmaceuticals

  3. Household and industrial wastewater compounds

  4. Hormones and sterols

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).


The purpose of this study is to provide insight to the following questions:

  1. What EPOCs are present in the influent and effluent of the South Dade Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP)?

  2. What is the extent of removal of EPOCs at the South Dade WWTP and its existing Reuse facility?

  3. What are the potential removal methods that could be applied in principal to remove EPOCs from reuse water?

  4. What future monitoring and assessment of EPOCs, if any, should be carried out at the planned South-Miami Dade Wastewater Reuse Pilot test facility?

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.


  1. The USGS shall prepare a sampling and analysis plan. This plan will include details regarding sample site selection, sample time selection, sampling method, sampling logic, sample preservation methodology, sample processing procedures, laboratory quality objectives (by method), QA procedures, and data validation procedures. This plan will be provided to the USACE 2-weeks prior to sample collection. The USACE will have 1-week to submit comments.

  2. Collect water samples using the Open File Report 02-94 protocols from the locations identified on Table 1. Sampling times at the South Dade Wastewater Treatment Plant shall be performed during the seasons specified in Table 1. For each season, two sampling events will be scheduled to capture high and low flow periods. The USGS shall coordinate with the treatment plant operator to determine the most representative periods. For each sampling event at the WWTP, the sampling scheme will include 24-hour composite samples as well as grab samples. This sampling scheme represents a joint effort between the USACE and the Biscayne National Park (BNP), with funding for 29 samples covered under the USACE program and funding for 19 samples covered by the BNP as indicated in Table 1. Quality Assurance samples will also be included in this effort as shown in Table 1.

  3. Analyze collected samples using the laboratory protocols equivalent to those described in the referenced USGS Open File Report 02-94. All samples shall be analyzed for the parameters listed in Table 2.

  4. Prepare and present to the WW Reuse PDT, a summary of study results to date in March, 2004.

  5. Within 4 months of the second sampling event, a draft report outline will be prepared by USGS and distributed to the project sponsor(s) for comment. The project sponsor(s) will have 14 days to provide comments.

  6. The USGS will submit a draft report containing the items listed in #7 below. The project sponsors will have 21 days to review and provide comments.

  7. Prepare a USGS Open-File report of the study finding which will include at a minimum:

    1. A review of available literature regarding fate of EPOCs in wastewater treatment plants.

    2. A general evaluation of the fate of EPOCs at the South Dade wastewater treatment plant.

    3. A conceptual monitoring and evaluation strategy for measuring the fate and transport of EPOCs at the planned South Dade Wastewater Reuse Pilot Plant and Test Wetland. The strategy must include sampling locations, frequency, analytical methods, media, and duration. Available design details for the pilot plant and treatment wetland will be provided to the USGS by March 2004.

  8. At the conclusion of the study, the USGS will provide an electronic file of all data including laboratory QA/QC data. Data will be submitted in electronic format jointly agreeable to the USACE, SFWMD, NPS, and the USGS.

  9. Provide periodic updates on the project and coordination with the USACE project manager (and National Park Service project manager, pending funding contribution). This project will require detailed coordination and communication between the USGS and USACE (and NPS) personnel to ensure all project demands and requirements are met. An informal monthly telephone conference will be a contract requirement to ensure progress. The USGS will provide the USACE and NPS updates on progress and ask questions as needed to ensure essential communication. These calls will be scheduled by the USACE at the convenience of the USGS. The USACE POC is Mark Shafer 904-232-3594 (e-mail The NPS POC is Sarah Bellmund 305-230-1144 ext 3092 (


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.


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:

Initiate scope of work Approximately October 1, 2003
Conduct wet season sampling October - Nov 2003
Conduct dry season sampling January - February 2004
Sample analyses complete 4 months after last sample collected
Report Outline 4 months after last sample collected
Draft Report 6 months after last sample collected
Final report complete 8 months after last sample collected
PDT presentation March 2004


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.


  1. Discrepancies. The USGS shall advise the USACE of discrepancies, ambiguities or lack of clarity noted in the information furnished by the USACE, for use in connection with the USGS's responsibilities under this Scope of Work.

  2. Fees. Except where specified elsewhere in this Scope of Work, the USGS shall include in the fee for services all laboratory, travel and consultant services required to accomplish this project.

  3. Required Review Time. The time required by the USACE to review submissions by the USGS shall vary with the workload. However, the USACE will endeavor to limit the review periods to two weeks.


  1. Reproduction, postage, or other incidental costs incurred by the USGS in order to meet the requirements of this Scope of Work shall be the responsibility of the USGS and included in the contract price.

  2. Work within this Scope of Work shall be performed in strict conformance with applicable codes and regulations. Should conflicts occur between certain codes, standards, and regulations, the more stringent will apply.

Table 1. EPOC sampling locations, types and number of samples.

