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Chapter 20 Water Pollution.

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1 Chapter 20 Water Pollution

2 Chapter Overview Questions
What pollutes water, where do these pollutants come from, and what effects do they have? What are the major water pollution problems in streams and lakes? What causes groundwater pollution, and how can it be prevented?

3 Chapter Overview Questions (cont’d)
What are the major water pollution problems affecting coastal waters & oceans? How can we prevent and reduce surface water pollution? How safe is drinking water, and how can it be made safer?

4 Case Study: Using Nature to Purify Sewage
Ecological wastewater purification by a living machine. Uses the sun and a series of tanks containing plants, snails, zooplankton, crayfish, and fish (that can be eaten or sold for bait). Water can be purified with UV or O3 and consumed! John Todd, Providence, RI Figure 21-1

5 WATER POLLUTION: SOURCES, TYPES, AND EFFECTS
Water pollution is any chemical, biological, or physical change in water quality that has a harmful effect on living organisms or makes water unsuitable for desired uses. Point source: specific location (drain pipes, ditches, sewer lines). Nonpoint source: cannot be traced to a single site of discharge (atmospheric deposition; agricultural / industrial / residential runoff)

6 WATER POLLUTION: SOURCES
Point source: specific location (drain pipes, ditches, sewer lines).

7 WATER POLLUTION: SOURCES
Nonpoint source: cannot be traced to a single site of discharge (atmospheric deposition; agricultural / industrial / residential runoff)

8 Biological Pollution: Pathogens in Water
Table 21-2, p. 495

9 Major Water Pollutants and Their Effects
A fecal coliform bacteria test is used to indicate the likely presence of disease-causing bacteria in water. The standard for drinking water is zero fecal coliform colonies per culture! Figure 21-2

10 DO: Reduced by Degradeable Wastes, Heat, and Algae Growth from Excess Inorganic Nutrients
Water quality and dissolved oxygen (DO) content in parts per million (ppm) at 20°C. Only a few fish species can survive in water less than 4 ppm at 20°C. Next

11 Dissolved Oxygen For most solutes (sugar, salt, etc):
solubility increases as temperature increases For DO: solubility decreases as temperature increases Next

12 Most solutes….

13 Dissolved Oxygen (DO)

14 DO (ppm) at 20°C Water Quality Good 8–9 Slightly polluted 6.7–8
Moderately polluted 4.5–6.7 Heavily polluted Figure 21.3 Natural capital degradation: water quality and dissolved oxygen (DO) content in parts per million (ppm) at 20°C (68°F). Only a few fish species can survive in water with less than 4 ppm of dissolved oxygen at this temperature. QUESTION: Would you expect the dissolved oxygen content of polluted water to increase or decrease if the water is heated? Explain. Below 4.5 Gravely polluted Below 4 Fig. 21-3, p. 496

15 Water Pollution Problems in Streams
Dilution and decay of degradable, oxygen-demanding wastes and heat in a stream. Next

16 Oxygen Sag Curve Next

17 POLLUTION OF FRESHWATER STREAMS
Flowing streams can recover from a moderate level of degradable water pollutants if they are not overloaded and their flows are not reduced. In a flowing stream, the breakdown of degradable wastes by bacteria depletes DO and creates and oxygen sag curve. This reduces or eliminates populations of organisms with high oxygen requirements.

18 POLLUTION OF FRESHWATER STREAMS
Most developed countries have sharply reduced point-source pollution but toxic chemicals and pollution from nonpoint sources are still a problem. Stream pollution from discharges of untreated sewage and industrial wastes is a major problem in developing countries. 80-90% of raw sewage directly discharged into rivers in developing countries (!).

19 Stream Pollution in Developing Countries
Water in many of central China's rivers are greenish black from uncontrolled pollution by thousands of factories.

