Environmental Ecology- Water & Water Pollution

Term Definition
Water Sources 1. Ground Water
2. Surface Runoff- precipation that does not infiltrate down- watershed (drainage basin)- large geographical area of drainage. 2/3 of surface runoff is lost annually to things like floods. 1/3 is available for human use- 70% goes to irr.
Increase Water Supplies 1. Withdraw groundwater (aquifer)
2. Build dams & reserviors (artificial lakes)
3. Transporting of surface water for irrigation & diversions
4. Converting of salt water to freshwater through a process called desalinization
Desalinization 1. High cost- passed on to consumer
2. Kills marine organisms
3. Large quants of salt- "brine"
Flood Plane Flat land area that is adjacent to rivers & streams that is subject to annual flooding
Advantages of Flooding/Flood Plane 1. Provide natural flood/erosion control
2. Can provide high water quality-rain
3. Serve as recharge of ground water levels/wetlands
4. Fertil soil- farming
5. Water for irrigation-crops
6. Areas that provide ease for construction
Disadvantages of Flood Plane !. Causes more $ damage, property damage, & human lives annually- more than any other natural disaster combined
Types of Water Pollution 1. