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Question: You can eliminate the harmful effects of pollutants by discharging them into water which dilutes the concentration of the pollutant. True or.

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Presentation on theme: "Question: You can eliminate the harmful effects of pollutants by discharging them into water which dilutes the concentration of the pollutant. True or."— Presentation transcript:

1 Question: You can eliminate the harmful effects of pollutants by discharging them into water which dilutes the concentration of the pollutant. True or False? Water Quality

2 Federal: Water quality is protected by the EPA, under the Clean Water Act of 1972 (CWA). State: State Water Resource Control Board (SWRCB) Regional: Santa Ana Regional Water Quality Control Board (SARWQCB) County: Orange County Stormwater Program City: NPDES- National Pollution Discharge Elimination System Regulation – Clean Water Act

3 Aquatic life toxicity Suspended solids Dissolved oxygen depletion High Bacteria Levels Trash Impaired Beneficial Uses Water contact recreation (swimming, surfing) non-water contact recreation (fishing, boating) municipal water supply cold fresh water habitat Poor Water Quality Use Impairment

4 There are 16 waterbodies in Orange County that are listed on the 303d List. Impaired OC water bodies have high levels of nitrogen, phosphorous, total dissolved solids (including sediments), pH, pathogens, metals, PCB, DDT, etc. Additionally, sediments are heavily contaminated in most channels. Water Quality in O.C.

5 What is the health of streams ? How are conditions at areas of unique importance ? Are regulated discharges meeting WQ objectives ? Is it safe to fish ? Is it safe to swim? Monitoring Questions

6 Metals Nutrients Organics Indicator Bacteria Benthic Macroinvertebrates Benthic Algae Water Chemistry Toxicity Physical Habitat Condition? Bioassessment 7-day Ceriodaphnia test Surveys: SWAMP and CADF&G California Rapid Assessment Method (CRAM) What is the health of streams?

7 US Temperature Dissolved Oxygen Nitrates and Phosphates Ammonia pH Conductivity Turbidity Flow (qualitative) Parameters to be measured Typical BACTERIA Total Coliform Fecal Coliform E.coli METALS Cadmium Chromium Lead Zinc Mercury SEDIMENT TRASH CHEMICALS Nitrogen Phosphorous Ammonia TOXIC COMPOUNDS DDT PCBs Chlordane Dieldrin PESTICIDES HERBICIDES INSECTICIDES

8 More about the things we will be measuring during our lesson tomorrow…woo!

9 UNCE, Reno, NV Dissolved Oxygen A relative measure of the amount of gaseous oxygen, in the form of microscopic bubbles, dissolved in the water. Unit: mg/L

10 Fish and other aquatic life need certain amounts of DO.Fish and other aquatic life need certain amounts of DO. Stressful conditions: < 5 mg/L Oxygen in water affects solubility of metals and other chemicalsOxygen in water affects solubility of metals and other chemicals Why do we care? – D.O.

11 Natural causes: Uptake by organisms Uptake by organisms Natural increases in temperature Natural increases in temperature Quiet water (low re-oxygenation) Quiet water (low re-oxygenation) Human causes: Any source of biological material that will decay in water Any source of biological material that will decay in water High temperatures or low flows High temperatures or low flows Excessive plant growth in water (Nutrients!) Excessive plant growth in water (Nutrients!) Influences/Sources – ↑ D.O. Influences/Sources – ↓ D.O. Diffusion from the surrounding air Aeration (rapid movement of water) Produced by algae & aquatic plants

12 UNCE, Reno, NV Temperature A measure of how hot or cold something is. On a molecular level, it is a measure of energy. The higher the temperature or the more energy they have, the faster particles move. Units of measurement: Celsius vs. Fahrenheit?

13 Why do we care? – Temp. When Water Temperature Increases  Dissolved Oxygen: Decreases Conductivity: Increases Animal/Plant Life: Increase in activity; spawning. * Too high: may be fatal Metals/Toxic Compounds: Increase in toxicity to wildlife Bacteria: Increases populations

14 Natural causes: Seasons Seasons Length of river Length of river Location of river Location of river Hot springs Hot springs Human causes: Removal of streamside vegetation (shade) Removal of streamside vegetation (shade) Runoff over concrete and other heated surfaces Runoff over concrete and other heated surfaces Changes in stream shape Changes in stream shape Reductions in flow Reductions in flow Industrial discharges Industrial discharges Influences/Sources – Temp.

15 USDA NRCS Turbidity The cloudiness of water resulting from the amount of particles suspended in the water. The more difficult it is to see through the water, the more turbid the water.

