Trace Pollutants in Southern and Northern California Watersheds
Authors:Jessica Gurning, steven mee
Mentor:Rebecca Lyons, Chemistry Professor/ Researcher , University of Redlands
Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are organic compounds that are resistant to environmental degradation and thus are able to persist in the environment and bioaccumulate in human and animal tissue. These compounds potentially have significant impacts on human health and the environment. The specific POPs examined in this study are known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The main sources of PAHs in the environment derive from the incomplete combustion gasoline and fossil fuels. This project aims to determine the concentrations as well as the main sources of PAHs in Southern and Northern California watersheds. The water sampling method included using a semi permeable membrane device filled with an organic solvent as well as micro layer grab sample extractions. The sources of the PAHs are determined by atmospheric deposition sampling as well as other environmental factors. The micro layer of each lake sampled had PAH concentrations 3 folds higher than any other part of the lake. Lake Perris with an average of .548ug of Antracene per liter of water under the surface and an average of 1.71ug/L on the micro later. Lakes with high amounts of boating traffic also had higher concentrations of PAHs. Lake Perris with an average concentration of .548ug/L and 2600 boats during time of testing compared to lake Genevieve with a concentration of 0.00ug/L and 0 boats during the time of testing. The concentrations of PAHs in the summer is higher than the concentrations found during the winter which could most likely be due to the amounts of boating traffic at different seasons.