Sewage treatment plants across the state would have to account for more than 100 water pollutants for the first time under a rule proposed by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. The pollutants range from pesticides and industrial waste products to chemicals in perfumes and shampoos.
“The bulk of the list will be pollutants these wastewater treatment plants have never looked for,” said Chris Gannon with the DEQ’s water quality program.
While the rule, which stems from a law passed by the 2007 Legislature, focuses on water discharged from treatment plants, the solution lies upstream, said Janet Gillaspie, executive director of the Oregon Association of Clean Water Agencies. “Our leadership and responsibility will be working in an education and outreach type of focus to involve businesses, industry and all Oregonians about all these chemicals and how they can avoid them,” Gillaspie said.