The next big fright: Pharmaceuticals in drinking water
April 29, 2008
The city of Chicago is going to start testing its drinking water for pharmaceuticals
, testing for 76 different compounds like caffeine and pharmaceutical residues. The challenge many communities face is that people naturally pass those chemicals through their systems and into the wastewater treatment
system, which is simply not equipped to remove inorganic chemicals from the water. And because all water is ultimately recycled, that former wastewater eventually becomes drinking water
somewhere else. And without extremely energy-intensive methods of purifying water, like distillation
, it may be impossible to remove all of those chemicals from the water cycle.
last revised April 2008