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Water Pollution and Hazardous Waste. Shelby Davis Sarah Kincaid Period 6. What is Water Pollution?. Water Pollution- An harmful change (physical, chemical, or biological) in the quality of water that is dangerous to living organisms or makes the water unsuitable for specific uses

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water pollution and hazardous waste

Water Pollution and Hazardous Waste

Shelby Davis

Sarah Kincaid

Period 6

what is water pollution
What is Water Pollution?
  • Water Pollution- An harmful change (physical, chemical, or biological) in the quality of water that is dangerous to living organisms or makes the water unsuitable for specific uses
  • Different types of pollutants that are deleterious towards our water include:
    • Infectious agents, oxygen-demanding wastes, inorganic chemicals, organic chemicals, plant nutrients, sediment, radioactive materials and heat
measuring water quality
Measuring Water Quality
  • In order to test the quality of water:
    • Count the number of colonies of coliform bacteria (The World Health Organization suggests 0 colonies per 100 liters of dinking water)
    • Determining BOD (biological oxygen demand-the amount of dissolved oxygen needed to break organic materials)
    • Using chemical analysis
    • Using living organisms as indicator species
point source non point source pollution
Point Source & Non-Point Source Pollution
  • Point source- pollutants from specific locations (Ex: factories, sewage treatment plants, mines and oil tankers)
  • Non-point source- cannot be traced from a certain area (Ex: acid deposition and sediments, fertilizers and manure coming from agricultural farmland, streets, etc)
river stream pollution
River & Stream Pollution
  • As a result of stream pollution various actions have occurred for cleanup such as:
    • Water pollution control laws which require industries to cease or reduce their point source discharges
    • Because of pollution prevention many rivers, including the Cuyahoga River in Ohio, have been saved from high levels of pollution
oxygen sag curve
Oxygen Sag Curve
  • In a river or stream, as bacteria eliminates dissolved oxygen, there is a reduction of populations of organisms with high oxygen requirements, which purifies the stream of waste
  • An oxygen sag curve represents the dilution and decay of degradable, oxygen-demanding wastes and heat
eutrophication cultural eutrophication
Eutrophication & Cultural Eutrophication
  • Eutrophication- natural nutrient enrichment within lakes
  • Cultural Eutrophication- over-nurishment from to plant nutrients due to human activities
  • Prevention:
    • Bans or limits on cleaning agents
    • Soil conservation
    • Land use control
groundwater pollution
Groundwater Pollution



Monitoring aquifers near landfills

Leak detection systems while storing hazardous liquids

Regulation of hazardous waste in above-ground tank systems

  • Salt water intrusions
  • Chemical dumping
  • Unlined dumps
  • Over-pumping
  • Natural sources

*As we dump and store waste over many years the waste can corrode the tanks and leak

ocean pollution
Ocean Pollution
  • Sources
    • Oil spills
    • Waste disposal
    • Non-point source pollution
  • Effects on Coastal Areas
    • Beach pollution
    • Shellfish contamination
    • Water pollution
    • Habitat destruction
    • Disturbances on the aquatic species
oil spills
Oil Spills


Effects on Ecosystems

Depends on:

