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4/6/2015draft 3_no visuals1 Clarity vs. Purity: When it comes to water, what you see isn’t always what you get Mark Dzurko Ph.D candidate,

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Presentation on theme: "4/6/2015draft 3_no visuals1 Clarity vs. Purity: When it comes to water, what you see isn’t always what you get Mark Dzurko Ph.D candidate,"— Presentation transcript:

1 4/6/2015draft 3_no visuals1 Clarity vs. Purity: When it comes to water, what you see isn’t always what you get Mark Dzurko Ph.D candidate, Trent-Queen’s Graduate Program

2 Water is one of our most precious resources in Canada, yet we take it for granted each and every day

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5 Toxic chemicals: the legacy of a chemical society We are a "chemical" society, using hundreds of chemicals in our normal daily activities: washing, eating, house-cleaning, tending the lawn and garden, driving Of the almost 10 million chemicals known today, approximately chemicals are used commercially.

6 Toxic chemicals: the legacy of a chemical society

7 Most toxic chemicals are discharged directly into our waterways as waste, but many also enter the water after everyday use in the home, agriculture and industry They constantly change the chemical composition of our waters

8 Pollution Cycle

9 The chemicals can cause problems with the taste, odour and colour in water Fish and wildlife can experience reduced fertility, genetic deformities, immune system damage, increased incidence of tumours, and death

10 Non-persistent (degradable) Domestic sewage Fertilizers Some industrial wastes These compounds can be broken down by chemical reactions or by natural bacteria into simple, non-polluting substances such as carbon dioxide and nitrogen The process can lead to low oxygen levels and eutrophication if the pollution load is high

11 Persistent (degrade slowly) Many pesticides (e.g., DDT, dieldrin) Some leachate components from landfill sites (municipal, industrial) Petroleum and petroleum products Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), dioxins, polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) Radioactive materials such as strontium-90, cesium-137, radium-226, and uranium Metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium

12 Metal and positive ions: arsenic, lead, mercury Inorganic Contaminants

13 Negative ions: fluoride, chloride, phosphate Inorganic Contaminants

14 Organic Contaminants Pesticides are used in agriculture, forestry and homes PCBs although no longer used in new installations, are still found as insulators in older electrical transformers

15 PBDEs, or polybrominated diphenyl ethers, are widely used by industry for their flame retarding properties Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products are being detected in an increasing number of waterbodies Organic Contaminants

16 Levels in the Environment State-of-the-art analytical instruments can detect down to one part per trillion of some substances – comparable to tracing one thousandth of a teaspoon of salt dissolved in an Olympic-size swimming pool Worsfold Water Quality Center

17 Aquatic Cycling of Toxins

18 The Effects of Water Pollution Pollution is not always visible A river or lake may seem clean, but still be polluted In groundwater, on which over one quarter of all Canadians rely for their water supply, pollution is especially difficult to discern Nor are the effects of pollution necessarily immediate; they may take years to appear

19 What can we do? Use eco-friendly household products Don't misuse the sewage system Use elbow grease, not hazardous materials in your gardens and lawns Storm drains are not dumping sites for hazardous products Don't forget about water quality – even when you're having fun

20 For more information or to get involved Nature Canada – Water Campaign Environment Canada Ontario Ministry of the Environment Health Canada Trent University – Worsfold Water Quality Center

21 Water is the Lifeblood of the Environment

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