Water Pollution

8,049 views

Published on

Published in: Education
2 Comments
4 Likes
Statistics
Notes
No Downloads
Views
Total views
8,049
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
2
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
228
Comments
2
Likes
4
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Water Pollution

  1. 1. Water PollutionSubmitted To:- Miss NusratSubmitted By:- Muhammad Sajjad (907) BS (hons) 6th Semester (2009-13) Department of Geography, Govt. College University Faisalabad Ph# +923346544625Govt. College University Faisalabad 1
  2. 2. ContentsWater Pollution......................................................................................................................... 1Govt. College University Faisalabad.......................................................................................... 1Contents................................................................................................................................... 21.What is Pollution ................................................................................................................... 42.Water Pollution...................................................................................................................... 43.Introduction to H2O............................................................................................................... 84.Basic Types of Water Pollution.............................................................................................. 9 a)Surface Water Pollution..................................................................................................... 9 b)Groundwater Pollution.................................................................................................... 10 c)Microbiological Pollution................................................................................................. 10 d)Oxygen Depletion Pollution............................................................................................. 10 e)Nutrient Pollution............................................................................................................ 10 f)Suspended Matter Pollution............................................................................................. 11 g)Chemical Pollution........................................................................................................... 115.Major Types of Pollutants.................................................................................................... 11 a)Petroleum Products......................................................................................................... 11 b)Pesticides and Herbicides ............................................................................................... 11 c)Heavy Metals................................................................................................................... 12 d)Hazardous Wastes .......................................................................................................... 12 e)Excess Organic Matter .................................................................................................... 13 f)Sediment ......................................................................................................................... 13 g)Infectious Organisms ...................................................................................................... 13 h)Thermal Pollution ........................................................................................................... 146.Sources of Water Pollutants................................................................................................ 14 a)Point Source..................................................................................................................... 14 b)Non Point Source............................................................................................................. 14 2
  3. 3. 7.Solutions to Water Pollution................................................................................................ 17 7.1.What kind of daily footprints do you leave? Are they large and deep or small and light?......................................................................................................................................................... 17 7.2.Solutions to Water Pollution #1 Enforce Existing Laws................................................. 18 7.3.Solutions to Water Pollution #2 – Stop Nutrient and Pesticide Pollution .....................18 7.4.Solutions to Water Pollution #3 – Drive Less................................................................ 18 7.5.Solutions to Water Pollution #4 – Use Green Household and Personal Care Products . 19 7.6.Solutions to Water Pollution #5 – Use Less Plastic and Don’t Litter ..............................19 8.Case Study (Toxic Mud Spill Latest Insult to Polluted Danube River) ................................... 19 9.Laws for Water pollution..................................................................................................... 20 10.Water Treatment .............................................................................................................. 22 a)Industrial water treatment.............................................................................................. 22 b)Denitrification.................................................................................................................. 22 c)Septic tanks and sewage treatment................................................................................. 23 d)Ozone wastewater treatment.......................................................................................... 23 11.National Drinking Water Standards................................................................................... 25 12.Federal water Legislation................................................................................................... 28 3