20 Stream Pollution in Developing Countries

21 Case Study: India’s Ganges River: Religion, Poverty, and Health
Religious beliefs, cultural traditions, poverty, and a large population interact to cause severe pollution of the Ganges River in India. Very little of the sewage is treated. Hindu believe in cremating the dead to free the soul and throwing the ashes in the holy Ganges. Some are too poor to afford the wood to fully cremate. Decomposing bodies promote disease and depletes DO.

22 Case Study: India’s Ganges River: Religion, Poverty, and Health
Hindu funeral pyre

23 Decorated Funeral Pyre
Incompletely burned bodies cause pollution.

24 Case Study: India’s Ganges River: Religion, Poverty, and Health
Daily, more than 1 million Hindus in India bathe, drink from, or carry out religious ceremonies in the highly polluted Ganges River. Figure 21-6

25 Case Study: India’s Ganges River: Religion, Poverty, and Health

26 Case Study: India’s Ganges River: Religion, Poverty, and Health

27 Case Study: India’s Ganges River: Religion, Poverty, and Health

28 India’s Ganges River

29 Lakes

30 Lake George, NY

31 Lake George, NY

32 Overturn in Lakes

33 POLLUTION OF FRESHWATER LAKES
Dilution of pollutants in lakes is less effective than in most streams because most lake water is not mixed well and has little flow. Lakes and reservoirs are often stratified and undergo little mixing (Low DO in lower layers) Low flow makes them susceptible to runoff. Various human activities can overload lakes with plant nutrients, which decrease DO and kill some aquatic species.

34 Cultural Eutrophication
Eutrophication: the natural nutrient enrichment of a shallow lake, estuary or slow moving stream, mostly from runoff of plant nutrients from the surrounding land. Cultural eutrophication: human activities accelerate the input of plant nutrients (mostly nitrate- and phosphate-containing effluents) to a lake. 85% of large lakes near major population centers in the U.S. have some degree of cultural eutrophication.

35 Cultural Eutrophication
Cultural Eutrophication of lakes causes sudden fish kills when DO drops due to Overpopulated algae respiring at night without producing any O2 via photosynthesis and/or Bacteria respiring as they decompose dead overpopulated algae

36 Acid Rain in Freshwater Lakes

37 POLLUTION OF GROUNDWATER
Groundwater can become contaminated with a variety of chemicals because it cannot effectively cleanse itself and dilute and disperse pollutants. The drinking water for about half of the U.S. population and 95% of those in rural areas comes from groundwater.

38 Unconfined freshwater aquifer
Polluted air Pesticides and fertilizers Hazardous waste injection well Deicing road salt Coal strip mine runoff Buried gasoline and solvent tanks Pumping well Gasoline station Cesspool, septic tank Water pumping well Waste lagoon Sewer Landfill Leakage from faulty casing Accidental spills Figure 21.7 Natural capital degradation: principal sources of groundwater contamination in the United States. Another source is saltwater intrusion from excessive groundwater withdrawal (Figure 14-12, p. 315) (Figure is not drawn to scale.) Discharge Unconfined freshwater aquifer Confined aquifer Confined freshwater aquifer Groundwater flow Fig. 21-7, p. 501

39 POLLUTION OF GROUNDWATER
One way to think about waste: degradability Degradable wastes (urine & fecal matter, dead leaves, food waste) Nondegradable wastes (lead, mercury, arsenic, flouride) are there permanently. Slowly degradable wastes (such as DDT and PCBs) are there for decades. It can take hundreds to thousands of years for contaminated groundwater to cleanse itself of degradable wastes.

40 Contaminant plume moves with the groundwater
Leaking tank Aquifer Water table Bedrock Figure 21.8 Natural capital degradation: groundwater contamination from a leaking gasoline tank. As the contaminated water spreads from its source in a widening plume, it can be extracted by wells used to provide water for drinking and irrigation. Groundwater flow Free gasoline dissolves in groundwater (dissolved phase) Gasoline leakage plume (liquid phase) Migrating vapor phase Water well Contaminant plume moves with the groundwater Fig. 21-8, p. 502

41 POLLUTION OF GROUNDWATER
Over the 21st century, scientists expect to find many millions of leaking underground storage tanks to become a major global health problem.

