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Dr. Marty Auer Professor Civil & Environmental Engineering Michigan Tech University.

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Presentation on theme: "Dr. Marty Auer Professor Civil & Environmental Engineering Michigan Tech University."— Presentation transcript:

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2 Dr. Marty Auer Professor Civil & Environmental Engineering Michigan Tech University

3 Onondaga Lake, located in metropolitan Syracuse, New York, has received the municipal and industrial waste of the region for over 100 years. Testimony to the United States Senate has described Onondaga Lake as one of the most polluted in the country – perhaps the most polluted. Onondaga Lake Oswego River Seneca River Syracuse Cross Lake Ontario

4 Syracuse, New York: The Salt City 1615 – first European visitor, Samuel Champlain 1654 – salt springs discovered, Father Simon Lemoyne 1794 – salt industry in place, James Geddes 1820 – local brine springs failing 1838 – wells dug around Onondaga Lake fail to locate source 1862 – salt industry reaches its peak

5 Central New York 1828 – Erie and Oswego Canals 1838 – railroads reach Syracuse 1848 – City of Syracuse incorporated 1950s – NYS Thruway and I-81

6 Solvay Process  Allied Chemical  Allied Signal  Honeywell 1884soda ash production begins on west shore using locally produced salt brine and limestone from nearby Dewitt 1880ssalt production moved to Tully Valley 1912limestone quarries moved to Jamesville 1986industry closes

7 The Solvay Process In 1865, a Belgian chemist, Ernest Solvay, developed a process to produce soda ash from calcium carbonate (limestone) and sodium chloride (salt). Soda ash is used in softening water and in the manufacture of glass, soap and paper: Ernest Solvay 1943: wastebeds collapse flooding region with soda ash waste

8 The Chlor-Alkali Process The chlor-alkali process was used to generate chlorine gas and sodium hydroxide through electrolysis of a salt brine solution. Mercury was used as the cathode in the electrolysis cell. There is loss of mercury through leakage and dumping as the cells are cleaned or replaced. Approximately 75,000 kg of mercury were discharged to Onondaga Lake over the period

9 The Mud Boils Mud boils or mud volcanoes occur along Onondaga Creek in Tully Valley, New York where salt brine was solution-mined for nearly a century ( ). Mud boils form when increased groundwater pore pressures (rain, spring runoff) liquefy sediment (soil). These pressures result in a surface discharge of liquefied sediment as a mud volcano or mud boil.

10 Distribution of terrigenous sediment solids Onondaga Creek, flowing from Tully Valley, enters here The Mud Boils There is considerable debate regarding the role of brine solution mining in leading to mud boils. However, it is known that more than half the sediment loading to Onondaga Lake comes via Onondaga Creek and a substantial fraction of that load originates in the Tully Valley.

11 Metro 1896backyard privies banned; sewers constructed; sewage flows directly to Onondaga Lake via Onondaga Creek and Harbor Brook 1922interceptor sewers; screening and disinfection; lake discharge 1925treatment plant constructed; primary treatment; lake discharge 1928treatment plant overloaded; need for CSOs with lake discharge 1934additional treatment plant constructed; lake discharge

12 Metro 1960METRO plant completed; lake discharge 1974METRO deemed overloaded 1979METRO upgrade; secondary treatment; lake discharge 1981METRO upgrade; tertiary treatment; lake discharge 1998State calls for a 14-year, $400 million treatment plant upgrade; lake discharge 2002Scientific community questions technical feasibility of lake restoration plan

13 CSOs Combined Sewer Overflow CSOs have discharged to Onondaga Lake via Onondaga Creek, Harbor Brook, and Ley Creek. A plan is in place to reduce discharges by 56% at a cost of $65-80 million. The plan incorporates limited sewer separation (7%), activation of a dormant in-line storage system (43%) and construction of ‘regional treatment facilties’ or RTFs (50%). The RTFs include a wet well, swirl concentrator (~0.5 MG) and disinfection tank. Combined wastewater captured through in-line storage and solids captured in swirl concentrators are routed to the treatment plant as storm flows abate. The Partnership for Onondaga Creek is contesting the County plan as an incomplete and insufficient approach which violates the principles of environmental justice.

14 Water Quality Issues Fecal bacteria Sanitary detritus Aesthetics CSOs Mud boils Waste beds Chloride Ammonia Mercury Toxics Industry METRO Phosphorus and Ammonia Algae and Transparency Oxygen and Redox

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16 The ‘mistake by the lake’ Image source:

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19 A Mall ?

