U.S. Water News Online
PITTSBURGH -- Researchers plan to study fish taken from the
Allegheny River for contaminants in the water.
A team led by scientists from the University of Pittsburgh's
Center for Healthy Environments and Communities will study the river
from Tionesta in Forest County to Pittsburgh.
As part of a preliminary study last month, researchers surveyed
the river from Pittsburgh to Kittanning, pinpointing the locations of
sanitary sewer overflows, wastewater treatment plants, environmental
stress and industrial activity.
The goal is to examine fish as indicators of pollutants in the
water, said Conrad Volz, an environmental scientist with the
"Many organic chemicals accumulate over time in the fish tissue,"
he said. "We want to determine if the fish are safe to eat or not,
and find the source of contaminants, such as chemicals or metals, in
the water, which will help us locate the sources of pollution."
Fish from the river is eaten as a regular diet, and most residents
obtain their drinking water from the Allegheny, said John Pastorek,
chief executive and president of the Alle-Kiski Health Foundation,
which is participating in the study.
High school students will help gather and sample fish tissues.
Fishing will be done in May and the study results will be available
in 2009, Volz said.
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