  4. 4. 1. What is Pollution Pollution is a word that you hear almost every day in the news, at school and in day-to-day conversations. Our society has produced many kinds of pollution; some are more dangerous than others. Scientists are constantly studying how the different types of pollution affect the environment and how it can be controlled. Much has been done to reduce and control pollution, but there is still more that needs to be done (Monty C. Dozier 2005). Contamination of Earth’s environment with materials that interfere with human health, the quality of life, or the natural functioning of ecosystems (living organisms and their physical surroundings) is called pollution (Microsoft ® Encarta ® Encyclopedia 2005 © 1993-2004 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved). The pollution could be• Air Pollution• Water Pollution• Noise Pollution• Solid waste• E- Waste• Soil Pollution• Radiation Pollution2. Water Pollution The demand for fresh water rises continuously as the world’s population grows. From 1940 to 1990 withdrawals of fresh water from rivers, lakes, reservoirs, and other sources increased fourfold. Of the water consumed in the United States in 1995, 39 percent was used for irrigation, 39 percent was used for electric power generation, and 12 percent was used for other utilities; industry and mining used 7 percent, and the rest was used for agricultural livestock and commercial purposes. Sewage, industrial wastes, and agricultural chemicals such as fertilizers and pesticides are the main causes of water pollution. The U.S. Environmental Protection 4
  5. 5. Agency (EPA) reports that about 37 percent of the country’s lakes and estuaries, and 36 percent of its rivers, are too polluted for basic uses such as fishing or swimming during all or part of the year. In developing nations, more than 95 percent of urban sewage is discharged untreated into rivers and bays, creating a major human health hazard. Most types of water pollution only affect the immediate area but sometimes the pollution can travel hundreds or thousands of miles and then it is called transboundary pollution. Canada flushes some 200 billion liters of raw sewage directly into natural waterways every year, from the St. Lawrence River to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Pacific Ocean. That’s only a fraction of the three trillion liters of sewage Canadians produce annually—about 6 percent, in fact—but it’s still enough to fill more than 40,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools ( Larry West 2010). Water pollution refers to the degradation of water quality. Water Pollution occurs when the water becomes overloaded with too much of one thing and the aquatic organisms cannot keep up with their cleaning responsibilities. Some organisms may die and others may grow too fast. Water pollutant include heavy metals, sediments, certain radioactive Isotopes, heat, fecal coliform bacteria, Phosphorus, Nitrogen, Sodium, and other useful elements as well as certain photogenic bacteria and viruses. What is a pollutant? “A pollutant is any biological, physical or chemical substance that in an identifiableexcess in known to be harmful to other desirable living organisms” Today the primary water pollution problem in the world is the lack of clean, disease free drinking water. In the past, epidemics of waterborne disease such as cholera have been responsible for the deaths of people in the United States. It is the fundamental principle that the quality of water determines its potential uses. The major uses of water today are agriculture, industrial processes, and domestic 5
  6. 6. supply. Water for domestic supply must be free of pollutants like insecticides,pesticides, pathogens, and heavy metals. It should taste good, should be odorless, andshould not be harmful to plumbing and household appliances. The quality of water forindustrial use varies widely depending on the process involved, some process mayinvolved distilled water, other need water that is not highly corrosive or that is free ofparticles that could clog or otherwise damage the equipment. The pollution of rivers and streams with chemical contaminants has become oneof the most critical environmental problems of the century. The marine fisheriessupported by ocean ecosystems are an essential source of protein, particularly forpeople in developing countries. Water pollution is a major global problem which requires ongoing evaluation andrevision of water resource policy at all levels (international down to individualaquifers and wells). It has been suggested that it is the leading worldwide cause ofdeaths and diseases, and that it accounts for the deaths of more than 14,000 peopledaily. An estimated 700 million Indians