20 Parallel World Edition “Submitted for your approval …” Rod Serling b. 1924, Syracuse, NY Twilight Zone

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22 What’s a mall like you doin’ in a place like this” with apologies to Bob Dylan Revised Parallel World Edition

23 Image source:The Post-Standard

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25 But first we’ve got to get the condoms off of the railing!

26 $400 Million METRO Contribution to Lake Inflow METRO (%) J F M A M J J A S O N D

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28 $400 Million

29 Onondaga Lake Seneca River METRO The Diversion Plan ^ clearer

30 METRO Construction (ca. 1960) According to the original plans for the facility, the METRO effluent was to be pumped around the lake, combined with the Ley Creek plant effluent, and discharged to the Seneca River (Effler 1996). Needed for dilution. METRO Upgrades (ca. 1970s) Discharge of the effluent to the Seneca River was dismissed because the river’s assimilative capacity was judged to be inadequate (USEPA 1974, as cited in Effler 1996). Never quantified. Rehabilitation Program (ca. 2003) Diversion remains on the table as an alternative if initial efforts do not achieve water quality standards (Effler et al. 2002). Zebra mussels. Never quantified. Prior consideration of the diversion plan

31 Seneca River DO (mg/L) Distance Downstream of Baldwinsville (km) Effects of ionic pollution on river resources Image source: UFI saturation DO standard daily average

32 Tonight … on City Confidential “Whatever Happened to the Diversion Plan?”

33 Compelling reasons for in-lake discharge 1. In-lake discharge is consistent with the fundamental principles of lake and river management. The pollutants which most adversely impact lakes (e.g. phosphorus) are those which are most difficult and expensive to treat to required levels. Cost-effective treatment technologies have long been available to remove those pollutants (e.g. oxygen- demanding substances) which most adversely impact rivers.

34 Compelling reasons for in-lake discharge 2. Everybody else is doing it. 607 municipal NPDES Permits in NYS ~10 discharges Image source: UFI

35 Compelling reasons for in-lake discharge 2. Everybody else is doing it. 42 discharge to lakes ~10 discharges Image source: UFI

36 Compelling reasons for in-lake discharge 2. Everybody else is doing it. 25 discharge to inland lakes ~10 discharges Image source: UFI

37 Compelling reasons for in-lake discharge 2. Everybody else is doing it. only 1 accounts for >4% of lake inflow ~10 discharges Image source: UFI 22%

38 Compelling reasons for in-lake discharge 3. One in three sounds good to me. Image source: UFI

39 Compelling reasons for in-lake discharge 4. Zebramusselphobia. Image source: Jeffrey L. Ram …eeeeeeek!

40 Lake Restoration - Water Quality Objectives Lake: maintain phosphorus levels at 20 µgP/L to reduce levels of algae, improve transparency and eliminate oxygen depletion. River: maintain oxygen levels at 5 mg/L to protect aquatic life.

41 Review of Restoration Strategies In-lake Discharge METRO TP at 120 µgP∙L -1 by 2006 METRO TP at 20 µgP∙L -1 by 2012 No action on river Diversion Destratify river Route METRO to river Other Actions/Considerations Sediment response Nonpoint P management

42 Integrated modeling approach Onondaga Lake Total Phosphorus Model Doerr et al Seneca River Dissolved Oxygen Model Canale et al RiverMaster Software Module Feasibility Study of METRO Discharge Alternatives

43 Model Simulation of a Dual Discharge Approach Lake model: Doerr et al River model: Canale et al RiverMaster Module: Rucinski et al. 2003

44 RiverMaster Module

45 Analysis of discharge strategies Summer Avg. Epilimnetic TP (  g∙L -1 ) Management Goal (TP avg ) 1997 Prevailing In-Lake Discharge Effluent TP = 120  g∙L -1 Effluent TP = 20  g∙L -1 Diverted Discharge

46 Analysis of companion lake management options 1997 Summer Avg. Epilimnetic TP (  g∙L -1 ) Management Goal (TP avg ) Diverted Discharge Diverted, 20% nonpoint reduction Diverted, SS sediment release Diverted, 20% nonpoint reduction, SS sediment

47 RiverMaster Module

48 Diversion with Fixed Discharge

49 Feasibility of a river discharge … average conditions average flow Distance Downstream of Baldwinsville (km) Seneca River DO (mg/L)

50 Distance Downstream of Baldwinsville (km) average flow critical flow (7Q10) Feasibility of a river discharge … critical conditions

51 a comprehensive lake management plan, incorporating the diversion strategy, can achieve the phosphorus management goal; implementation of a diversion strategy would eliminate the cost and uncertainty of seeking heroic levels of phosphorus removal at METRO; the river possesses, under average flow conditions, the assimilative capacity to handle the METRO effluent without violation of oxygen standards; there exist certain critical conditions under which the river cannot assimilate the METRO effluent and for which return to the lake would be necessary. Conclusions of initial analysis

