Emerging Contaminants Summit

Spring 2020

battaglinWilliam Battaglin
Research Hydrologist
U.S. Geological Survey

Bill Battaglin is currently a Research Hydrologist for the U. S. Geological Survey in Lakewood, Colorado. Bill received a B.A. in Geology from the University of Colorado, Boulder, in 1984, and a M. E. in Geological Engineering, from the Colorado School of Mines, in 1992. He has work with various offices of the USGS since 1982. He has helped design and conduct numerous studies investigating the occurrence of pesticides and other contaminants in streams, reservoirs, groundwater, rain, and the air. He is currently working on investigations of the occurrence of contaminants of emerging concern in National Parks, the effects of pesticides on amphibian populations in North America, and the potential effects of contaminant occurrence on the migration of invasive Asian Carp in the Illinois River. Bill was a founding member of Consortium for Research and Education on Emerging Contaminants and is currently the Treasurer. Bill enjoys hiking, skiing, camping, ultimate, golf and just about anything else that can be enjoyed outdoors.



How Do Numbers, Concentrations, and Loads of Bioactive Chemicals in the Illinois Waterway Differ Upstream and Downstream from the Bigheaded Carp Population Migration Front

Two nonnative bigheaded carp species have invaded the Illinois River system and are a potential threat to the Great Lakes ecosystem. Poor water quality in the upper Illinois Waterway, a result of discharges from industry, wastewater treatment plants, and urban and agricultural runoff, may be a factor contributing to the stalling of the upstream movement of the bigheaded carp population migration front near Illinois Waterway mile 278. In 2015, the U.S. Geological Survey collected 4 sets of water samples under a range of seasonal and hydrologic conditions from 3 locations upstream and 4 locations downstream from river mile 278 using a Lagrangian-style sampling strategy. Water samples were analyzed for 635 constituents of which 280 were detected at least once, including many anthropogenic bioactive chemicals (ABC) such as pesticides, pharmaceuticals, hormones, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Many ABC were detected upstream of river mile 278, and some persisted or were introduced downstream. For example, in May 2015, at river mile 286 we detected 54 of 105 pharmaceuticals (total concentration and total load of 9,251 nanograms per liter (ng/L) and 116 kilograms per day (kg/d), respectively); 50 of 250 pesticides (total concentration and load of 12,005 ng/L and 150 kg/d); 12 of 55 wastewater indicator chemicals (total concentration and load of 3,845 ng/L and 48.1 kg/d); 11 of 116 VOCs (total concentration and load of 6,256 ng/L and 78.3 kg/d); and 3 of 31 disinfection by products (DBPs) (total concentration and load of 260 ng/L and 3.3 kg/d). By the time that water moved downstream to river mile 243, we detected 20 pharmaceuticals (total concentration and load of 995 ng/L and 48.9 kg/d); 58 pesticides (total concentration and load of 8,591 ng/L and 299 kg/d); 9 wastewater indicator chemicals (total concentration and load of 1,546 ng/L and 76.0 kg/d); one VOC (total concentration and load of 80 ng/L and 3.9 kg/d); and 2 DBPs (total concentration and load of 38 ng/L and 1.3 kg/d). Differences between the two sites are a function of dilution, downstream inputs (i.e. pesticides), degradation, sorption, uptake, and other geochemical processes.

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