have no access to a proper toilet, and 1,000Indian children die of diarrheal sickness every day. Some 90% of Chinas cities sufferfrom some degree of water pollution, and nearly 500 million people lack access tosafe drinking water. In addition to the acute problems of water pollution in developingcountries, developed countries continue to struggle with pollution problems as well.In the most recent national report on water quality in the United States, 45 percent ofassessed stream miles, 47 percent of assessed lake acres, and 32 percent ofassessed bays and estuarine square miles were classified as polluted. Water istypically referred to as polluted when it is impaired by anthropogenic contaminantsand either does not support a human use, such as drinking water, and/or undergoes amarked shift in its ability to support its constituent biotic communities, such as fish.Natural phenomena such as volcanoes, algae blooms, storms, and earthquakes alsocause major changes in water quality and the ecological status of water. 6
  7. 7. Polluted River in the United Kingdom The pollution of rivers and streams with chemical contaminants has become one of the mostcritical environmental problems of the 20th century. Waterborne chemical pollution entering rivers andstreams comes from two major sources: point pollution and nonpoint pollution. Point pollution involvesthose pollution sources from which distinct chemicals can be identified, such as factories, refineries oroutfall pipes. Nonpoint pollution involves pollution from sources that cannot be precisely identified, such asrunoff from agricultural or mining operations or seepage from septic tanks or sewage drain fields. It isestimated that each year 10 million people die worldwide from drinking contaminated water. Oxford Scientific Films/Ben Osborne Microsoft ® Encarta ® Encyclopedia 2005. © 1993-2004 Microsoft Corporation. Yet pollution in coastal bays, estuaries, and wetlands threatens fish stocks already depleted by overfishing. In 1989, 260,000 barrels of oil was spilled from the oil tanker 7
  8. 8. Exxon Valdez into Alaska’s Prince William Sound, a pristine and rich fishing ground. In 1999 there were 8,539 reported spills in and around U.S. waters, involving 4.4 billion liters (1.2 billion gallons) of oil. Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Cleanup Workers wash the shoreline on Latouche Island, Alaska, after the Exxon Valdez oil tanker ranaground in 1989, dumping more than 38 million liters (more than 10 million gallons) of oil into PrinceWilliam Sound. The resulting environmental damage prompted the United States Congress to pass federalsafety requirements for oil tankers and barges and to assign the principal cost of spill cleanup to oilcompanies. Photo Researchers, Inc./Vanessa Vick Microsoft ® Encarta ® Encyclopedia 2005. © 1993-2004 Microsoft Corporation.3. Introduction to H2O Water, common name applied to the liquid state of the hydrogen-oxygen compound H2O. The ancient philosophers regarded water as a basic element typifying all liquid substances. Scientists did not discard that view until the latter half of the 18th century. In 1781 the British chemist Henry Cavendish synthesized water by 8
  9. 9. detonating a mixture of hydrogen and air. However, the results of his experiments were not clearly interpreted until two years later, when the French chemist Antoine Laurent Lavoisier proved that water was not an element but a compound of oxygen and hydrogen. In a scientific paper presented in 1804, the French chemist Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac and the German naturalist Alexander von Humboldt demonstrated jointly that water consisted of two volumes of hydrogen to one of oxygen, as expressed by the present-day formula H2O. Water is the major constituent of living matter. From 50 to 90 percent of the weight of living organisms is water. Protoplasm, the basic material of living cells, consists of a solution in water of fats, carbohydrates, proteins, salts, and similar chemicals. Water acts as a solvent, transporting, combining, and chemically breaking down these substances. Blood in animals and sap in plants consist largely of water and serve to transport food and remove waste material. Water also plays a key role in the metabolic breakdown of such essential molecules as proteins and carbohydrates. This process, called hydrolysis, goes on continually in living cells. (Microsoft ® Encarta ® Encyclopedia 2005 © 1993-2004 Microsoft Corporation.)4. Basic Types of Water Pollutiona) Surface Water Pollution Surface water pollution is the most visible form of pollution and we can see it floating on our waters in lakes, streams, and oceans. 9
