Milwaukee research to look at pharmaceuticals in water

Groundbreaking research into pharmaceuticals, such as endocrine disruptors, in the water environment, and how to remove them, is to be undertaken at the Great Lakes WATER Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA.

Funded by Veolia, Dr Rebecca Klaper will measure and monitor pharmaceuticals in the Milwaukee watershed. She will also examine the potential for removing them during the treatment process at Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) facilities operated by Veolia Water, and the subsequent discharge of pharmaceutical compounds that remain untreated and are re-released into Lake Michigan.

The issue of pharmaceuticals in the environment and the potential for their reach into drinking water systems has increasingly become a public health concern. The results of this research can improve water quality by helping determine which compounds are most critical for monitoring and removal. MMSD will co-fund this research.

Past research has shown that nanofiltration and ultrafiltration membranes can be successful in removing such pharmaceuticals.