According to a study published in the journal of Environmental Science & Technology, music festivals could be responsible for the the dangerous drugs being found in both soil and rivers surrounding festival venues. Published on Wednesday, the report outlines that trace amounts of drugs such as ecstasy and ketamine are finding their way into water supply.

The study’s original purpose was to measure “emerging contaminants” that find their way into waste water and focused primarily on human made contaminants such as drugs, hygiene products and other products.

Researchers focused on how these levels of contaminants correlated with large scale events such as football games, holiday weekends, music festivals and tourist attractions. What they found were huge spikes of contaminants that matched with huge influxes of people and the contaminants were different depending on the type of event.

When the researchers examined the contaminant results after the Spring Scream Festival, an event that has an attendance of over 600,000, they were shocked by the level of spikes in the local water supply:

“Daily sampling during the week of Spring Scream found big spikes in drugs like ecstasy, ketamine and caffeine — exactly the cocktail of “fun” drugs one would expect hoards of young festival goers to partake in. Meanwhile, more benign drugs — such as ibuprofen — were fairly consistent before, during and after the concerts.” –The Star

Although there has been ample evidence in the past that sewage and water supplies can be affected by events, this study is one of the first to examine the effects caused by different events. Researchers also found this phenomenon is not limited to just festivals, as drug spikes appear on the weekends around major universities and other large party locations.

Drinking the water will not, of course, get you high. The real concern is the effects this could have on local wildlife, as well as long term exposure for humans alike. You can read the full report below:

Source: The Star

Photo Credit: Jeff Lombardo