Compounds of Current and Future Interest and Implications for One Water

May 22, 2020

Predicting risks or retrospectively assessing risks of specific chemicals on aquatic life in surface waters is challenging. As new methods and technologies allow us to more effectively detect chemicals and other substances at lower levels, we get a better picture of what’s in our water—zeroing in on substances that were either previously not measurable or may be newly introduced. From medicine and personal care products to pesticides and flame retardants, every day activities result in many compounds winding up in our wastewater systems and eventually making their way into our water sources.

The Water Research Foundation has been engaged in research and tracking new developments related to the occurrence, treatment, fate, and transport of Compounds of Current and Future Interests (aka water quality micro constituents, pharmaceuticals, and personal care products, trace organics, micropollutants, etc.) in receiving waters, wastewater, water for reuse, and biosolids.

WRF is poised to serve as the pro-active research hub providing the appropriate frameworks, tools, and data that utility and industry managers can utilize for screening water quality constituents and making effective risk communications and risk management decisions.


Project List

Technical Brief: Compounds of Current and Future Interest and Implications for One Water

  • Project Number: 5036
  • Year Completed: 2020

WRF Trace Organics Ecological Database

This project developed and populated a relational database of TOrC exposure and effects data in a web-based database to help users search and evaluate TOrC data.

  • Project Number: CEC5R08d
  • Year Completed: 2019

Trace Organic Compound Indicator Removal During Conventional Wastewater Treatment

This projects focused on the effectiveness of secondary treatment processes for reducing indicator TOrC. Results were used to identify the critical factors driving the removal of selected indicator compounds by biotransformation and sorption.

  • Project Number: CEC4R08
  • Year Completed: 2012

Testing Diagnostic Tools for Trace Organic Compounds and Multiple Stressors:  Case Studies

This project fostered partnerships and transfers knowledge to the water quality community through seven case studies.

  • Project Number: CEC5R08c
  • Year Completed: 2012

Diagnostic Tools to Evaluate Impacts of Trace Organic Compounds: Prioritization Framework for Trace Organic Compounds

This project developed and applied a procedure to prioritize which TOrCs are of most concern.  

  • Project Number: CEC5R08a
  • Year Completed: 2010

Development of Diagnostic Tools for Trace Organic Compounds and Multiple Stressors

This project developed and tested a conceptual diagnostic framework to identify TOrCs by source type.

  • Project Number: CEC5R08b
  • Year Completed: 2010

Advisory Committee Members

  • Alvina Mehinto, SCCWRPScott Dyer, Waterborne LLC & LeTourneau University
  • Sam Dinkins, ORSANCO
  • Deb Lester, King County
  • Jim Pletl, Hampton Roads Sanitation District
  • Kathleen Stanton, American Cleaning Institute
  • Elizabeth Toot-Levy, Geosyntec
  • Dan Schlenk - California Water Reuse Project