NYC WATER SUPPLY A DRUG SOUP
(AP) Research studies have turned up minute amounts of more than 15 drugs or their byproducts in several pristine-looking rivers, a reservoir, and aqueducts feeding New York City's vast water system.
Though barely measurable, these pharmaceuticals are varied: drugs for aches, infections, seizures and high blood pressure; hormones for menopause; the active ingredient in a popular sedative; and caffeine.
The city's vast watershed, while mainly rural, stretches almost from Pennsylvania to Connecticut and encompasses lots of human activity. Human and veterinary medicines are excreted or discarded, and eventually enter source waters mostly through residential sewage or farm runoff.
While these waters are processed at wastewater treatment plants upstate, much of the pharmaceutical residue passes right through.
The city's Department of Environmental Protection said it has not tested its drinking water for pharmaceuticals.