What are Compounds of Emerging Concern (CECs)?

Compounds of emerging concern - or CECs - have gained notoriety in recent years. CECs include pharmaceuticals, personal care products, endocrine disruptors, and antibiotic resistance genes that can turn up in water supplies. They are unregulated by federal and state water quality agencies because they occur at extremely low concentrations - nanograms per liter. In fact, laboratory equipment could not detect the compounds at these concentrations until about 2002. Improvements in analytical technology now allow labs to detect compounds well below the concentrations known to impact public health. CEC concentrations are very low in Flagstaff’s water, as they are in most communities. To put this into perspective, the Water Research Foundation estimates that you would have to drink 1.7 million 8-ounce glasses of water to get the equivalent of a single medical dose (e.g., one pill) of a pharmaceutical compound. Read more about this calculation.

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1. What is reclaimed water?
2. How do you make reclaimed water?
3. Is reclaimed water okay to drink?
4. How does the city use reclaimed water?
5. What is advanced treatment?
6. How would Flagstaff Water Services use advanced treatment?
7. What are Compounds of Emerging Concern (CECs)?
8. Does advanced treatment remove pharmaceuticals from the water?
9. Is drinking advanced-treated water the same as drinking reclaimed water?
10. Do we drink out of the Rio De Flag?
11. Will the wetlands still be maintained if the city decides to go with advanced treatment?
12. What safe guards are in place to avoid contamination of our potable water supply?
13. Could aquifer recharge lead to tremors like in fracking?