When samples were recently taken from the water near sewage treatment plans in the estuaries around Puget Sound, officials discovered high levels of Prozac, cocaine, Zantac, and 77 other drugs you probably don’t want in your water. Although the treatment plants are supposed to filter and remove contaminants from the water, certain drugs are far more difficult to eradicate than others.
The disturbing part of this discovery is that the juvenile chinook salmon that swim in the aforementioned druggie water have traces of the drugs in their tissue. So if you were debating between serving fresh-caught salmon or chicken for dinner tonight and feed to your children tonight, you might be better off going with the chicken.
There is still no answer as to why these drugs are all contaminating Puget Sound, but one can assume the careless methods humans dispose of harmful waste is to blame. The study concluded that as much as 97,000 pounds drugs and chemicals enter Puget Sound each year.
Permit administrator for the Wastewater Treatment Division in Washington’s King County, Betsy Cooper, told the Seattle Times:
“You have treatment doing its best to remove these, chemically and biologically. [sic] But it’s not just the treatment quality, it’s also the amount that we use day to day and our assumption that it just goes away. But not everything goes away.”