  10. 10. Trash from human consumption, such as water bottles, plastics and other waste products, is most often evident on water surfaces. This type of pollution also comes from oil spills and gasoline waste, which float on the surface and affect the water and its inhabitants.b) Groundwater Pollution This type of pollution is becoming more and more relevant because it affects our drinking water and the aquifers below the soil. Groundwater pollution is usually caused by highly toxic chemicals and pesticides from farming that leak through the ground to contaminate the wells and aquifers below the surface.c) Microbiological Pollution Microbiological pollution is the natural form of water pollution that is caused by microorganisms in uncured water. Most of these organisms are harmless but some bacteria, viruses, and protozoa can cause serious diseases such as cholera and typhoid. This is a significant problem for people in third world countries who have no clean drinking water and/or facilities to cure the water.d) Oxygen Depletion Pollution Microorganisms that thrive in water feed on biodegradable substances. When there is an influx of biodegradable material from such things as waste or erosion from farming, the numbers of these microorganisms increase and utilize the obtainable oxygen. When these oxygen levels are depleted, harmless aerobic microorganisms die and anaerobic microorganisms thrive. Some of these organisms produce damaging toxins like sulfide and ammonia.e) Nutrient Pollution Nutrients are usually found in wastewater and fertilizers. These can cause excess vegetation in the water such as algae and weeds, using up the oxygen in the water and hurting the surrounding marine life and other organisms in the water. 10
  11. 11. f) Suspended Matter Pollution This type of pollution occurs when pollutants enter the water and do not mix in with the water molecules. These suspended particles form fine silt on the waterbed, harming the marine life by taking away the nutrients and disturbing their habitat.g) Chemical Pollution Due to the nature of industry these days and the mass production in industrial plants and farms, we have a lot of chemical run-off that flows into the nearby rivers and water sources. Metals and solvents flow out of factories and into the water, polluting the water and harming the wildlife. Pesticides from farms are like poison to the wildlife in the water and kill and endanger the aquatic life. If birds or humans eat these infected fish the toxins are transferred to us and we swallow these dangerous pesticides and toxins, affecting our health. Petroleum is a different type of chemical pollutant that dramatically affects the aquatic life. This oil kills the fish and marine life and sticks to the feathers of birds, causing them to lose their ability to fly.5. Major Types of Pollutantsa) Petroleum Products Oil and chemicals derived from oil are used for fuel, lubrication, plastics manufacturing, and many other purposes. These petroleum products get into water mainly by means of accidental spills from ships, tanker trucks, pipelines, and leaky underground storage tanks. Many petroleum products are poisonous if ingested by animals, and spilled oil damages the feathers of birds or the fur of animals, often causing death. In addition, spilled oil may be contaminated with other harmful substances, such as polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).b) Pesticides and Herbicides Chemicals used to kill unwanted animals and plants, for instance on farms or in suburban yards, may be collected by rainwater runoff and carried into streams, especially if these substances are applied too lavishly. Some of these chemicals are biodegradable and quickly decay into harmless or less harmful forms, while others are non biodegradable and remain dangerous for a long time. 11
  12. 12. When animals consume plants that have been treated with certain non biodegradable chemicals, such as chlordane and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT), these chemicals are absorbed into the tissues or organs of the animals. When other animals feed on these contaminated animals, the chemicals are passed up the food chain. With each step up the food chain, the concentration of the pollutant increases. In one study, DDT levels in ospreys (a family of fish-eating birds) were found to be 10 to 50 times higher than in the fish that they ate, 600 times the level in the plankton that the fish ate, and 10 million times higher than in the water. Animals at the top of food chains may, as a result of these chemical concentrations, suffer cancers, reproductive problems, and death. Many drinking water supplies are contaminated with pesticides from widespread agricultural use. More than 14 million Americans drink water contaminated with pesticides, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 10 percent of wells contain pesticides. Nitrates, a pollutant often derived from fertilizer runoff, can cause methemoglobinemia in infants, a potentially lethal form of anemia that is also called blue baby syndrome.c) Heavy Metals Heavy metals such as copper, lead, mercury, and selenium, get into water from many sources, including industries, automobile exhaust, mines, and even natural soil. Like pesticides, heavy metals become more concentrated as animals feed on plants and are consumed in turn by other animals. When they reach high levels in the body, heavy metals can be immediately poisonous, or can result in long-term health problems similar to those caused by pesticides and herbicides. For example, cadmium in fertilizer derived from sewage sludge can be absorbed by crops. If these crops are eaten by humans in sufficient amounts, the metal can cause diarrhea and, over time, liver and kidney damage. Lead can get into water from lead pipes and solder in older water systems; children exposed to lead in water can suffer mental retardation.d) Hazardous Wastes Hazardous wastes are chemical wastes that are either toxic (poisonous), reactive (capable of producing explosive or toxic gases), corrosive (capable of corroding steel), or ignitable (flammable). If improperly treated or stored, hazardous wastes can pollute water supplies. In 1969 the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio, was so 12
