Wastewater Treatment Processes Influencing Emerging Contaminant Loads to the Great Bay Estuary
Paula Mouser (UNH Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering)
Wastewater treatment plants remove many contaminants before water is released back into surface waters, like New Hampshire’s Great Bay. However, most treatment facilities are not designed to remove contaminants of emerging concern such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) – some of which can have sublethal toxic effects on aquatic life and people. To examine this growing threat, Paula Mouser and her team at the University of New Hampshire will apply new analysis tools to better understand how the operation of wastewater treatment facilities can influence the removal of these emerging contaminants. The team hopes to identify strategies that could reduce the amount of these compounds released from treatment facilities into tributaries of the Great Bay estuary.