42 POLLUTION OF GROUNDWATER
Leaks from a number of sources have contaminated groundwater in parts of the world. According the the EPA, one or more organic chemicals contaminate about 45% of municipal groundwater supplies. By 2003, the EPA had completed the cleanup of 297,000 of 436,000 underground tanks leaking gasoline, diesel fuel, home heating oil, or toxic solvents.

43 Case Study: Arsenic in Groundwater - a Natural Threat
Toxic Arsenic (As) can naturally occur at high levels in soil and rocks. Drilling into aquifers can release As into drinking water supplies. According to WHO, more than 112 million people are drinking water with As levels times the 10 ppb standard. Mostly in Bangladesh, China, and West Bengal, India.

44 Groundwater Pollution
Solutions Groundwater Pollution Prevention Cleanup Find substitutes for toxic chemicals Pump to surface, clean, and return to aquifer (very expensive) Keep toxic chemicals out of the environment Inject microorganisms to clean up contamination (less expensive but still costly) Install monitoring wells near landfills and underground tanks Require leak detectors on underground tanks Figure 21.9 Solutions: methods for preventing and cleaning up contamination of groundwater. QUESTION: Which two of these solutions do you think are the most important? Pump nanoparticles of inorganic compounds to remove pollutants (may be the cheapest, easiest, and most effective method but is still being developed) Ban hazardous waste disposal in landfills and injection wells Store harmful liquids in aboveground tanks with leak detection and collection systems Fig. 21-9, p. 504

45 OCEAN POLLUTION The abyssal/benthic zones of open oceans, if they are not overloaded, can disperse and break down large quantities of degradable pollutants.

46 OCEAN POLLUTION But pollution of coastal waters near heavily populated areas is a serious problem. About 40% of the world’s population lives within 160 miles of the coast. The EPA has classified 4 of 5 estuaries as threatened or impaired.

47 and heavy metals in effluents flow into bays and estuaries. CITIES
INDUSTRY Nitrogen oxides from autos and smokestacks, toxic chemicals, and heavy metals in effluents flow into bays and estuaries. CITIES Toxic metals and oil from streets and parking lots pollute waters; URBAN SPRAWL Bacteria and viruses from sewers and septic tanks contaminate shellfish beds CONSTRUCTION SITES Sediments are washed into waterways, choking fish and plants, clouding waters, and blocking sunlight. FARMS Runoff of pesticides, manure, and fertilizers adds toxins and excess nitrogen and phosphorus. RED TIDES Excess nitrogen causes explosive growth of toxicmicroscopic algae, poisoning fish and marine mammals. Closed shellfish beds Closed beach Oxygen-depleted zone Figure 21.10 Natural capital degradation: residential areas, factories, and farms all contribute to the pollution of coastal waters and bays. According to the UN Environment Programme, coastal water pollution costs the world $16 billion annually—$731,000 a minute—due to ill health and premature death. TOXIC SEDIMENTS Chemicals and toxic metals contaminate shellfish beds, kill spawning fish, and accumulate in the tissues of bottom feeders. O2 DEPLETION ZONE Sedimentation and algae overgrowth reduce sunlight, kill beneficial sea grasses, use up oxygen, and degrade habitat. HEALTHY ZONES Clear, oxygen-rich waters promote growth of plankton and sea grasses, and support fish. Fig , p. 505

48 OCEAN POLLUTION Harmful algal blooms (HAB) are caused by explosive growth of harmful algae from sewage and agricultural runoff. Figure 21-11

49 HABs Harmful Algae Blooms
“Red tide” Figure 21-11

50 Oxygen Depletion in the Northern Gulf of Mexico
A large zone of oxygen-depleted water (“dead zone”) forms for half of the year in the Gulf of Mexico as a result of HAB. Next

