rather recent development, emerging contaminants, is just
beginning to be studied. Emerging contaminants are new chemicals
only recently found in our water supply. Researchers are trying
to determine what effect emerging contaminants have on water quality
and the environent. Experts in the water treatment industry are
tracking an alarming rise in the levels of antibiotics in water
supplies. Livestock herds are being looked at as a potential source
of these contaminants. Why? Because if a disease were introduced
into a large confinement, it would spread quickly, potentially killing
hundreds or thousands of animals. Farmers rely on antibiotics as
a preventive measure to keep herds healthy. The antibiotics show
up in the animals waste, and runoff carries it into waterways.
While researchers believe antibiotic use on farms is contributing
to the problem, they believe humans use of antibiotics is
a much bigger factor in the field of emerging contaminants.