From Oregon Public Broadcasting: “There are no legal limits for most of the household chemicals that are showing up in the water today. Most of them haven’t been studied enough to know how much is too much to put in a waterway.” Current chemical levels are “safe”
In 2012, a young woman cut her leg on a zip line and fell into the Tallapoosa River in GA Bacterial infection and leg amputation Bacteria was group A Streptococcus Common bacteria Easily treatable If unchecked, takes over small tissues Bacteria live in water, but don’t fear it!
Water Treatment Lakes, Rivers, etc Wastewater Treatment
Coagulation Formation of floc Alum, etc. Sedimentation Filtration Disinfection Chlorine & Ammonia pH Monitor Sodium Hydroxide
No Often is repackaged tap water Home Filtering Systems (ie: Brita Filter) also do not stop PPCPs
Do Water Treatment Processes Outside the US Produce Cleaner Water? Canada – Same as the US European Union Russia
European Groundwater Directive < 50mg/L Nitrates <50mg/L Phosphates Testing PPCP Removal in Spain (wastewater) Tertiary Wastewater Treatment Reverse Osmosis/Membranes
Russian Water Plagued by Chemicals Industrial Pesticides Bottled Water or Boil Tap Water 75% Surface Lakes/Rivers Contaminated 50% Russians have drinkable water Water Treatment Developing Industrially
Industrial improvements are underway Company Bashneft using a GE Process as of 2013 Membrane Bioreactor Electrodialysis Reverse Osmosis
Should our wastewater treatment process be improved even though there aren’t current PPCP regulations? HYPOTHETICAL QUESTION: At what point will the concentration of chemicals be unsafe for humans and wildlife?