Impact of proposed legislation concerning pharmaceutical and personal care products removal on publicly owned treatment works
Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) are a large, diverse group of emerging contaminants comprised of pharmaceuticals, plasticizers, detergents, and insecticides. Studies have shown that PPCPs are entering aquatic environments, wastewaters, and water supplies. The occurrence of these PPCPs has generated concern resulting in proposed federal legislation that could require control, monitoring, and treatment of Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products by Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWs). This study evaluated the potential financial impact this proposed legislation could have on U.S. POTWs using City of Mesa, Arizona as a model POTW. The current laws concerning PPCPs as well as the proposed legislation were described. The proposed federal legislation would create investigational studies about PPCPs. The studies could lead to regulations concerning the control, monitoring, and treatment of PPCPs by POTWs. The potential financial costs of the following strategies were assessed: multiple barriers concept for PPCP control or prevention programs by POTWs, PPCP monitoring of wastewater, and upgrading POTW treatment technology for PPCP removal. Study results found no new wastewater treatment technologies were economically suitable for POTWs, however, community education and programs such as Household Take-back programs could be financially viable.