Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) Effluents into the Catawba Watershed
Surface Water: The Catawba River watershed provides an opportunity to directly evaluate the environmental impacts of a major metropolitan region on a large watershed. Winthrop's downstream location from Charlotte provides an ideal setting for these studies. The department has purchased ICP and GC/MS/MS analytical instrumentation to support this project. In fall 2004, a project was initiated by John Turner to begin surveying trace organics found in the Catawba watershed, particular those with anthropogenic origins. Preliminary GC/MS results from student research revealed the presence of siloxanes in WWTP effluents. This finding was not a surprising result, since landfill gas has been found by several groups to contain similar siloxanes and a number of WWTP sludge analyses have revealed the presence of these ubiquitous substances. Recent research at Dow also points to the expected presence of these substances in water that is in equilibrium with siloxane-containing solids. John Turner's research experience on this project provided him with the necessary professional background to obtain an analytical chemistry position with the Norfolk-Virginia Beach metropolitan region water quality laboratory.