Jun 13, 2018
“Artificial Sweeteners Reveal Septic System Effluent in Rural Groundwater” with Dr. John Spoelstra.
Dr. John Spoelstra is something like a wastewater detective. If there is secret wastewater that is contaminating groundwater and putting health outcomes at risk, he wants to know. To trace the path of wastewater, he uses a special set of tools: tracer compounds. These are compounds that are not found in the natural environment, but have a lot of human use. Examples are caffeine, acetaminophen, anti-seizure medication, and a recent discovery Dr. Spoelstra and his team have found to be incredibly effective: artificial sweeteners. Think about it: they are in everything from fruit snacks to ketchup to toothpaste and mouthwash. In his latest research, he needed to investigate the source of a surplus of nitrogen in a community’s soil. Artificial sweeteners in rural wells and river seeps pointed to a wastewater problem.
Listen in to hear more about:
If you would like more information about this topic, today’s paper is available here: https://doi.org/10.2134/jeq2017.06.0233
This paper is always freely available.
If you would like to find transcripts for this episode or sign up for our newsletter, please visit our website: https://fieldlabearth.libsyn.com/
Contact us at email@example.com or on Twitter @FieldLabEarth if you have comments, questions, or suggestions for show topics, and if you want more content like this don’t forget to subscribe.
If you would like to reach out to John, you can find him
“Grand River has highest levels of artificial sweetener pollution on record:” https://www.therecord.com/news-story/4271982-grand-river-has-highest-levels-of-artificial-sweetener-pollution-on-record/
Municipal Wastewater Treatment Systems: https://www.epa.gov/npdes/municipal-wastewater
EPA-Private Wells: https://www.epa.gov/privatewells
EPA-Septic Systems: https://www.epa.gov/septic
Field, Lab, Earth is copyrighted to the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America.