  13. 13. polluted with hazardous wastes that it caught fire and burned. PCBs, a class of chemicals once widely used in electrical equipment such as transformers, can get into the environment through oil spills and can reach toxic levels as organisms eat one another.e) Excess Organic Matter Fertilizers and other nutrients used to promote plant growth on farms and in gardens may find their way into water. At first, these nutrients encourage the growth of plants and algae in water. However, when the plant matter and algae die and settle underwater, microorganisms decompose them. In the process of decomposition, these microorganisms consume oxygen that is dissolved in the water. Oxygen levels in the water may drop to such dangerously low levels that oxygen-dependent animals in the water, such as fish, die. This process of depleting oxygen to deadly levels is called Eutrophication.f) Sediment Sediment, soil particles carried to a streambed, lake, or ocean, can also be a pollutant if it is present in large enough amounts. Soil erosion produced by the removal of soil-trapping trees near waterways, or carried by rainwater and floodwater from croplands, strip mines, and roads, can damage a stream or lake by introducing too much nutrient matter. This leads to eutrophication. Sedimentation can also cover streambed gravel in which many fish, such as salmon and trout, lay their eggs.g) Infectious Organisms A 1994 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that about 900,000 people get sick annually in the United States because of organisms in their drinking water, and around 900 people die. Many disease-causing organisms that are present in small numbers in most natural waters are considered pollutants when found in drinking water. Such parasites as Giardia lamblia and Cryptosporidium parvum occasionally turn up in urban water supplies. These parasites can cause illness, especially in people who are very old or very young, and in people who are already suffering from other diseases. In 1993 an outbreak of Cryptosporidium in the water supply of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, sickened more than 400,000 people and killed more than 100. 13
  14. 14. h) Thermal Pollution Water is often drawn from rivers, lakes, or the ocean for use as a coolant in factories and power plants. The water is usually returned to the source warmer than when it was taken. Even small temperature changes in a body of water can drive away the fish and other species that were originally present, and attract other species in place of them. Thermal pollution can accelerate biological processes in plants and animals or deplete oxygen levels in water. The result may be fish and other wildlife deaths near the discharge source. Thermal pollution can also be caused by the removal of trees and vegetation that shade and cool streams.6. Sources of Water Pollutants Pollution entering rivers and streams can be classified according to the nature ofits sources. It could bea) Point Source Point source pollution (PS) comes directly from a known source like an industrial orsewage outfall pipe. Point sources are typically associated with manufacturing processes.However, point sources also include discharges from water treatment plants and largeanimal feeding operations.b) Non Point Source Nonpoint source pollution (NPS) can be defined as pollution that comes from manymiscellaneous or diffuse sources rather than from an identifiable, specific point. Nonpointsource pollution can originate from urban environments such as yards in neighborhoodsor from agricultural production areas such as crop fields. Chemicals, waste products andsoil that are carried by rain into streams or rivers become a part of NPS. Commonexamples are fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides, spilled motor oil and wastes from pets,wildlife and livestock. Other significant sources of NPS include• Litter• Disposal of wastes in catch basins• Hazardous waste improperly stored or discarded• Improperly operating septic systems• Erosion from construction sites, farms or home sites• Acid deposition including acid rain and fog 14
  15. 15. • Pollution from roadways and road salting activities• Leaking sewer lines• Discharge of sewage and garbage from ships and boats• Improper use of fertilizers and pesticides• Cleansers and other compounds used on ships in the urban or agriculture environment and boats to prevent barnacles and algae from accumulating• Animal feeding operations Water pollutants result from many human activities. Pollutants from industrial sources may pour out from the outfall pipes of factories or may leak from pipelines and underground storage tanks. Polluted water may flow from mines where the water has leached through mineral-rich rocks or has been contaminated by the chemicals used in processing the ores. Cities and other residential communities contribute mostly sewage, with traces of household chemicals mixed in. Sometimes industries discharge pollutants into city sewers, increasing the variety of pollutants in municipal areas. Pollutants from such agricultural sources as farms, pastures, feedlots, and ranches contribute animal