Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in the United States generate approximately 7 million dry tons of biosolids each year.Way back in 2007 the United States Geological Survey, in a cooperative study with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, discovered significantly elevated levels of pharmaceuticals especially antibiotics in the Missouri River:
•Fifty-five of the 87 organic chemicals measured were detected in at least one of the nine biosolids collected, with as many as 45 chemicals found in a single sample.
•Twenty-five of the chemicals were present in every biosolid sample including compounds that are pharmaceutically and hormonally active, such as an antimicrobial disinfectant (triclosan), a musk fragrance (tonalide), an antihistamine (diphenhydramine), and an antiepileptic drug (carbamazepine).
•A scientist (now with Colorado State University-Pueblo) preparing samples of biosolids for extraction using accelerated solvent extraction. The samples were analyzed for a broad suite of emerging contaminants. Total summed concentrations ranged from 64 to 1,811 milligrams per kilogram (mg/kg or parts-per-million), with many individual contaminants in the hundreds of mg/kg range.
•The biosolids were more similar than they were different, even though they were produced by a variety of treatment processes from plants serving vastly different sized cities and towns. The types of contaminants and their relation to each other did not vary greatly between the biosolids tested.
Samples were analyzed for more than 200 emerging contaminants grouped into four compound classes—wastewater compounds, human-health pharmaceutical compounds, hormones, and antibiotics. Only sulfamethoxazole, an antibiotic, was present at a concentration higher than minimum detection limits.Antibiotics are linked to disruption in fungal communties necessary for breaking the compounds of the very chemicals polluting the system. It's one more way the Army Corps of Engineers is committing crimes against nature in red states by not policing nonpoint sources of pollution in the river system with which its charged. Why has Republican Attorney General Marty Jackley been silent on these offenses? Are the contributors to his political campaign complicit? GlaxoSmithKline and Monsanto are on the list.