51 Missouri River Mississippi River Basin Ohio River Mississippi River MS
Figure 21.A Natural capital degradation: a large zone of oxygen-depleted water (less than 2 ppm dissolved oxygen) forms for half of the year in the Gulf of Mexico as a result of oxygen-depleting algal blooms. Evidence indicates that it is created mostly by huge inputs of nitrate (NO3−) and phosphate (PO43−) ions from farms, cities, and factories in the vast Mississippi River basin. The satellite image (bottom left) shows the inputs of such nutrients into the Gulf of Mexico during the summer of In the image, reds and greens represent high concentrations of phytoplankton and river sediment. This problem is worsened by loss of wetlands, which help filter plant nutrients. (NASA) LA LOUISIANA Mississippi River TX Depleted oxygen Gulf of Mexico Gulf of Mexico Fig. 21-A, p. 507

52 Chesapeake Bay Figure 21-12

53 Case Study: The Chesapeake Bay – An Estuary in Trouble
Pollutants from six states contaminate the shallow estuary, but cooperative efforts have reduced some of the pollution inputs. Figure 21-12

54 OCEAN OIL POLLUTION Most ocean oil pollution comes from human activities on land. Studies have shown it takes about 3 years for many forms of marine life to recover from large amounts of crude oil (oil directly from ground). Recovery from exposure to refined oil (fuel oil, gasoline, etc…) can take years for marine life to recover.

55 OCEAN OIL POLLUTION Tanker accidents and blowouts at offshore drilling rigs can be extremely devastating to marine life (especially diving birds, left). Figure 21-13

56 Exxon Valdez oil spill:
OCEAN OIL POLLUTION Exxon Valdez oil spill: March 24, 1989 Prince William Sound, Alaska Single-wall oil tanker runs aground 10.8 million gallons of crude oil spilled Captain was drunk One of the worst single environmental disasters in US history

57 Exxon Valdez

58 Exxon Valdez

59 Exxon Valdez In 1994, a jury awarded plaintiffs $287 million in compensatory damages and $5 billion in punitive damages. Exxon appealed and the Ninth Circuit court reduced the punitive damages to $2.5 billion. Exxon then appealed the punitive damages to the Supreme Court which capped the damages to $507.5 million in June, 2008. On August 27, 2008, Exxon Mobil agreed to pay 75% of the $507.5 million damages ruling to settle the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill off Alaska In June 2009, a federal ruling ordered Exxon to pay an additional $480 million in interest on their delayed punitive damage awards

60 Most ocean oil pollution comes from human activities on land.
But Remember… Most ocean oil pollution comes from human activities on land. Oceanic oil pollution has been considered a low-risk environmental problem… Until April of 2010…

61 BP’s Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

62 BP’s Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill
April 20, 2010, explosion of Deepwater Horizon 11 killed, 17 others injured July 15, 2010, the leak was partially capped 4.9 million barrels (780,000 m3) of crude oil released = million gallons of crude (almost 30x the Exxon Valdez) On September 19, 2010, the relief well process was successfully completed

63 BP’s Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

64 BP’s Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

65 BP’s Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

66 BP’s Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

67 Coastal Water Pollution
Solutions Coastal Water Pollution PREVENTION CLEANUP Reduce input of toxic pollutants Improve oil-spill cleanup capabilities Separate sewage and storm lines Ban dumping of wastes and sewage by maritime and cruise ships in coastal waters Sprinkle nanoparticles over an oil or sewage spill to dissolve the oil or sewage without creating harmful by-products (still under development) Ban ocean dumping of sludge and hazardous dredged material Protect sensitive areas from development, oil drilling, and oil shipping Figure 21.14 Solutions: methods for preventing and cleaning up excessive pollution of coastal waters. QUESTION: Which two of these solutions do you think are the most important? Require at least secondary treatment of coastal sewage Regulate coastal development Use wetlands, solar-aquatic, or other methods to treat sewage Recycle used oil Require double hulls for oil tankers Fig , p. 509

68 USA: Successful on Point Sources, Working on Non-point Sources
The key to reducing nonpoint pollution – most of it from agriculture – is to prevent it from reaching bodies of water. Farmers can reduce runoff by Planting buffers Using low-till & no-till techniques Keeping cropland covered with vegetation Using no fertilizer on steep land Locate feedlots well away from water

69 PREVENTING AND REDUCING SURFACE WATER POLLUTION
Most developed countries use laws to set water pollution standards, but such laws rarely exist in developing countries. The U.S. Clean Water Act (1972) sets standards for allowed levels of key water pollutants and requires polluters to get permits. EPA is experimenting with a discharge trading policy similar to “cap & trade” for air pollution control.

