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Water Pollution & Treatment. Pollution can affect both surface waters and groundwater ? Water Pollution & Treatment.

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Presentation on theme: "Water Pollution & Treatment. Pollution can affect both surface waters and groundwater ? Water Pollution & Treatment."— Presentation transcript:

1 Water Pollution & Treatment

2 Pollution can affect both surface waters and groundwater ? Water Pollution & Treatment

3 Pollution can come from either a point source or a non-point source F Agricultural fields F Road salt Water Pollution & Treatment

4 Common sources of groundwater pollution Damage depends on: F Nature of pollutant F Quantity added F Duration of addition F Area affected F Residence time F Reservoir size F Permeability s Flow/plumes s Flushing to clean Water Pollution & Treatment

5 Water pollutants (a selected list): 1) Decay of Organic Matter F Consumes O 2 (usually) F BOD (biochemical oxygen demand) = a measure of bacterial activity (in mg O 2 /liter of water consumed in 5 days at 20 o C) F 1/3 of all BOD in USA is from agriculture Water Pollution & Treatment

6 The relationship between BOD and O 2 Water Pollution & Treatment

7 2) Pathogenic organisms F Microbes that cause disease F US: human fecal coliform bacteria s EPA: safe drinking water < 2 E. Coli/cup F USA treats sewage, separates it from drinking water, and chlorinates drinking water Water Pollution & Treatment

8 1854 London cholera outbreak Water Pollution & Treatment

9 Water pollutants (a selected list): 3) Nutrients F P, N from fertilizers, detergents, sewage (even if treated) Water Pollution & Treatment

10 Water pollutants (a selected list): 3) Nutrients Water Pollution & Treatment

11 A typical pollution plume from a point source (Otis AFB, MA. 1984) Groundwater flow direction Water Pollution & Treatment


13 High nutrients  eutrophication: plant (usually algae) blooms which can  O 2 depletion Algal mats accumulate on bottom, resulting in prolonged effects Lake Tahoe Water Pollution & Treatment

14 Also see in marine seaweed and coral-killing algae Water Pollution & Treatment

15 Water pollutants (a selected list): 4) Oil spills F Santa Barbara 1950s offshore well leaks, again in Mexican Gulf in 70’s F Tanker spills: Exxon Valdez, & numerous others F War: Persian Gulf Water Pollution & Treatment

16 Water pollutants (a selected list): 4) Oil spills - On land too: F Russia 1994: 50,000,000 gal. from corroded pipeline F Alaskan pipeline has had several minor ones so far ~ 60% of US car owners change their own oil  180,000,000 gal (16 x Exxon Valdez) poured down storm drains  streams What can you do? Water Pollution & Treatment

17 5) Toxic substances Water pollutants (a selected list): Water Pollution & Treatment


19 Water pollutants (a selected list): 5) Toxic substances F Hazardous chemicals, radwaste, heavy metals (Pb, Hg, Zn, Cd) F Much gets into our food chain Water Pollution & Treatment

20 Water pollutants (a selected list): 5) Toxic substances Water Pollution & Treatment

21 Water pollutants (a selected list): 5) Toxic substances: surface disposal sites: 1991 Water Pollution & Treatment

22 Contaminant Health Effects Max. Permissable Amount (ppm) Sources Microbiological Not necessarily disease-producing, but may indicate other organisms that cause gastric infections Human and animal feces 1/100 ml Colliform Bacteria Interferes with digestion Erosion, runoff, and sediment discharges 1-5 turbidity units Turbidity Inorganic Chemicals Skin and nervous system toxicity, possible cancer risk. Pesticides, industrial wastes, smelter operations, rocks 0.05 Arsenic Cardiac, gastrointestinal, and neuromuscular effects. Coal-fired power plants, automotive paints, specialty compounds in bricks-tiles-jet fuel. 1 Barium Kidney effects, hypertension, anemia, liver. Mining, smelting, fossil fuel use, fertilizers, sewage. 0.01 Cadmium Liver, kidney effects. Abandoned mines, electroplating, rocks. 0.05 Chromium Nervous system, kidneys. Highly toxic to infants and pregnant women. Brain damage. Lead pipes and solder joints, paint, airborne Pb from gasoline combustion. 0.015 Lead Nervous system, kidneys. Manufacture of paint, paper, vinly chloride. Used in fungicides. Rock and hydrothermal areas. 0.002 Mercury “Blue-baby syndrome”- asphyxia, cancer risk. Fertilizer, sewage, feedlots, rocks. 10 N - Nitrate Gastrointestinal effects. Coal burning, mining, smelting, selenium refining, glass manufacture, fuel oil, combustion, rocks. 0.01 Silenium Skin discoloration. Mining and processing, rocks. 0.05 Silver Skeletal damage. Additive to drinking water, toothpaste, processed food 4 Fluoride EPA Drinking Water Standards, 1989