  Composite low flow
Composite high flow
Grab low flow
Grab high flow
Composite low flow
Composite high flow
Grab low flow
Grab High flow
Inflow to plant 1
(grit chamber)
1 1 3 1 1 1 3 1
Inflow to plant 2 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Effluent pump station 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
Outflow of 1 mgd reuse train 1 1 3 1 1 1 3 1
Field blank 1         1    
Equipment blank 1         1    
Replicate sample 1              
    1 1       2

1 Sample funding by US Army Corps of Engineers
2 Sample funding by Biscayne National Park

Table 2. List of EPOCs and reporting levels.

Antibiotics Reporting Levels, ug/L
Erythromycin 0.1
Lincomycin 0.05
Ormetoprim 0.05
Roxithromycin 0.1
Trimethoprim 0.05
Tylosin 0.1
Virginiamycin 0.1
Ciprofloxacin 0.05
Clinafloxacin 0.05
Flumequine 0.05
Lomefloxacin 0.05
Norfloxacin 0.05
Ofloxacin 0.05
Oxolinic Acid 0.05
Sarafloxacin 0.05
Sulfachlorpyridazine 0.05
Sulfadiazine 0.05
Sulfadimethoxine 0.05
Sulfamerazine 0.05
Sulfamethazine 0.05
Sulfamethoxazole 0.05
Sulfathiazole 0.05
*Anhydrochlorotetracycline 0.1
*Anhydrotetracycline 0.1
Chlorotetracycline 0.1
*Demeclocycline 0.1
Doxycycline 0.1
Minocycline 0.1
Oxytetracycline 0.1
Tetracycline 0.1
Beta Lactams  
Amoxicillin 0.2
Ampicillin 0.1
Cefotaxime 0.1
Cloxacillin 0.1
Oxacillin 0.1
Penicillin G 0.1
Penicillin V 0.1
Prescription and Nonprescription Pharmaceuticals  
Metformin .007
Cotinine .046
Cimetidine .013
Acetaminophen .017
Ranitidine 0.02
Trimethoprim .028
Diltiazem .024
Fluoxetine .036
Warfarin 0.12
Ibuprofen .036
Gemfibrozil .028
Caffeine .028
Sulfamethoxazole .046
Dehydronifedipine .019
*method detection levels not yet established  
Household and Industrial Wastewater Compounds  
bromacil 0.5
prometon 0.5
anthracene 0.5
benz[a]pyrene 0.5
bromoform 0.5
fluoranthene 0.5
isophorone 0.5
naphthalene 0.5
pentachlorophenol 2
phenanthrene 0.5
phenol 0.5
pyrene 0.5
tetrachloroethylene 0.5
1,4-dichlorobenzene 0.5
dichlorvos 1
chlorpyrifos 0.5
metolachlor 0.5
diazinon 0.5
caffeine 0.5
metalaxyl 0.5
diethoxyoctylphenol 1
monoethoxyoctylphenol 1
cotinine 1
ethynyl estradiol 5
17beta-estradiol 5
1-methylnaphthalene 0.5
2,6-dimethylnaphthalene 0.5
2-methylnaphthalene 0.5
3beta-coprostanol 2
3-methyl-1h-indole (skatol) 1
3-tert-butyl-4-hydroxyanisole (bha) 5
4-cumylphenol 1
4-n-octylphenol 1
4-tert-octylphenol 1
5-methyl-1h-benzotriazole 2
acetophenone 0.5
acetyl-hexamethyl-tetrahydro-naphthalene (ahtn) 0.5
anthraquinone 0.5
benzophenone 0.5
beta-sitosterol 2
bisphenol a 1
camphor 0.5
carbazole 0.5
cholesterol 2
d-limonene 0.5
equilenin 5
hexahydrohexamethyl cyclopentabenzopyran (hhcb) 0.5
indole 0.5
isoborneol 0.5
isopropylbenzene (cumene) 0.5
isoquinoline 0.5
menthol 0.5
methyl salicylate 0.5
n,n-diethyl-meta-toluamide (deet) 0.5
diethoxynonylphenol (total) 5
p-cresol 1
para-nonylphenol (total) 5
beta-stigmastanol 2
tri(2-chloroethyl) phosphate 0.5
tri(dichloroisopropyl) phosphate 0.5
tributyl phosphate 0.5
triclosan 1
triethyl citrate (ethyl citrate) 0.5
triphenyl phosphate 0.5
tri(2-butoxyethyl) phosphate 0.5
estrone 5
carbaryl 1
Hormones (immunoassay analysis)  
17 Beta-Estradiol 0.002
Ethenylestradiol 0.002
Estriol 0.002
E1-E3 0.002
Hormones and Sterols  
17-beta estradiol*  
ethynyl estradiol*  
17-alpha estradiol*  
*Reporting levels range from 5 to 25 nanograms per liter, depending upon interference from natural dissolved organic carbon  

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