Assessment of mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) health indicators in relation to domestic wastewater discharges in suburbs of Houston, USA.
Additional Document Info
Personal care products, pharmaceuticals, and other contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in domestic wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents can impact aquatic organisms. Health indicators were compared for mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) collected above and below WWTP discharges from five streams in suburban areas of the Houston metropolitan area, Texas, USA. Specimens were evaluated for reproductive, morphological, and histological indicators. Several indicators revealed significant spatial and temporal variation; however, possibly because of their mobility, fish collected upstream and downstream of wastewater treatment plants did not reveal consistent trends based on the endpoints examined. CEC concentrations in water samples from stream reaches below WWTP discharges were quantified for the first time in the Houston Metropolitan area. The 18 CECs detected in stream water had concentrations lower than values currently reported to impact fish. Future research should examine caged fish at each site and fish collected over longer stream reaches that receive successive discharges from WWTP and stronger CEC gradients.