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Water Quality Management

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Water Quality Management
Water Pollutants and their Sources

Water pollutants are categorized as:
Point Source – pollutants that enter watercourses through pipes or channels. These can be discharges from sewage treatment plant or factories.
Nonpoint Source – pollutants that originate from multiple sources. Several points of contamination over a large area contribute to the pollution of a water body. E.g agricultural runoff and construction sites.
Types of Pollutants: 1. Oxygen-demanding substances/wastes - biodegradable organic compounds contained in domestic sewage or certain industrial effluents. When these compounds are decomposed by bacteria, oxygen is removed from the water. If the oxygen level drops low enough, the fish will die. Examples: * Sewage – includes domestic and hospital wastes, animal and human excreta etc. * Animal Manure and Plant residues - These substances in water causes increased algal blooms and microorganism population. This is introduced into water due to sewage, agricultural run-off, paper mills, food processing etc.

2. Sediments - particles of soils, sands, and minerals washed from the land. They can smother bottom life such as shellfish and coral, as well as fill in reservoirs and harbors. * Organic sediments - can deplete the water of oxygen, creating anaerobic (without oxygen) conditions, and may create unsightly conditions and cause unpleasant odors.

3. Nutrients - such as the nitrogen and phosphorus which drains from fertilized lands, as well as the effluent from most sewage treatment plants, can promote accelerated eutrophication, or the rapid biological “aging” of lakes, streams, and estuaries. Phosphorus and nitrogen are common pollutants in residential and agricultural runoff, and are usually associated with plant debris, animal wastes, or fertilizer.

4. Heat -…...

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