Although wastewater treatment plants are typically good at treating human waste, there are many pollutants such as pharmaceuticals and household products that may not be treated as effectively. As one example, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) has done studies across the nation and has found pharmaceuticals in a very high percentage of rivers tested. Their effects on the environment are often unknown, but it is important to know what is in our river.
The USGS has collected and analyzed samples from sites upstream and downstream of the Winsted Waste Water Treatment Plant which discharges to the Still River (a tributary of the Farmington), and also from upstream and at the outflow of the New Hartford Waste Water Treatment Plant, which discharges directly into the Farmington. This is a first step toward detecting emerging contaminants in our wastewater and understanding their possible effects in the Farmington.