Estrogenic activity and volume fraction of waste water origin in monitoring wells along the Santa Cruz River, Arizona

David M. Quanrud, Konrad Quast, Otakuye Conroy-Ben, Martin M. Karpiscak, Charles P. Gerba, Kevin E. Lansey, Wendell P. Ela, Robert G. Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Scopus citations


The fate of estrogenic activity in waste water effluent was examined during surface transport and incidental recharge along the Santa Cruz River in Pima County, Arizona. Based on measurement of boron isotopes, the fractional contribution of reclaimed water in surface waters and ground water wells proximate to the river was determined for a contemporary sample set. Estrogenic activity decreased by ∼60% over the 25 mi length of the river below effluent discharge points in Tucson. In ground water samples obtained from monitoring wells that are proximate to the Santa Cruz River, both dissolved organic carbon (p = 0.0003) and estrogenic activity (p = 3 X 10-6) were highly correlated to fractional waste water content. Results indicate that proximate ground water quality is sensitive to incidental recharge of reclaimed water in the Santa Cruz River bed. In a few locations, little attenuation of estrogenic activity was apparent during percolation of effluent in the river channel to well withdrawal points.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)86-93
Number of pages8
JournalGround Water Monitoring and Remediation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2004


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology

Cite this