Due to new assessment techniques, pharmaceuticals are now being detected in water and wastewater by scientists worldwide. There are over 20,000 prescription drug products approved for market today, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Some of these pharmaceuticals found in water have raised concerns about the potential risks they pose to both humans and our ecosystems.
Pharmaceuticals enter wastewater treatment plants through either human excretion or disposal of unused medications to the sewer. The District’s Water Reclamation Facility is a biological treatment facility and is not designed to remove these chemicals. Regardless of the level of treatment, most conventional wastewater treatment cannot effectively eliminate pharmaceutical compounds and are essentially released into the environment.
What can you do as a consumer?