wastes, agricultural chemicals, and sediment from erosion. The oceans, vast as they are, are not invulnerable to pollution. Pollutants reach the sea from adjacent shorelines, from ships, and from offshore oil platforms. Sewage and food waste discarded from ships on the open sea do little harm, but plastics thrown overboard can kill birds or marine animals by entangling them, choking them, or blocking their digestive tracts if swallowed. Water pollution can also be caused by other types of pollution. For example, sulfur dioxide from a power plant’s chimney begins as air pollution. The polluted air mixes with atmospheric moisture to produce airborne sulfuric acid, which falls to the earth as acid rain. In turn, the acid rain can be carried into a stream or lake, becoming a form of water pollution that can harm or even eliminate wildlife. Similarly, the garbage in a landfill can create water pollution if rainwater percolating through the garbage absorbs toxins before it sinks into the soil and contaminates the underlying groundwater (water that is naturally stored underground in beds of gravel and sand, called aquifers). 15
  16. 16. Pollution: From Air to Water Emissions from the burning of fossil fuels, especially oxides of sulfur, nitrogen, or carbon,combine with water vapor in the air to form acids. These acids fall to earth as acid rain, acid snow, andacid deposition. Flowing water carries these acids into streams and lakes, where they can damage delicatelake ecosystems. © Microsoft Corporation. All Rights Reserved. Microsoft ® Encarta ® Encyclopedia 2005. © 1993-2004 Microsoft Corporation. Categories of Water Pollutants Pollutant Category Examples of Sources Dead organic Raw sewage, agriculture waste, urban garbage matter Pathogens Human and animal excrement and urine Organic Agriculture use of pesticides and herbicides chemicals 16
  17. 17. Nutrients Phosphorus and nitrogen from agriculture and urban land use Agriculture, urban, and industrial use of mercury, lead, Heavy metals selenium, cadmium and so on Sulfuric acid from coal and some metal mines: industrial Acids processes that dispose of acids improperly Runoff from construction sites, agriculture runoff, and natural Sediment erosion Warm to hot water from power plants and other industrial Heat facilities Contamination by nuclear power industry, military and natural Radio activity sources Source:7. Solutions to Water Pollution The key solutions to water pollution come down to individual responsibility because we all have a direct impact on the environment. From the toilet we flush to the garbage we throw away, we stamp our footprints into our environment on a daily basis.7.1. What kind of daily footprints do you leave? Are they large and deep or small and light? While millions of people take advantage of common conveniences such as buying plastics or driving cars, our environment is slowly being degraded. For example, the 17
  18. 18. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has designated 40 percent of our rivers and lakes as unsafe for swimming and fishing.7.2. Solutions to Water Pollution #1 Enforce Existing Laws Our first solution to water pollution, therefore, is pretty simple – tell your politicians to enforce existing laws. When a politician touts his new anti-pollution bill that he claims will clean up the environment, it means little if they continue to allow existing laws to go unenforced. Tell your politicians what you think. Encourage them to enforce existing laws such as the Clean Water Act. Beyond enforcing laws, there are some practical steps that we can take as individuals to limit the pollution in our neighborhoods and cities.7.3. Solutions to Water Pollution #2 – Stop Nutrient and Pesticide Pollution If you are putting “normal” fertilizer, pesticides, and other chemicals on your lawn or in your gardens, you are contributing to the pollution problem. While you may find these products helpful, much of their volume is being washed off your lawn and into the nearest waterway. They also tend to degrade the quality of your soil, causing more and more reliance on the chemicals over time.7.4. Solutions to Water Pollution #3 – Drive Less Nitrogen deposition from air pollution is a big part of the nutrient pollution problem. How much we drive, how large a vehicle we have, and many other factors contribute to how much pollution we are putting out individually. Be conscious of the emissions that your car spews out and keep your car well maintained. Think about leaning towards a hybrid or electric car if you drive a lot of miles every day. Use public transportation more often. Our government pays a lot of money to put these public systems in place. Driving less is something we can all do better at, and all of the relatively small differences each person makes will add up when summed across millions of drivers. 18
