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Journey Santa Fe Watershed Series: Dr. Patrick Longmire
April 29 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pmFREE
Dr. Patrick Longmire’s presentation will focus on natural and anthropogenic (manmade) chemicals present in surface water and the regional aquifer that provide sources of drinking water in the Santa Fe area. New Mexico has relied on surface water and groundwater resources for more than century for providing water for domestic, agricultural, and industrial purposes. It is essential to preserve and protect our water resources for future generations in New Mexico and elsewhere. Chemicals released to the environment have the potential to contaminate soil, surface water and groundwater. Anthropogenic chemicals can migrate through soil and sediments and leach into the regional aquifer that provides drinking water to individuals and municipalities. Naturally occurring chemicals detected in groundwater in the Santa Fe area include arsenic, fluoride, iron, manganese, silica, radium, total dissolved solids (TDS), and uranium. These chemicals are leached or released for hundreds of years from reactive minerals comprising aquifer material derived from igneous and sedimentary rocks. Key anthropogenic chemicals include chloride, nitrate, petroleum hydrocarbons, metals, pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCP), solvents, and TDS. Numerous PPCP have been detected in treated and non-treated domestic wastewater effluent, surface water, and groundwater throughout the United States and Europe during the past several decades. Municipalities have released treated wastewater effluent to watersheds that ultimately provides recharge to the regional aquifer in the Española Basin, including Española, Los Alamos, Santa Fe, and other smaller communities. Santa Fe and Española discharge treated wastewater effluent to the Santa Fe River and Rio Grande, respectively. Commonly detected PPCP present in treated wastewater effluent include acetaminophen, caffeine, carbamazepine, DEET, diazepam, diclofenac, dilantin, fluorextine, gemfibrozil, hydrocodone, meprobamate, methadone, salicylic acid, and sulfamethoxazole. Acetaminophen, caffeine, and sulfamethoxazole are detected at the highest frequency in surface water and groundwater downstream from discharge sources present in the Española Basin.