September Workshop to Examine Xenobiotic Pollutants

Sept. 19, 2002

The Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) is sponsoring a one-day workshop September 19 in Sacramento to inform its members about the latest emerging water quality issue -- Xenobiotics.

Xenobiotics (xeno = foreign; biotic = biologically active) are products like coffee, hair spray, cleaning agents, prescription and over-the-counter drugs, which are used daily in American homes. These products are designed to provide convenience, make us feel better and help us heal faster, but they also may constitute the latest water quality concern.

ACWA's workshop, titled "Xenobiotics: The Newest Threat to Water Quality?" will bring together a host of experts including: Jerry Ongerth, East Bay Municipal Utility District; Dr. David Sedlak, U.C. Berkeley Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Dr. Shane Snyder, Southern Nevada Water Authority; and Dr. David Spath, California Department of Health Services (DHS) Drinking Water Program.

While these consumer products are familiar, little is known about why they are being detected in our waterways, what the health risks might be, and what can be done to prevent them from entering drinking water sources. These resilient contaminants have likely been in the environment since consumer use began but are now gaining attention as better technology allows detection.

The one-day event, to be held at the Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza in Sacramento, will address the kinds of contaminants being found, their potential effects on wildlife, humans and groundwater recharge and how improved technology is aiding their discovery. Options for drinking water and wastewater treatment will also be explored along with educational and collaboration opportunities.

Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA)

"Xenobiotics: The Newest Threat to Water Quality?" An educational workshop

Holiday Inn Capitol Plaza 300 J Street, Sacramento, CA

Thursday, September 19, 2002, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

ACWA is a statewide association whose 440 members are responsible for about 90 percent of the water delivered in California. For more information, visit

Source: Association of California Water Agencies

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