Capital Region District, Environmental Services
Summary: The Capital Regional
District Wastewater and Marine Environment Program (CRD-WMEP) are
responsible for managing a number of municipal wastewater outfalls in the
vicinity of Victoria, British Columbia.
This Collaborative Research project evaluates both the fate and
potential effects of select PPCPs that are potentially being discharged from
two of these outfalls. As far as
we are aware, this project will be the first of its kind to assess the fate
and effects of PPCPs all the way from wastewater source to the receiving
environment. PPCPs will
initially be chosen using a number of selection criteria, and their
concentrations will be determined on a monthly basis in wastewater effluent
prior to discharge, and on an annual basis in sediment and mussel tissue at
existing CRD monitoring stations surrounding the outfalls.
Analytical methods will either be developed as part of this project
or adapted from published methods. Another
objective of this project is to assess the relationship between observed
PPCP concentrations and biological characteristics of the benthic organisms
around the outfalls (e.g. horse mussel reproductive status).
In addition, effects or exposure tests will be undertaken in the
laboratory using mussels and a select list of PPCPs.
Biological endpoints for these tests will be chosen based on
anticipated metabolic pathways and environmental relevance, and will include
general endpoints already used by the CRD-WMEP such as mussel size.
Toxicogenomic endpoints will also be developed using up to twelve
different genes including those for stress and xenobiotic metabolism
proteins. The variation in gene expression will be assessed over laboratory
exposure times of up to three months using real time quantitative polymerase
chain reaction (QPCR) techniques. Mussels
collected at varying distances from the outfalls will be used for exposure
tests and toxicogenomic endpoints.