70 Reducing Water Pollution through Sewage Treatment
Septic tanks and various levels of sewage treatment can reduce point-source water pollution. Figure 21-15

71 Manhole cover (for cleanout) Septic tank Gas Distribution box Scum
Wastewater Sludge Drain field (gravel or crushed stone) Figure 21.15 Solutions: septic tank system used for disposal of domestic sewage and wastewater in rural and suburban areas. Vent pipe Perforated pipe Fig , p. 510

72 Reducing Water Pollution through Sewage Treatment
Primary and Secondary sewage treatment. Figure 21-16

73 Physical Processes Biological Processes Primary Treatment
Secondary Treatment Chlorine disinfection tank Bar screen Grit chamber Settling tank Aeration tank Settling tank To river, lake, or ocean Sludge Raw sewage from sewers Activated sludge (kills bacteria) Air pump Sludge digester Figure 21.16 Solutions: primary and secondary sewage treatment. Disposed of in landfill or ocean or applied to cropland, pasture, or rangeland Sludge drying bed Fig , p. 511

74 Reducing Water Pollution through Sewage Treatment
Raw sewage reaching a municipal sewage treatment plant typically undergoes: Primary sewage treatment: a physical process that uses screens and a grit tank to remove large floating objects and allows settling (sludge!) Secondary sewage treatment: a biological process in which aerobic bacteria remove as much as 90% of dissolved and biodegradable, oxygen demanding organic wastes.

75 Reducing Water Pollution through Sewage Treatment
Advanced or tertiary sewage treatment: Uses series of chemical and physical processes to remove specific pollutants left over (especially nitrates and phosphates). Water is chlorinated to remove coloration and to kill disease-carrying bacteria and some viruses (disinfect). Ozone or UV light may also be used to sanitize sewage treatment effluent

76 Reducing Water Pollution through Sewage Treatment
Sewage sludge can be used as a soil conditioner but this can cause health problems if it contains infectious bacteria and/or toxic chemicals. Preventing toxic chemicals from reaching sewage treatment plants would eliminate such chemicals from the sludge and water discharged from such plants.

77 Odors may cause illness or indicate presence of harmful gases.
Dust Particles Particles of dried sludge carry viruses and harmful bacteria that can be inhaled, infect cuts or enter homes. BUFFER ZONE Exposure Children may walk or play in fertilized fields. Livestock Poisoning Cows may die after grazing on sludge-treated fields. Sludge Groundwater Contamination Harmful chemicals and pathogens may leach into groundwater and shallow wells. Surface Runoff Harmful chemicals and pathogens may pollute nearby streams,lakes, ponds, and wetlands. Figure 21.17 Natural capital degradation: some potential problems with using sludge from sewage treatment plants as a fertilizer on croplands. The EPA says that sludge is safe to use if applied following its guidelines. Scientists and people who have gotten sick from exposure to sludge fertilizer claim that the guidelines are inadequate and not well enforced. Fig , p. 513

78 Humboldt County, California decided to treat wastewater as a resource rather than a problem, and built the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary. The marsh relies on natural systems to filter the city’s sewage.

79 Reducing Water Pollution through Sewage Treatment
Natural and artificial wetlands and other ecological systems can be used to treat sewage. California created a 65 hectare wetland near Humboldt Bay that acts as a natural wastewater treatment plant for the town of 16,000 people. The project cost less than half of the estimated price of a conventional treatment plant.

