Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Alan E. Kehew

Second Advisor

Dr. Duane R. Hampton

Third Advisor

Dr. Michael J. Barcelona

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Sheridan K. Haack


The results of this research are the product of a two year study funded by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality with monies from the Clean Michigan Initiative. Low-level (part per billion range) pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in the waters of Michigan were investigated. Five rivers in the State were sampled; including the Clinton, Grand, Kalamazoo, Muskegon, and Saginaw. Groundwater samples were obtained from two shallow municipal water wells also; one on the Grand River and one on the Kalamazoo River. The wells were sampled to determine if PPCPs in the river water were being drawn in by the high capacity wells through induced recharge. The rivers and the wells were sampled quarterly for two years. The goals of the study included verifying these chemicals exist in the waters of the State, looking for seasonal and occurrence trends, and identifying known or suspected endocrine disrupting compounds.

The analytical results showed that one or more compounds were detected in 100% of the surface water samples. The mean number of compounds detected in the surface water samples was 14; with a low of 1 and a high of 45 compounds in a single sample. Known or suspected endocrine disrupting chemicals were detected in all of the rivers to varying degrees. Consistently, the Clinton River proved to be the most impacted by these compounds. The Grand and Saginaw Rivers trend toward the middle regarding impact; with the Kalamazoo and Muskegon Rivers being the least impacted. There is no question this study has verified the existence of these compounds in the rivers of the State.

The analytical data generated from the municipal water wells implicate induced recharge as a source of PPCPs to the groundwater. The water well results showed one or more of these compounds detected in 43% of the samples from the Kalamazoo River well and 71% of the samples from the Grand River well. At least one endocrine disrupting compound was identified in each municipal well during the sample period.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access