52 a comprehensive lake management plan, incorporating the diversion strategy, can achieve the phosphorus management goal; implementation of a diversion strategy would eliminate the cost and uncertainty of seeking heroic levels of phosphorus removal at METRO; the river possesses, under average flow conditions, the assimilative capacity to handle the METRO effluent without violation of oxygen standards; there exist certain critical conditions under which the river cannot assimilate the METRO effluent and for which return to the lake would be necessary. Conclusions of initial analysis

53 a comprehensive lake management plan, incorporating the diversion strategy, can achieve the phosphorus management goal; implementation of a diversion strategy would eliminate the cost and uncertainty of seeking heroic levels of phosphorus removal at METRO; the river possesses, under average flow conditions, the assimilative capacity to handle the METRO effluent without violation of oxygen standards; there exist certain critical conditions under which the river cannot assimilate the METRO effluent and for which return to the lake would be necessary. Conclusions of initial analysis

54 a comprehensive lake management plan, incorporating the diversion strategy, can achieve the phosphorus management goal; implementation of a diversion strategy would eliminate the cost and uncertainty of seeking heroic levels of phosphorus removal at METRO; the river possesses, under average flow conditions, the assimilative capacity to handle the METRO effluent without violation of oxygen standards; there exist certain critical conditions under which the river cannot assimilate the METRO effluent. Conclusions of initial analysis

55 Diversion with Dual Discharge

56 Guiding questions What would be the frequency and magnitude of: Return flows? Associated non-attainment of lake TP? Image source: UFI

57 Simulation mid-May to mid-October of steady-state river DO model, computes minimum DO time-variable lake TP model, computes summer average TP Lake compares dual diversion and in-lake discharge (2012 METRO effluent TP) Monte Carlo simulation of tributary loads River de-stratified 30 years of USGS flows and NOAA, NCDC air temperatures DO boundary conditions based on post zebra mussel ( ) data base 30-year probabilistic simulation

58 RiverMaster Module

59 Seneca River Onondaga Lake Cross Lake Zebra Mussels and DO Boundary Conditions

60 Algorithm generated with multivariate data mining software (MARS™) applied to data from DO = ∙ F ∙ F ∙ F ∙ F ∙ F5 where F values are functions of date, flow and air temperature Dissolved oxygen boundary conditions

61 Observed DO (mg L· -1 ) Predicted DO (mg L · - 1 ) y = 0.99 x r 2 = 0.80 Cross validation of DO boundary conditions Applied to data 15% of data base not used in algorithm development.

62 Modeling approach - river Date Flow Air Temp DO Boundary Condition River DO Model METRO Effluent meets standard violates standard Return Flow

63 – In-Lake Discharge (days∙yr -1 ) 51– Expected Probability 0.8 Required frequency of in-lake discharge Average of 46 days per year Of these, 27 or 58% are associated with boundary condition violations METRO accounts for 4% of annual lake inflow and 3% of annual river flow

64 Modeling approach - lake Return Flow Loading File Lake TP Model Summer Average TP distribution of tributary TP concentrations actual tributary flow Tributary Loads Monte Carlo simulation

65 Summer Avg Epilimnetic TP (  g∙L -1 ) Management goal (20  g∙L -1 ) Attainment of the TP management goal TP averages 16.1  3.3 TP averages 16.1  3.3  g∙L -1 Range 10.4 – 22.4  g∙L -1

66 Management goal 20 µgPL -1 Exceeds management guidelines by <4  g∙L -1 for 1 in 10 years Attainment of the TP management goal

67 Comparison to full time in-lake discharge DiversionIn-lake Discharge 2012 Effluent Mean Lake TP (µg∙L -1 ) 16.1± ±3.3 Range in TP (µg∙L -1 ) 10.4 – – 21.1 Non attainment 4 µg∙L -1 10% of time 2 µg∙L -1 7% of time

68 METRO Tributaries Return Flow with Hypolimnetic Discharge after Doerr et al. 1996

69 Conclusion The Dual Discharge strategy represents a feasible approach for managing the METRO discharge. One which: meets river DO standards; meets lake TP guidelines; balances effluent flow contributions; and offers opportunities for economic benefit.

70 Diversion with Dual Discharge

71 Onondaga Lake Seneca River Robotic Network Robotic Monitoring Buoy Communication Hub “An Integrated Near-Real-Time Monitoring and Modeling System” S.W. Effler, S.M. Doerr O’Donnell, R.K. Gelda, and D.M. O’Donnell Upstate Freshwater Institute, Syracuse, New York

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