Type of oil

Amount released

Distance of release from shore

Time of year


Water conditions

  • Leaks during normal operation of offshore drilling
  • Washing tankers
  • Pipeline and storage tank leaks
solution prevention
Solution & Prevention
  • Primary sewage treatment- the mechanical process that filters out debris and allows floating solids to settle
  • Secondary sewage treatment- a biological process where aerobic bacteria remove oxygen-demanding organic wastes
  • Advanced sewage treatment- specialized chemical and physical processes to remove extra pollutants in the water that are remaining in the water
u s safe drinking water act
U.S. Safe Drinking Water Act
  • The US Safe Drinking Water Act ensures that the quality of our water meets the standards that allows us to be able to drink it
case study the great lakes
Case Study – The Great Lakes
  • The Great Lakes are highly susceptible to pollution even though there are tremendous in size
  • A $20 billion pollution control program has been carried out in order to try and prevent damage to these lakes
case study chesapeake bay
Case Study – Chesapeake Bay
  • The Chesapeake Bay is the largest estuary in the US; however, it has been disturbed by humans
  • Levels of phosphates and nitrates have risen, which results in algal blooms
  • The Chesapeake Bay Program (integrated coastal management) has been put in place to stop destruction
case study the baltic sea
Case Study – The Baltic Sea
  • The Baltic Sea receives a lot of runoff and air water pollutants. Water pollution issues include:
    • Biological magnification of toxins
    • Cultural eutrophication
    • Accidental chemical release
    • Oil pollution
the love canal
The Love Canal
  • During the years of 1942 and 1953, Hooker Chemicals filled the Love Canal (located in New York) with toxins. Later, they filled the canal with clay and topsoil. After this, several homes and other community developments on top of the old canal. Due to the remaining toxins leaking through the clay and topsoil, many people were harmed and received long-term health effects from the exposure
what is solid waste
What is Solid Waste?
  • Solid waste – undesirable material that is not a liquid or gas
  • Municipal solid waste – solid waste that comes from cities or urban areas
  • 75% of the solid waste produced in the United States comes from mining and oil and gas production
what are characteristics of a high waste society
What are Characteristics of a High-Waste Society?
  • It would produce
    • Enough tires to circle the planet three times
    • Almost 2.5 million nonreturnable plastic bottles per hour
    • About 1.5 billion pounds of edible food per year
    • Some 186 billion pieces of junk mail each year
hazardous waste
Hazardous Waste
  • Hazardous waste – discarded solid or liquid that
    • Contains carcinogenic, mutagenic or teratogenic compounds
    • Catches fire easily
    • Is reactive or unstable enough to explode
    • Is capable of corroding metal
case study bhopal india
Case Study – Bhopal, India
  • At a Union Carbide plant there was a gas eruption, creating a toxic cloud of gas. Many illegal squatters were victims. Their eyes, mouths and lungs burned due to this gas. These people were unaware of the gas in the air because the sirens at the plant had been turned off
  • Most victims $600 in compensation
how to produce less waste
How to Produce Less Waste
  • Waste management - a high-waste approach
    • Viewing the waste production as a result of economic growth
  • Waste and pollution prevention - a low-waste approach
    • Recognizing waste as possible resources or harmful substances that we shouldn’t be using
how can we reduce waste
How Can We Reduce Waste
  • Consume less
  • Redesign processes and products to use less material and energy
  • Redesign manufacturing processes to produce less waste
  • Develop easily recyclable products
  • Design long lasting products
  • Eliminate excess packaging
service flow economy
Service Flow Economy
  • Customers lease or rent the services provided
  • A product produced yields more profit because it
    • Uses minimum amounts of materials
    • Has a long duration
    • Is easy to manage and maintain
    • Provides customers with services they desire
reusing waste
Reusing Waste
  • Example- filling an empty soda bottle with water after drinking the soda
  • Advantages- Reusing
    • Extends our resource supplies
    • Reduces energy use
  • Primary (closed loop)- wastes are disposed of to create products of the same type
  • Secondary (down-cycling)- waste is transformed into different and lower quality products

*Case Study: In the year 2000, the United States recycled/composted more municipal solid waste than any other industrialized country has before, which was 30% of all the waste.

detoxifying hazardous waste
Detoxifying Hazardous Waste
  • Bioremediation- the process in which microorganisms and enzymes alter hazardous material into harmless substances
  • Phytoremediation- the process in which contaminants are removed with the use of genetically engineered plants
burning waste
Burning Waste
  • Mass-burn incinerators- machines which burn trash and municipal solid waste
  • Incineration of trash is not always the answer because:
    • Health threats become an issue due to air pollution
what is a sanitary landfill
What is a sanitary landfill?
  • This is a landfill where waste is
    • Disposed of and spread out in thin layers
    • Compacted
    • Covered in clay/plastic foam
case study lead
Case Study – Lead
  • Exposure to lead is hazardous to the nervous system and can lead to symptoms in people who are exposed to it such as:
    • Nervous system impairment
    • A decrease in one’s IQ level
    • A short attention span
    • Hyperactivity
    • Issues regarding one’s hearing
    • Behavior disorders
  • Reducing one’s lead exposure:
    • Testing building for leaded paints
    • Removing lead from piping and other parts of city water systems
    • Diminishing the use of leaded gasoline
resource conservation and recovery act
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
  • Passed in 1984, this act calls for
    • The EPA to identify hazardous wastes and set standards for management
    • Those who dispose of more than 220 pounds of waste must obtain a permit
    • A crave-to-grave system must be used by those with permits to keep order of transferred waste
the superfund
The Superfund
  • The Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (Superfund Program) put many acts and amendments in place
  • It entails the clean up of deserted waste sites
  • Those who left these sites polluted these sites must pay (”polluter pays”)
  • The worst sites are put on the National Priorities list
    • Once on the list- the sites groundwater has to be tested; it is isolated from the public; and there is clean up of the contaminated soil
  • Abandoned and frequently contaminated industrial and commercial sites
  • Examples include:
    • Factories, junkyards, landfills, gas stations