  19. 19. 7.5. Solutions to Water Pollution #4 – Use Green Household and Personal Care Products As consumers and citizens we have an obligation to know what effect our consumer by-products are having on the planet. Many of the chemicals found in our food, household cleaners, personal care products, and medications are all being dumped back into the waterways. These chemicals are NOT adequately filtered through municipal water treatment facilities. Thus, if we are not drinking filtered water, we are consuming many of these chemicals (as well as other dangerous contaminants) on a daily basis.7.6. Solutions to Water Pollution #5 – Use Less Plastic and Don’t Litter At the rate we’re going, the growing impact of plastic pollution on our oceans will be one of the big disaster stories of this century. Try to figure out ways you can use less plastic, especially plastic storage bags. This type of plastic is easy for wildlife to swallow and eventually causes death. Plastic factories also deliver much of the pollution that is not bio-degradable. Simply say no to bottled water! I know it is convenient to drink bottled water, but the environmental impact of bottled water plastic is huge! Over 1.5 billion tons of plastic water bottles end up in U.S. landfillseach year. It takes over 300 years for plastic to degrade.8. Case Study (Toxic Mud Spill Latest Insult to Polluted Danube River) The recent reservoir failure that flooded several towns in Hungary with toxic red mud is the latest environmental insult to Europes Danube River. But it is not the first, nor the worst, disaster of its kind, experts say. And unless steps are taken to safeguard similar industrial plants and mining facilities around the world, these kinds of accidents will continue to happen, they warn. On October 4, a so-called tailing dam that held waste products, including arsenic and mercury, from the Ajkai Timfoldgyar aluminum-processing plant in the town of Ajka, Hungary, collapsed. This released an estimated 184 million gallons (697 million liters) of highly alkaline red mud into the 19
  20. 20. Marcal River and nearby towns, killing at least eight people. The toxic flood reached the Danube River—Europe’s second-largest river—last Thursday, sparking fears of downstream contamination. Hungary Prime Minister Viktor Orban called the spill the countrys biggest ecological disaster. One of the biggest threats facing the Danube today is human alterations to the river made for navigation purposes, according to a 2004 European Commission report. Projects to deepen, dam, or straighten the river and remove "bottlenecks" to vessel passage are changing the rivers traditional floodplain landscape and water flow into deltas, as well as destroying wetlands and other protected habitats, according to the environmental nonprofit WWF. There are currently projects underway to restore the Danubes floodplains, and a recent plan by the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River (ICPDR) aims to halt the illegal dumping of hazardous materials into the river.9. Laws for Water pollution There are many laws that protect the world’s oceans, rivers and lakesfrom unnecessary water pollution. Each continent and country may differ in which lawsthey enforce but they aim to have the same overall positive influence. In Europe, there have been a number laws enforced to protect the surroundingocean from marine dumping.• In 1989, the dumping of industrial waste was terminated in all countries in North- Western Europe, apart from the UK. Dumping was terminated in the UK in 1993.• In 1990, the dumping of sewage sludge was terminated in all countries in North- Western Europe, apart from the UK. Dumping was terminated in the UK in 1998. 20
  21. 21. • Guidelines have been developed and are currently being reviewed regarding the dumping of polluted materials.• Dumping of nuclear waste in European waters has been terminated since 1986. There are a number of directives given in the European UnionEnvironmental Legislation:• The proposed water framework directive aims to achieve a number of objectives regarding health and environmental issues: o Enforce sufficient drinking water provisions. o Enforce sufficient provisions if water for other economic requirements. o Protection of the environment from water pollution. o Provide alleviation of the adverse impacts of floods and droughts. o The directive aims to achieve a good status for ground waters and surface waters in Europe by the year 2010.• The urban waste water directive aims to protect surface inland waters and coastal waters from pollution by regulating the collection and treatment of urban waste water.• The nitrate from agricultural sources directive aims to protect waters against pollution caused by nitrates, especially nitrates from agricultural sources such as fertilisers. This will enable marine and freshwaters to be protected from eutrophication.• The drinking water directive aims to establish strict standards regarding the quality of drinking water. The directive provides parameters and analysis methods, these standards must be met to ensure safe drinking water.• The surface water for drinking water abstraction directive and measurement and sampling of surface waters directive and information exchange decision are integrated to form a framework that deals with water protection of all waters, not just those used by humans.• The fish water directive and shell water directive aims to protect waters from pollution that are primarily used for fishing. 21