80 Reducing Water Pollution through Sewage Treatment
Water pollution laws have significantly improved water quality in many U.S. streams and lakes but there is a long way to go. Some want to strengthen the U.S. Clean Water Act (CWA) to prevent rather than focusing on end-of-the-pipe removal. Many farmers and developers see the CWA as limiting their rights as property owners to fill in wetlands.

81 DRINKING WATER QUALITY
Centralized water treatment plants and… watershed protection can provide safe drinking water for city dwellers in developed countries.

82 Watering the Big Apple (NYC)
90% of NYC water comes from the Catskill Mountains in upstate New York

83

84 Water for NYC 1997- NYC faced a $6 billion upgrade to build water purification facilities Instead, NYC negotiated a $1.5 billion, 10 yr agreement with towns, farmers, & NY state to protect & restore forests, wetlands, & streams in the Catskills watershed. Savings realized by relying on natural purification: $4.5 billion, PLUS $300 million per year saved in filtration costs

85 DRINKING WATER QUALITY
Simpler and cheaper ways can be used to purify drinking water for developing countries. Exposing water to heat and the sun’s UV rays in a plastic bottle for 3 hours can kill infectious microbes. 30%-40% reduction in dangerous childhood diarrhea. “Lifestraws” Inexpensive UV exposure facilities (per FLOW video) In the works: handheld carbon nanotube filters

86 Lifestraws in Action

87 LifeStraw Personal filters a minimum of 700 litres of water, enough for one person for one year.
LifeStraw Family filters a minimum of 18,000 litres of water, providing safe drinking water for a family for more than two years. It removes % of waterborne bacteria, 99.99% of viruses, and 99.9% of parasites.

88 Using Laws to Protect Drinking Water
While most developed countries have drinking water quality standards and laws, most developing countries do not. The U.S Safe Drinking Water Act requires the EPA to establish national drinking water standards (maximum contaminant levels) for any pollutant that may have adverse effects on human health.

89 Using Laws to Protect Drinking Water
The U.N. estimates that 5.6 million Americans drink water that does not meet EPA standards. 1 in 5 Americans drinks water from a treatment plant that violated one or more safety standard. Industry pressures to weaken the Safe Drinking Act: Eliminate national tests and public notification of violations. Allow rights to pollute if provider cannot afford to comply.

90 Is Bottled Water the Answer?
Some bottled water is often not as pure as tap water and costs much more. 40% of bottled water is contaminated with bacteria and/or fungi 1.4 million metric tons of plastic bottles are thrown away per year. Fossil fuels are used to make plastic bottles. The oil used to produce plastic bottles in the U.S. each year would fuel 100,000 cars.

91 • Prevent groundwater contamination
Solutions Water Pollution • Prevent groundwater contamination • Reduce nonpoint runoff • Reuse treated wastewater for irrigation (“purple pipe”) • Find substitutes for toxic pollutants • Work with nature to treat sewage • Practice 5 R's of resource use (refuse, reduce, recycle, reuse, repurpose) Figure 21.18 Solutions: methods for preventing and reducing water pollution. QUESTION: Which two of these solutions do you think are the most important? • Reduce air pollution • Reduce poverty • Reduce birth rates Fig , p. 517

92 • Minimize your use of pesticides.
What Can You Do? Water Pollution • Fertilize garden and yard plants with manure or compost instead of commercial inorganic fertilizer. • Minimize your use of pesticides. • Do not apply fertilizer or pesticides near a body of water. • Grow or buy organic foods. • Do not drink bottled water unless tests show that your tap water is contaminated. Merely refill and reuse plastic or stainless steel bottles with tap water. Figure 21.19 Individuals matter: ways to help reduce water pollution. QUESTION: Which three of these actions do you think are the most important? • Compost your food wastes. • Do not use water fresheners in toilets. • Do not flush unwanted medicines down the toilet. • DO NOT POUR pesticides, paints, solvents, oil, antifreeze, or other products containing harmful chemicals down the drain or onto the ground. Fig , p. 517


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