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Types and Sources of Water Pollution #1 problem - Eroded soils Organic wastes, disease-causing agents Chemicals, nutrients Radioactive stuff, heat
Point and Nonpoint Sources NONPOINT SOURCES Urban streets Suburban development Wastewater treatment plant Rural homes Cropland Factory Animal feedlot POINT SOURCES
Major Problem: Drinking Water Safe Drinking Water Act EPA: Maximum contaminant levels (municipal, but not rural and private) 1/2 of world’s people drink polluted water
Pollution of Surface Water: Streams D.O., B.O.D., fecal coliform bacteria count
Pollution of Surface Water: Lakes Cultural eutrophication Slow turnover Accumulation of nutrients, excessive plant growth, algae blooms
Case Study: The Great Lakes
Mississippi River Basin Missouri River Ohio River Mississippi River LOUISIANA Mississippi River Depleted Oxygen Gulf of Mexico Dead Zone
Suffocated fish Low dissolved oxygen Decreased fish population Altered food web Thermal Pollution
Groundwater Pollution: Sources Low flow rates Few bacteria Cold temperatures Coal strip mine runoff Pumping well Waste lagoon Accidental spills Groundwater flow Confined aquifer Discharge Leakage from faulty casing Hazardous waste injection well Pesticides Gasoline station Buried gasoline and solvent tank Sewer Cesspool septic tank De-icing road salt Unconfined freshwater aquifer Confined freshwater aquifer Water pumping well Landfill
Groundwater Pollution Prevention Monitoring aquifers - expensive Leak detection systems Strictly regulating hazardous waste disposal Protecting recharge areas - aquifer classifications Protecting recharge areas - aquifer classifications
Ocean Pollution: dumping and oil
Oil Spills Sources: offshore wells, tankers, pipelines and storage tanks Effects: death of organisms, loss of animal insulation and buoyancy, smothering Significant economic impacts Short-term cleanup problems - beaches, wildlife Long-term cleanup problem - persistence (decades)
Case Study: Chesapeake Bay Largest US estuary Relatively shallow Slow “flushing” action to Atlantic Major problems with dissolved O 2
Solutions: Preventing and Reducing Surface Water Pollution Nonpoint Sources Point Sources Reduce runoff Buffer zone vegetation Reduce soil erosion Reduce soil erosion Water Pollution Control Act (1972) Water Pollution Control Act (1972) Clean Water Act (1977) - set effluent standards - secondary treatment Clean Water Act (1977) - set effluent standards - secondary treatment
Technological Approach: Septic Systems Require suitable soils and maintenance
Technological Approach: Sewage Treatment Mechanical and biological treatment
Technological Approach: Advanced Sewage Treatment Removes specific pollutants
Technological Approach: Using Wetlands to Treat Sewage
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