While wastewater treatment plants are known havens for contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), some 70 million gallons of untreated sewage a day are discharged into the environment via the tens of thousands of cesspools and septic tanks scattered throughout the state.
Several studies have found chemical indicators of cesspools in the shallow coastal zone, and “since CECs are undoubtedly a component of cesspool effluent, they also are being discharged,” says Robert Whittier of the state Department of Health’s Safe Drinking Water Branch.
So which releases more CECs into the environment, WWTPs or on-site disposal systems (OSDS) such as . . .
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