American Society of Civil Engineers

Occurrence of Steroid Hormones and Antibiotics in Groundwater Impacted by Livestock Waste Control Facilities

by Shannon Bartelt-Hunt, (Assistant Professor, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Omaha, NE 68182-0178), Daniel D. Snow, (Director, Water Sciences Laboratory, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583-0844), and Teyona Damon-Powell, (Research Technologist, Water Sciences Laboratory, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68583-0844)
Section: Groundwater Council—8th Symposium on Groundwater Hydrology, Quality, and Management, pp. 1052-1061, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2010: Challenges of Change
Abstract: Wastewater impoundments at livestock facilties represent a potential source of veterinary pharmaceuticals and steroid hormone contamination to shallow groundwater. This study investigates the occurrence of seventeen veterinary pharmaceuticals and thirteen steroid hormones and hormone metabolites in lagoons and adjacent groundwater at operating swine and beef cattle facilties. Pharmaceutical compounds detected in samples obtained from cattle facilities include sulfamerazine; sulfamethazine; erythromycin; monensin; tiamulin; and sulfathiazole. Lincomycin; ractopamine; sulfamethazine; sulfathiazole; erythromycin; tiamulin and sulfadimethoxine were detected in samples from swine facilities. Steroid hormones were detected less frequently than veterinary pharmaceuticals in this study. Estrone, testosterone, 4-androstenedione, and androsterone were detected in impoundments at concentrations ranging from 0.04 to 3.6 ppb. Estrone and testosterone were infrequently detected in groundwater samples at concentrations up to 0.50 ppb. These data indicate that groundwater underlying livestock facilities is susceptible to contamination by veterinary pharmaceuticals and steroid hormones originating in wastewater lagoons.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Groundwater pollution
Waste management