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Bioanalytical Techniques for Monitoring Constituents of Emerging Concerns (CECs)

The State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) has recognized that assessing how chemicals of emerging concern (CECs) affect both recycled and ambient discharged water cannot be achieved through chemical monitoring alone. In 2011, The State Water Board contracted the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP) to establish and manage a team of investigators to develop bioassays to identify known and unknown CECs that may potentially be found in recycled water as envisioned by the CEC Advisory Panel (see section below). The Bioanalytical Investigative Team identified an appropriate extraction protocol for isolating and concentrating the CECs from recycled water. The Bioanalytical Investigative Team then identified and tested currently available bioanalytical kits with a variety of modes of action that could potentially be used to assess CECs in recycled water. The Bioanalytical Investigative Team also included an interpretive framework in their report to facilitate the decision making process when identifying threats to human health. The Bioanalytical Investigative Team's Final Report titled Development of Bioanalytical Techniques for Monitoring of Constituents/chemicals of Emerging Concern (CECs) in Recycled Water Applications for the State of California includes additional details and recommendations for next steps.

Advisory Panel on CECs

In accordance with the provisions of the Recycled Water Policy, a CEC Advisory Panel has been established to address questions about regulating CECs with respect to the use of recycled water. The Panel’s primary charge is to provide guidance for developing monitoring programs that assess potential CEC threats from various water recycling practices, including groundwater recharge/reuse and urban landscape irrigation. On June 25, 2010, the CEC Advisory Panel provided recommendations to the State Water Board and California Department of Public Health in their Final Report.

Under contract with the State Water Resources Control Board (State Water Board) and using advice from a diverse stakeholder group, the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP) convened the CEC Advisory Panel. The panel members are Dr. Paul Anderson (human health toxicologist), Dr. Nancy Denslow (biochemist), Dr. Jörg Drewes (civil engineer), Dr. Adam Olivieri (epidemiologist/risk assessor), Dr. Daniel Schlenk (environmental toxicologist), and Dr. Shane Snyder (analytical chemist).

Information on the Advisory Panel on CECs in recycle water is presented on the SCCWRP Website.

Public Hearing: Recommendations for Monitoring CECs in Recycled Water

The State Water Board will hold a public hearing on December 15, 2010 to accept comments on the recommendations for monitoring CECs in municipal recycled water used for groundwater recharge/reuse and landscape irrigation as presented in the Staff Report. The Staff Report is based on the recommendations presented in the CEC Advisory Panel’s report and provided by the California Department of Public Health (CDPH). The Staff Report also presents recommendations for additional research on CEC monitoring.

The State Water Board will consider adoption of a resolution regarding the Advisory Panel’s recommendations for monitoring of CECs in recycled water at a board meeting to be held in November 2010.

Additional Recycled Water Information

Additional CECs Information

Many of the questions to be addressed by the Advisory Panel on CECs in recycled water are also relevant to the ambient environment. The David and Lucile Packard Foundation has partnered with SCCWRP to support a second panel that will provide the State with recommendations on how to best limit the impact of CECs on our oceans, estuaries and wetlands. Information on the Science Advisory Panel for CECs in California’s Coastal and Marine Ecosystems is also available on the SCCWRP Website.

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