In Canada, waste water discharges flowing downstream have the potential to contaminate sources of drinking water with drugs at relatively low concentrations, shows a new research. The Canadian surface waters are found to contain both prescription and illegal drugs that are abused.
The concentrations of cocaine, morphine, and oxycodone did not decline with distance downstream from the waste water treatment plant discharge, and many of the drugs were not removed effectively by drinking water treatment plants.
The research is part of a special section on pharmaceuticals in the journal Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry
"These results demonstrated a link between waste water discharges and quality of potable water sources and emphasized the importance of evidencing that improvements to waste water treatment protect sources of drinking water--a project we have embarked on since the publication of these results," said, lead author Dr Viviane Yargeau.