Change in Anthropogenic-Bioactive-Chemical Exposure and Effects on Colorado River Fish Populations Within and Upstream of CANY Before and After Moab, Utah WWTF Upgrade

Primary Investigators

USGS Investigators: William Battaglin , Paul Bradley

NPS Investigators: Rebecca Weissinger

Project Details

Start Year: 2018

Category: Intensive

2018 2019 2020
$98,930 $98,930 $98,930

Water/sediment-quality monitoring at the Colorado River at Potash Boat Ramp, UT downstream of Moab, Utah has demonstrated the persistent presence of Anthropogenic Bioactive/Biocidal Chemicals (ABC), such as pesticides and pharmaceuticals, which are specifically engineered and synthesized to cause biological effects. Collaboration in 2015-16 demonstrated that Moab wastewater treatment facility (WWTF) discharge is a substantial source of ABC to the Colorado River within CANY. The municipal WWTF system will be upgraded in 2018.

This study objectives are to:

  1. Document ABC occurrence and distribution across a range of hydrologic conditions at specific locations in and upstream of CANY by sampling water, sediment, and fish tissue for selected ABC before and after WWTF upgrade;
  2. Identify the potential impacts to local species before and after WWTF upgrade;
  3. Assess gender distributions as well as physical or chemical abnormalities in fish before and after WWTF upgrade; and
  4. Identify the changes to ABC occurrence and distribution in CANY after the completion of an upgrade to the WWTF upstream of the Park.