Water and Air Pollution (Pollutants found in Runoff: (Thermal Stress:…
Water and Air Pollution
Air pollution comes from a lot of different sources. Like car engines - they burn gasoline, and that adds a lot of dangerous chemicals to the air.
Why are these Pollutants Important?
Bacteria/ Pathogens: are an indicator of possible viruses present in the system.
Toxics: can impact life and contaminate drinking water supplies.
Nutrients: act as fertilizer for algae and aquatic plants which can cause highly dissolved oxygen levels. At low DO levels, the aquatic life has the potential to be harmed.
Sediment: reduces light penetration in stream, clogs gills of fish and aquatic invertebrates.
Pollutants from Agriculture: sediment, nutrients, pathogens, and pesticides.
Potential Sources of Pollutants found in Residential Areas:
Thermal: heated runoff, removal of stream-side vegetation
Debris: litter and illegal dumping
Toxic: pesticides, household products
Sediment: construction, road sand, soil erosion
Pathogens: pet waste and septic systems
Nutrients: fertilizers and septic systems
Pollutants found in Runoff:
Thermal Stress: heated runoff, removal of stream-side vegetation.
Bacteria/ Pathogens: originating from- pets, water flow, paling septic systems.
Nutrients: various types of materials that become dissolved and suspended in water (commonly found in fertilizer and plant material). Nitrogen (N). Phosphorus (P).
Biochemical Oxygen Demaind (DOB) oxygen depleting material, leaves, organic material.
Debris: litter and illegal dumping.
Toxics: Pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, insecticides. Metals (naturally occurring in soil, automotive emissions/ tires) lead, zinc, mercury. Petroleum Hydrocarbons (automotive exhaust and fuel/ oil.
Sediment: soil particles transported from their source.
Impacted of Non-point Source Pollution:
fish and wildfire
drinking water quality
recreational water activities
What is impervious cover?
inhibits recharge of groundwater.
leads to increased polluted runoff and flooding.
provides a surface for accumulation of pollutants.
roads, rooftops, parking lots, and other hard surfaces that do not allow stormwater to soak into the ground.
Impervious Surface Video: watershed is any area of land draining to a common point. Reservoir is a natural or artificial lake used to store water. Impervious Surface is an artificial surface that keeps water from being absorbed.
Pollutant Transplant Mechanisms:
Stormwater runoff will flow to lakes and streams. Pollutant build-up and wash off are affected by LAND USE. Imperviousness (nonporous or waterproof) increases runoff. Land use changes impact build up.
Pollutants are washed off land surfaces during precipitation events (stormwater runoff).
NPS pollutants build up on land surfaces during dry weather. Atmospheric deposition, fertilizer applications, animal waste, automotive waste/ fluid leaks.
Point Source vs. Non-point Source Pollution:
Examples of NPS: oil and grease from cars, fertilizers, animal water, grass clippings, sewage and cleaners from boats, household cleaning products, litter, and septic systems.
Non-point: non-point source (NPS) pollution is pollution associated with stormwater or runoff. NPS pollution cannot be traced to a direct discharge point such as a wastewater treatment facility.
Point: comes from a specific source, like a pipe. Factories, industry, municipal treatment plants. Can be monitored and controlled by a permit system.
What is the difference?
2- Total Maximum Daily Load- the law requires that states established priority rankings for impaired waters and developed total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) for them. A TMDL specifies the maximum amount of pollutant that a body of water can receive and still meet water quality standards.
1- Impaired waters- section 303 (d) of the Clean Water Act requires states to develop lists of impaired waters, those that do not meet water quality standards that states have set for them.
Air Pollution- is the presence of toxic chemicals or compounds (including those of biological origin) in the air, at levels that pose a health risk.
Water Pollution- is the presence in groundwater of toxic chemicals and biological agents that exceed what is naturally found in the water and may pose a threat to human health and/or the environment.
Power plants, factories, even the furnaces and stoves we use to heat homes and offices - all of these pollute the air.
Fossil fuels, like coal gas, and oil, release particles of soot and dust when they're burned. They also release deadly gases, like carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide.
These gases make healthy people sick, and sick people even worse. They can make your eyes water, and your throat feels dry. In some cases, they can permanently damage your lungs - and even cause cancer!
Plus, they're greenhouse gases, so they contribute to global warming.
Smog is a mixture of smoke and fog that forms over cities. And it's not good for us to breathe. Smog contains up ozone - a molecule made of three oxygen atoms.
The ozone layer protects the Earth from solar radiation. But when ozone is down here in the lower atmosphere, it reacts with other molecules to produce deadly poisons. And the ozone layer isn't safe from air pollution either!
Chemicals released by humans have thinned out, allowing harmful ultraviolet rays to reach the Earth's surface.
Acid rain is another result of air pollution. All those pollutants in the air can combine with water droplets and then fall down to Earth as rain.
Acid rain has a lower ptl than normal rain. When it soaks into the ground or falls into the bodies of water, those habitats become too acidic, and the organisms that live in them are destroyed.
Pollution can come from natural sources, too - like wildfires, volcanic eruptions... even cow burps.
Cow burps contain a harmful gas called methane. And cows produce about 80 million metric tons of it every year!