  22. 22. • The groundwater directive aims to protect groundwater from dangerous pollutants by controlling the direct and indirect discharges of certain substances into the groundwater.• The bathing water directive aims to keep good standards in the quality of bathing water in freshwater and coastal water areas.10.Water Treatment Water treatment could be a) Industrial water treatment Before raw sewage can be safely released back into the environment, it needs to be treated correctly in a water treatment plant. In a water treatment plant, sewage goes through a number of chambers and chemical processes to reduce the amount and toxicity of the waste. The sewage first goes through a primary phase. This is where some of the suspended, solid particles and inorganic material is removed by the use of filters. The secondary phase of the treatment involves the reduction of organic, this is done with the use of biological filters and processes that naturally degrade the organic waste material. The final stage of treatment is the tertiary phase; this stage must be done before the water can be reused. Almost all solid particles are removed from the water and chemical additives are supplied to get rid of any left-over impurities. b) Denitrification Denitrification is an ecological approach that can be used to prevent the leaching of nitrates in soil; this in turn stops any ground water from being contaminated with nutrients. Fertilizers contain nitrogen, and are often applied to crops by farmers to help plant growth and increase the yield. 22
  23. 23. Bacteria in the soil convert the nitrogen in the fertilizer to nitrates, making iteasier for the plants to absorb. Immobilization is a process where the nitrates become part of the soil organicmatter. When oxygen levels are low, another form of bacteria then turns the nitratesinto gases such as nitrogen, nitrous oxide and nitrogen dioxide. The conversion of these nitrates into gas is called denitrification. This preventsnitrates from leaching into the soil and contaminating groundwater. c) Septic tanks and sewage treatment Septic tanks treat sewage at the place where it is located, rather thantransporting the waste through a treatment plant or sewage system. Septic tanksare usually used to treat sewage from an individual building. • Untreated sewage from a property flows into the septic tank and the solids are separated from the liquid. • Solid material is separated depending on their density. Heavier particles settle at the bottom of the tank whereas lighter particles, such as soap scum, will form a layer at the top of the tank. • Biological processes are used to help degrade the solid materials. • The liquid then flows out of the tank into a land drainage system and the remaining solids are filtered out. d) Ozone wastewater treatment Ozone wastewater treatment is a method that is increasing in popularity. Anozone generator is used to break down pollutants in the water source. Thegenerators convert oxygen into ozone by using ultraviolet radiation or by anelectric discharge field. Ozone is a very reactive gas that can oxidize bacteria, moulds, organicmaterial and other pollutants found in water. 23
  24. 24. Using ozone to treat wastewater has many benefits: • Kills bacteria effectively. • Oxidizes substances such as iron and sulphur so that they can be filtered out of the solution. • There are no nasty odours or residues produced from the treatment. • Ozone converts back into oxygen quickly, and leaves no trace once it has been used.The disadvantages of using ozone as a treatment for wastewater are: • The treatment requires energy in the form of electricity; this can cost money and cannot work when the power is lost. • The treatment cannot remove dissolved minerals and salts. • Ozone treatment can sometimes produce by-products such as bromate that can harm human health if they are not controlled. 24
  25. 25. 11.National Drinking Water Standards 25
  26. 26. 26
  27. 27. National Drinking Water StandardsContaminant Maximum Contaminant Level (mg/l)InorganicArsenic 0.05Cadmium 0.01lead 0.015mercury 0.002selenium 0.01Organic ChemicalsPesticidesEndrin 0.0002Lindane 0.004Methoxychlor 0.1Herbicides2,4-D 0.12,4,S-TP 0.01Silvex 0.01VOCsBenzene 0.005Carbon Tetrachloride 0.005Trichloroethylene 0.005Vinyl chloride 0.002Microbiological OrganismsFecal Coliform Bacteria 1 cell/100 mlSource: 27
  28. 28. 12.Federal water Legislation Federal water LegislationYear Law1899 Refuse Act1956 Federal water and pollution control act 28
  29. 29. 1958 Fish and wildlife coordination act1969 national environmental policy act1970 water quality improvement act1972 Federal water pollution control act (Clean water act)1974 federal safe drinking water act1980 comprehensive environmental response, compensation, and liability act Hazardous and solid waste amendments to the resource conservation and recovery1984 act1987 water quality actSource:References(2005). Microsoft ® Encarta Microsoft ® Encarta ® Encyclopedia 2005 © 1993-2004Microsoft Corporation, Microsoft Corporation.Botkin, D. B. and E. A. Keller (2009). Environmental Sciences (Earth as a living planet).United Kingdom, John Wiley and sons.Foy, R. H., S. D. Lennox, et al. (2001). "Assessing the effectiveness of regulatorycontrols on farm pollution using chemical and biological indices of water quality andpollution statistics." Water Research 35(12): 3004-3012.Liu, S., S. Lou, et al. (2011). "Water quality assessment by pollution-index method inthe coastal waters of Hebei Province in western Bohai Sea, China." Marine PollutionBulletin 62(10): 2220-2229. 29
  30. 30. Voulgaropoulos, A., K. Fytianos, et al. (1987). "Correlation of some organic pollutionfactors in water systems in Northern Greece." Water Research 21(3): 253-256. 30

×