First Advisor

James F. Pankow

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Civil & Environmental Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering




Cations, Chelates, Heavy metals -- Environmental aspects, Water quality -- Oregon -- Measurement




Cation sequestering compounds are contained in many industrial, commercial and personal care products. The most widely used chelating agents, EDTA and DTPA, are commonly found in natural and industrial settings. When chelating compounds are present, the activity and transport of metal cations in the environment and the uptake of metals in natural systems can be affected. Surface water samples from across the United States were analyzed, as well as local collection and analysis of surface waters and wastewater treatment plant effluent from around Northwest Oregon. Results indicate presence of synthetic chelating compounds in areas with human activity, and absence in areas that are less populated. As a stable and water soluble compound, monitoring for chelates could have potential use as an effective indicator of further anthropogenic effects.



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A research project report submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the degree of Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering.

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