Human hormones and pharmaceuticals contaminate ponds in residential areas with septic systems

Research Area: 

A peer-reviewed study published in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry shows that ponds located in residential areas where septic systems predominate are contaminated by a variety of pollutants that may be harmful to wildlife and pose unknown risks to human health. Water quality in these groundwater-fed ponds is an indicator of what’s in the surrounding aquifer, which is the sole source of drinking water.

Ponds studied included three that were located in higher residential density areas (Lewis [Barnstable], Oyster [Falmouth], and Schoolhouse [Brewster]) and three located in lower residential density areas (Joshua [Barnstable], Flax [Dennis], and Flax [Brewster]).