16 Impacts of sediments in streams and lakes: Can fill space between cobble in stream and smother fish eggs and tiny aquatic lifeCan fill space between cobble in stream and smother fish eggs and tiny aquatic life Very cloudy water affects visual predatorsVery cloudy water affects visual predators Sediments fill in reservoirsSediments fill in reservoirs Sediments bring nutrients, metals, and more into waterSediments bring nutrients, metals, and more into water In Newport Bay, high turbidity restricts the growth and survival of eelgrass. Why do we care? Turbidity

17 Natural causes: Natural “reworking” of flood plain Natural “reworking” of flood plain Remobilized sediment under high flows Remobilized sediment under high flows Seasonal effects Seasonal effects Influences/Sources - Turbidity Human causes: Stream bank erosion Stream bank erosion Boating, Dredging Boating, Dredging Runoff (construction, agriculture, forestry, mining, residential) Runoff (construction, agriculture, forestry, mining, residential)

18 UNCE, Reno, NV Nutrients: Nitrates & Phosphates Nutrients: Nitrates & Phosphates [NO3-] Nitrogen-containing compounds act as nutrients in streams and rivers. [PO4 3 ‐ ] An essential nutrient for aquatic plants and animals.

19 Why do we care? - ↑ Nutrients In a natural stream, nutrient cycles help to keep the ecosystem balanced and healthy. But higher nutrient levels can cause negative effects on stream ecosystems.

20 Why do we care? - ↑ Nutrients Phosphate is limiting nutrient in freshwater Nitrate is limiting nutrient in freshwater Increased growth of aquatic plants → algal blooms Decreased DO levels → fish kills How much is too much? - Nitrate: 10mg/L - Phosphate: 0.1 mg/L

21 Why do we care: Eutrophication A condition in which algae and aquatic plants will grow wildly (bloom) because of the availability of “food”, choke up the waterway, and use large amounts of oxygen.

22 Fertilizer runoff More organic matter sinks to bottom Bacteria deplete oxygen levels Higher Nutrients in Water Explosion in phytoplankton growth “Dead Zones” = water at the sea floor is anoxic — it has very low (or completely zero) concentrations of dissolved oxygen.

23 Natural causes: Seasonal changes Seasonal changes Plant uptake Plant uptake Human causes: Land uses in the watershed Land uses in the watershed Fertilizers, animal manure Fertilizers, animal manure Discharges from sewage facilities and acid precipitation Discharges from sewage facilities and acid precipitation Synthetic detergents (Phosphate) Synthetic detergents (Phosphate) Influences/Sources – [NO3], [PO43-]

24 A nitrogen-containing nutrient used for plant growth. Sources: Domestic, industrial, and agricultural pollutants such as fertilizers or organic matter. Effects: In excess, it is highly toxic to aquatic life. How much is too much? 0.09mg/L Ammonia Brain Teaser: In nature, ammonia quickly oxidizes to form nitrates. If you found high levels of ammonia in a creek, what could this fact tell you about what’s going on?

25 pH Scale: the level of acidity or alkalinity in a solution Pure Hydrochloric Acid Lemon Juice RainWater5.6 Vinegar, Wine, Orange Juice Milk Bleach Sea Water Household Ammonia Oven Cleaner Gastric Fluids Baking Soda Pure Sodium Hydroxide pH

26 Low pH can affect membranes Low pH can affect membranes (eg. gills of fish or macroinvertebrates and eggs) At low pH, causes some metals to dissolve into a more toxic form At low pH, causes some metals to dissolve into a more toxic form At high pH, ammonia is more toxic At high pH, ammonia is more toxic Why do we care? - pH

27 Natural causes: Rain is naturally acidic Rapid snow melt Photosynthesis in water  higher pH Human causes: Combustion causes acids in the atmosphere Combustion causes acids in the atmosphere  acid precipitation Industrial discharge Industrial discharge Mine drainage Mine drainage Influences/Sources - pH

28 Total Coliform: Fecal Coliform: E.coli: Using Indicators: When it is expensive and difficult to test for one strain of bacteria, detection of a designated group can indicate the presence of disease-causing strains. Testing for Bacteria A group of relatively harmless bacteria commonly found in the environment a subgroup of total coliform that appear in great quantities in the intestines and feces of people and animals. a subgroup of fecal coliform found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals. Some strains cause illness.

29 Sources: Copper dust from brake pads Copper/Zinc boat bottom paint Mining/Industrial activities Improper disposal of hazardous waste Smoke stack emissions Metals attach to sediment and enter waterways Impacts: Toxic metals (e.g. cadmium, lead, copper, zinc, mercury) accumulate in aquatic organisms Die-offs, accumulation up the food chain, potentially affecting humans Lower pH levels  increases toxicity of certain metals Metals

30 What affects conductivity?  Inorganic dissolved solids such as:  Chloride, nitrate, sulfate, and phosphate anions (ions that carry a negative charge)  Sodium, calcium, iron, and aluminum cations (ions with a positive charge).  Temperature: warmer water  higher conductivity  Geology of the area  Human Sources : sewage spills, industrial discharges Units of measurement: microsiemens (µS/cm) or millisiemens (mS/cm) 1,000 µS/cm = 1 mS/cm So what does it really mean? Normal range of conductivity in U.S. streams is between 50 – 1500 µS/cm Streams supporting good fisheries range between 150 – 500 µS/cm A measure of the ability of water to pass an electrical current. Conductivity

31 This is all kind of a downer, could you give us some good news please!

32 In your community At home You can do something about urban runoff right now!

33 Thanks for your time and attention! Discussion


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