Prescriptions drugs easily enter water system

Re: Treated Sewage Effluent Still Poses Threat, Sept. 23 Capital News.

To the editor:

Treated Sewage Effluent Still Poses Threat, Sept. 23 Capital News.

With so many people taking prescription drugs this problem is going to become worse not better.

Prescription drugs pass through our bodies and are excreted in the urine. Comprised of long chain molecules, their strong and complex bonds are not broken down by the bacteria used to treat water at a wastewater treatment facility. Hence these molecules pass through the treatment plant unchanged and unaffected. Discharged into receiving streams and other large bodies of water, they have been shown to affect aquatic life. Endocrine inhibitors affect natural spawning and sexual orientation of fish. Fewer fish are actually spawning and mutations in the fish species are on the increase.

Drug companies, to their credit, have identified this as a big issue and are trying to come up with new molecular configurations possessing weaker atomic bonds that break down more easily into smaller molecules. The theory is that the smaller molecules can then be assimilated by the bacteria in the environment. Use of ultraviolet (UV) and ozone are successful strategies to break apart the long chain molecules but are prohibitively expensive and produce many new molecules whose affect on the environment are not known.

Currently endocrine inhibitors are not monitored at treatment plants.

It is a sad observation that the EPA shows more interest in regulating CO2 (a hot politically correct potato related to global warming theories and which most living organisms respire) as a pollutant than they are in regulating this current and growing threat to our environment.


Thomas Stanton, Kelowna



Just Posted

Kelowna takes to high altitude skating

Kelowna’s Landmark 6 building is the scene of synthetic skating this weekend

Petition filed to supreme court on Peachtree Village

A petition was filed Wednesday by the Friends of Beach Avenue Association

Kelowna pot dispensary launches petition

One of the medical marijuana dispensaries being sued by the City of Kelowna is fighting back

Ethel Street to reopen in Kelowna as upgrade work wraps up

Design work has already started for the next phase of Ethel Street’s active transportation corridor

Accident near Kelowna shopping centre

Fender bender on Springfield Avenue across from Orchard Park Mall

What’s happening

Find out what is going on this weekend in the Okanagan and Shuswap

Rockets stop two-game slide with win over Giants

Dillon Dube scores the game winner on a third-period power play Friday in Langley

Kelowna Rockets slip past Vancouver Giants: ‘When you don’t execute, there’s got to be changes’

Giants coach frustrated after his team’s 3-2 loss at Langley Events Centre

Second lawsuit this week filed against jail

Inmate claims he was stabbed by another inmate while in protective custody

Kelowna company offering calibration service cameras

Speedy Glass has been selected as one of 50 service centres

Fuel spill follows train derailment near Hell’s Gate

Empty grain train jumped the track after a landslide

BC Ferries vehicle traffic last summer was best ever

CEO says positive results reduce future pressure on fares

Big White has wet opening day

The resort only opened four out of 19 lifts

Most Read