23 Contaminant Health Effects Max. Permissable Amount (ppm) Sources Organic Chemicals Nervous system, kidney effects. Insecticide: cotton, grains, orchards - illegal in US 0.0002 Endrin Nervous ssytem, kidney effects. Insecticide: fruits and vegetables. 0.01 Methoxychlor Liver-kidney effects Herbicide: cancelled in 1984. 0.01 2, 4, 5-TP Silvex Carcinogen. Insecticide: cotton, corn, grains. 0.0005 Toxaphane Carcinogen. Fuel tanks, solvents, manufacture of chemicals and pharmaceuticals, pesticides, paints, plastics. 0.005 Benzene Possible carcinogen. Common cleaning agent. Coolant manufacture. 0.005 Carbon Tetra-Cl Possible carcinogen. Insecticides, moth balls, air deoderizers. 0.075 p-Dichlorobenzene Possible carcinogen. Manufacture of insecticides. 0.005 1, 2-Dichloroethane Liver-kidney effects. Manufacture of plastics, dyes, perfume, paint. 0.007 1, 2-Dichloroethelyne Nervous system effects. Manufacture of food wrappings, synthetic fibers. 0.2 1, 1, 1-Trichloroethane Possible carcinogen. Dry-cleaning materials. Manufacture of pesticides, paints, waxes, varnishws, paint stripper, degreaser. 0.005 Trichloroethane Carcinogen. PVC pipes and solvents used to join them. Industrial waste from manufacture of plastics and syn-rubber. 0.002 Vinyl Chloride Nervous system, kidneys, carcinogen. Insecticide: seeds and soil, foliage, wood. 0.0004 Lindane Liver-kidney effects. Herbicides in agriculture, forestry, pastures, aquatic. 0.01 2, 4-D EPA Drinking Water Standards, 1989

24 Contaminant Health Effects Max. Permissable Amount (ppm) Sources Organic Chemicals Carcinogens. Created when surface water containing organic wastes is treated with chlorine. 0.01 Chloroform and other trialomethanes Carcinogens. Radioactive waste, uranium deposits. 4 mrem/yr Gross beta particle Carcinogens. Radioactive waste, uranium deposits. 15 x 10 -9 curies/liter Gross alpha particle Carcinogens. Radioactive waste, rocks. Radium 226 and 228 Radioactive Materials 5 x 10 -9 curies/liter Pollution sources: US Gov’t (secret, but military  > 1 million lbs/yr)US Gov’t (secret, but military  > 1 million lbs/yr) Chemical plants and oil refineriesChemical plants and oil refineries Sanitary landfillsSanitary landfills PesticidesPesticides Sewage and septic systemsSewage and septic systems Radioactive wasteRadioactive waste Petroleum wastePetroleum waste Acid mine drainageAcid mine drainage EPA Drinking Water Standards, 1989

25 Pollution sources: Mineral processingMineral processing Farm animal wasteFarm animal waste Feed lotsFeed lots FertilizersFertilizers Pulp millsPulp mills Roadway saltRoadway salt Cemetaries (even musicians decompose)Cemetaries (even musicians decompose)

26 Water pollutants (a selected list): 5) Toxic substances F Biological Magnification Water Pollution & Treatment

27 Water pollutants: 6) Salt water intrusion F Subject to both salt water intrusion at depth and shallow pollution 7) Sediment pollution (covered before)

28 Water pollutants (a selected list): 8) Thermal pollution Water Pollution & Treatment

29 Groundwater Treatment Methods of treatment: Water Pollution & Treatment

30 Wastewater Treatment F Rural method = septic systems septic tank: solids settle out biological “curtain” Water Pollution & Treatment

31 Wastewater Treatment ~ 90% of pollutants removed Doesn’t remove N, P, heavy metals, pesticides… usually all that is required Aerobic bacteria breaks down most of remaining organics Removes 30-40% of pollutants Cl or O 3 Anaerobic bacteria that hits sludge …or recycled if  irrigation  soil (filter)  intake again I’d say many towns are recycling without knowing it! chemical treatment and filters  95% clean (lot of work & $ for the final 5%) Water Pollution & Treatment

32 State Water Laws Surface waters: Surface waters: F Riparian Doctrine (mostly in East…pre-1850 law) s Right to use water (not own it) goes to land owner adjoining stream, lake… s Right to reasonable use (?), but must return to stream before it leaves property s A property owner has the right to receive flow undiminished in quantity and quality but cannot diminish either for those downstream either (tough to interpret!) Water Pollution & Treatment

33 State Water Laws Surface waters: Surface waters: Prior Appropriation Doctrine more common in West s First person to divert and use has the primary water right (and it may be passed on) s Right to use water is separate from other property rights Some states have regulations on how used and primacy: s 1983 California Supreme Court decision over Mono Lake diversions  LA s Public Trust Doctrine in which state must protect common heritage such as lakes, wetlands… s Decided LA must curtail some of use of diverted water (Prior Appropriation) Water Pollution & Treatment

34 State Water Laws Groundwater: Groundwater: F Absolute Ownership Doctrine s Landowners can pump as much as they like (works ~ OK in wet climates like East) F Reasonable Use Doctrine (or American Rule) s Amount of groundwater withdrawn based on reasonable use for aquifer and application s Problems with what is reasonable and managed by permits (control?) Water Pollution & Treatment

35 State Water Laws Groundwater: Groundwater: F Correlative Rights Doctrine (California) s Like absolute rights, but divides between all landowners in area sharing resource s Requires determination of safe yield for aquifer F Prior Appropriation Doctrine s As in surface waters adopted by many states in West Water Pollution & Treatment

36 Federal Water Laws F Refuse Act of 1899 s Can’t discharge refuse into streams (except streets and sewers) F Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1956 F Fish and Wildlife Coordination Act of 1958 s Water resource projects must coordinate with U.S. Fish & Wildlife F National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 s Requires EIS F Water Quality Improvement Act of 1970 s Expanded 1956 Act to include oil and hazardous pollution s Generated R&D funds for mine drainage and Great Lakes Water Pollution & Treatment

37 Federal Water Laws F Clean Water Act of 1972 s Clean up nation’s waters s Funds for sewage treatment and technology F Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) of 1980 s Established Superfund to clean up hazardous waste sites F Hazardous Solid Waste Amendments of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act of 1984 s Regulates underground storage tanks F Water Quality Act of 1987 s Established policy & control of non-point sources of pollution Water Pollution & Treatment

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