Paper No. 153-13
Presentation Time: 4:50 PM
QUANTIFICATION OF THREE ESTROGEN HORMONES IN SOILS AND GROUND WATERS SAMPLED FROM THE PENN STATE LIVING FILTER WASTEWATER IRRIGATION SITE
The presence of endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) in the environment has been linked to human and animal waste disposal methods including land application of manure, wastewater irrigation, leaking septic systems and direct stream discharge of wastewater effluent. Penn State University offers a unique research opportunity to study one of these methods at a site called the “Living Filter.” For the last 25+ years, treated effluent from the Penn State campus has been spray-irrigated at the Living Filter onto cropped, forested and grasslands. Two key field studies were conducted here to better understand the behavior of estrogen hormones, one class of EDCs, in soil and water systems. The goal of the first study was to quantify estrone, 17β-estradiol (natural estrogens) and 17α-ethynylestradiol (synthetic estrogen) concentrations in the top 1 meter of the soil profile. The goal of the second study was to quantify and establish estrogen baseline data in groundwater samples collected from wells at the Living Filter site. Soil samples were shaken with methanol and methanol extractants were processed through a solid phase extraction procedure (SPE). Groundwater samples were filtered and also run through an SPE procedure. Both soil and water samples were analyzed using LC-MS-MS. For 17β-estradiol, the average soil concentrations ranged from 0.99 to 1.82 ng cm-3 and the average groundwater concentrations ranged from 2.25 to 12.59 ng L-1. For estrone, the average soil concentrations ranged from 2.18 to 6.24 ng cm-3 and the average groundwater concentrations ranged from 2.19 to 16.33 ng L-1. Finally, the 17α-ethynylestradiol average soil concentrations ranged from 0.25 to 1.37 ng cm-3 and the average groundwater concentrations ranged from below detection limit (BDL) to 6.96 ng L-1. These results can be used to strengthen effluent management practices and guide future research on the fate and transport of emerging contaminants in the environment.