The pipeline leak that spilled sewage into Arizona’s Santa Cruz River is sealed, but another pollution problem persists — one many other American waterways share.
Contaminants of emerging concern, or CECs, are chemicals from drugs and personal care products that most wastewater treatment plants don’t filter out. Some, including estrogenic compounds from products like synthetic birth control, disrupt the hormones of aquatic wildlife, harming reproduction.
The Arizona Game and Fish Department has begun dropping fake plants and other habitat into Roosevelt Lake. Widely varying lake levels at Roosevelt pose problems for natural vegetation.
The work is part of a larger plan, the Tonto National Forest Lakes Habitat Improvement Project, which seeks to help bass and crappie bounce back and boost the sustainability — and fishing prospects — of Salt River reservoirs and Bartlett Lake.