A Thanksgiving recipe

Cocaine and estrogen from birth control pills are not eliminated by sewage treatment. We are dosing the fish and other critters in Bull Run and Neabsco Creek with all sorts of drugs.  Male bass sampled in the upper Potomac River are producing eggs, demonstrating that the pollutants are affecting wildlife.

Now it turns out that we can identify the holidays by when we see an increase in the residue of spices and flavorings in our wastewater.

“[T]hyme and sage spike during Thanksgiving, cinnamon surges all winter, chocolate and vanilla show up during weekends (presumably from party-related goodies), and waffle-cone and caramel-corn remnants skyrocket around the Fourth of July,” according to a new study described at National Geographic News.

Ever ask a cook for a recipe, or inquire about ingredients for an unfamiliar dish at a restaurant?  Knowing how something is made adds a little extra “something.”

Comparable knowledge can be a useful thing when looking at the Occoquan Reservoir (downstream from the regional sewage treatment plant near Centreville) and the Potomac River (downstream from the Dale City and Mooney treatment plants on Neabsco Creek, and numerous other wastewater facilities at Lorton, Alexandria, and all the way upstream to Staunton).


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