Samuel Dennis1, Ravneet Kaur2 and Anonya Akuley Amenyenu1, (1)Department of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN (2)Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, Tennessee State University, Nashville, TN
Pharmaceuticals have become important chemicals of emerging concern in surface and ground water resources. They have been shown to be relatively stable in aquatic environment and may negatively impact aquatic ecosystems. Recent studies have reported pharmaceutical drugs including steroids, prescription drugs such as antibiotics, anti-depressants, anti-inflammatory drugs, hormones and over the counter (OTC) drugs in aquatic environment. We conducted a study to detect the incidence of pharmaceuticals in Stones River (East fork), Rutherford County. Stones River watershed drains a large portion of Rutherford County including Murfreesboro, Tennessee. Grab water samples were collected from Stones River for three seasons, winter, summer, and fall 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively. Water quality data was also collected in-situ using multi-parameter sondes. Our central hypothesis is that the incidence of pharmaceuticals in surface water in urbanizing and rural watersheds exists, partly due to catchment land uses and outfall discharges. The water samples collected were analyzed for the presence of human pharmaceutical compounds using GC-MS. The pharmaceuticals detected included those used for treatment of chronic alcoholism, diabetes, antibiotic drug and anti-inflammatory conditions. While the scope of the study did not include actual concentration of the pharmaceuticals, the presence of pharmaceuticals was detected in the river.