Study to examine if contaminants are found in drinking
May 13, 2002, 5:19 AM
DUNDEE, Mich. (AP) -- A federal study will seek to answer
questions about whether wastewater contaminants like drugs
and hormones are in drinking water supplies.
Researchers are studying water samples from 76 locations
around the nation, including the River Raisin near Deerfield
and the Huron River near Ann Arbor.
The samples, taken last summer, are being analyzed in
a nationwide study on chemicals in wastewater. The amount
of chemicals present may be reported by this fall, but
it could be a while before the potential health effects
The Raisin and Huron are the only two rivers in Michigan
included in the sampling. They were chosen because they
treated river water in the area is used for drinking water,
said Sheridan Haack, a research hydrologist with the Michigan
office of the U.S. Geological Survey.
"Michigan has no more than 10 locations in the state
where utilities use river water for drinking water," she
told The Monroe Evening News.
Haack said most Michigan drinking water comes from the
Great Lakes or from wells. She said the study will try
to quantify the chemicals and then determine potential
"We do know that there are many different kinds of personal
care compounds and various other materials we use daily
in our rivers," she said. "Some may have effects on human
or wildlife health, but most of that is unknown."
Because other studies have shown that organic wastewater
contaminants may persist in the environment, it's important
to see if they exist in surface and groundwater used for
The government wants to learn whether even such trace
amounts in raw water supplies may impact health. Europeans
have been collecting such data for the last 10 years and
have found evidence that such chemicals do exist.
"The U.S. has had no data to determine whether this was
an issue of concern in the United States or not," Haack