Coastal Pollution - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Coastal Pollution

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  1. Coastal Pollution • Sewage, industrial waste, soil nutrients, power plant thermal, agriculture runoff, oil seeps & mistakes, dumping, outboard motors, plastics, dumping, dredging wastes, fish processing, etc.

  2. Implications • Biological responses (individual fitness & mortality, food web structure, etc.) • Eutrophication • Habitat change • Human health • Smell

  3. The cynical viewpoint… • The ultimate solution to pollution is infinite dilution… • So, dump pollutants in the infinite reservoir, the ocean

  4. The cynical viewpoint… • Makes some sense • Economic & societal costs for land-based disposal are high • We can’t see it!! • But, what is “infinite dilution” • What are “safe” concentrations?

  5. What does the So Cal Bight Get?


  6. Point Sources • Discharge pollution from a specific location • sewage discharge, power plant effluent, oil produced water outlet, river, etc. • Relatively easy to identify, monitor and treat the wastes • Need discharge permit

  7. Non-Point Sources • No specific discharge location • Run-off from ag, urban, roads, etc. • Ship leaks, bilges, etc. • Rainfall sweeps the accumulated pollutants into waterways & to the ocean • Harder to identify, treat & manage

  8. Wastewater Discharges • Largest source of freshwater inputs to the SoCal Bight • Both treated sewage disposal & power plant coolant

  9. Waterborne Pathogens

  10. Wastewater Discharges

  11. Wastewater Discharges secondary primary raw

  12. Primary Sewage Treatment • separates out the large solids, sand, and gravel • then put into settling ponds where the sludge settles out

  13. Secondary Sewage Treatment • biological degradation of organic compounds • bacteria ‘eats’ the nutrients in the waste and decomposes them • followed by chlorine, ozone, or UV light treatment

  14. Tertiary Sewage Treatment • removes nitrates and phosphates that could cause algal blooms • wetlands can do this naturally

  15. Management of a Discharge • Pollutant values need to be monitored • Does the discharge meet is requirements? • Need some metric of relevant pollutant • Measure indicator organism abundance • Hope these are related to epidemiology

  16. Beach closure: Performed by the local Agency (County, or District) Intended to protect public health Regulated through AB411 in CA

  17. What’s measured: Indicator bacteria Total Coliform Fecal Streptococcus Fecal Coliform Escherichia Enterococcus E. Coli

  18. Confounding Issues • Stormwater • Leaky Septic Tanks • Boats… • Birds, Dogs, Natural wildlife

  19. Waterborne Pathogens

  20. Other Materials • Heavy metals • mercury, lead, nickel • highly toxic, persistent, and bio-accumulate • result from industrial activities • Organic Compounds • PCB, DDT, herbicides, etc. • DDT is most concerning

  21. Surface sediment contamination LA County discharge off Palos Verdes

  22. Montrose Chemical Now a superfund site Dumped TONS of DDT down sewer Ceased production in 1982 DDT has a 15 year ½ life Bioaccumulates in some organisms

  23. DDE is the breakdown product of DDT

  24. Wastewater Discharges • Largest source of freshwater to SoCal Bight • Discharges include treated sewage, sludge & contaminants • Primary, secondary & tertiary levels of treatment • History of sewage technology is seen in water quality of beaches • Montrose chemical plant created the DDT problem

  25. Bioaccumulation • Some organisms accumulate pollutants (both metals & organics) in their tissues • Biomagnification is where accumulation increases up a trophic food chain • Well known cases are Hg, PCB, Pb (also algal toxins) • Huge public health issue • Some monitoring in place

  26. Mussel Watch Programs

  27. Regulations • Marine Protection, Research & Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA) • Passed in 1972 • Regulates ocean dumping • Bans radioactive, medical, sludge & industrial dumping • Regulates others

  28. Point Sources

  29. Regulations • Clean Water Act • Passed in 1972 amended in 1977 (???) • Regulates point source discharges • Requires a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit • Compliance is mandated by monitoring

  30. EPA’s Clean Water Act “big picture”

  31. Present NPDES Permits from EPA

  32. Summary • Sources of pollutants to CA Current • Mostly wastewater but others are important • Bioaccumulation & biomagnification • Regulations – MPRSA & CWA