'Mussels on drugs' found near Victoria sewage outfalls
Study finds concentrations of pharmaceuticals and
personal care products in
molluscs exposed to wastewater
(CBC News Feb. 15, 2018)
"Drug tests on sea life near the sewage outflow pipes around Victoria (British Columbia's capital) are giving new meaning to the old expression "happy as a clam"!
"Monitoring by the Capital Regional District has found high concentrations of antidepressants, as well as other pharmaceuticals and personal care products in shellfish near the sewage outfalls around Victoria.
"Chris Lowe, who supervises environmental monitoring programs for the CRD has, said the region has been collecting wastewater samples since 2003 to monitor pharmaceuticals. Testing expanded to sediment and mussel tissue samples as the ability to detect and analyze those compounds improved in recent years."
Victoria, British, Columbia. Too pretty for a raw sewage problem, but it's there.
"Everything from antimicrobials, pain medication, synthetic birth control, antidepressants... pretty much any pharmaceuticals that humans take" will be seen in sewage unless it's a very short-lived compound.
"Lowe said completion of the region's wastewater treatment facility, expected near the end of 2020, will keep most drugs and other harmful compounds out of the ocean. "It will substantially reduce the compounds and some may be gone completely.
"The treatment process will also remove compounds of concern for ocean life such as orcas, which are higher up the food chain."
|Orca (aka "killer whale") leaping.|
Orcas use breaching (jumping) to communicate when the noise of the ocean would mask acoustic signals.
Orcas are very family-oriented and travel in groups known as "pods."
Orcas, it says...orcas! Higher up the food chain than clams?
Well, I must agree with Mr. Lowe on that! BC's beautiful Killer Whales (aka orcas) are certainly than more evolved than clams, and likely to be more intelligent.
When I grow up, I want to be a sewage biologist—I'm likely more intelligent than clams, too.
Okay, this is the 21st Century, sewage-folk. Why didn't you know all these facts before? Why wait until shellfish are full of poison? Must it take such a long time to fix the problem?
I despair for my country, perhaps especially for British Columbia, the province of my birth. Someone, somewhere in BC's capital city, must have known that Victoria's raw sewage has been going into the Pacific Ocean since 1843, and realized before the 21st century that it was probably a bad idea.
Why, then, is it going to take 17 years, from the year 2003 until the predicted year 2020 to fix the sewage problem? Surely there are sewer workers willing to work a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. shift as I did?
I used to work for a company employing so many people in one department that 24 hours were divided into three shifts, with production around the clock.
No, I've never built a sewage system for a major city, but I whitewashed an outhouse once, and I do have an opinion on the subject of waste. My solution is: "Move faster, folks, get a move on, before the Pacific Ocean dies and takes Victoria with it!"
As readers of my blog have already been informed, I want to express my opinion on all of my pet peeves before I kick the proverbial bucket. I'm getting oldish, am in mediocre health, and could get hit by a bus tomorrow. Why, I've already waited for Spring, so I'm doing it now.
Posting for Fiona's memorable meme
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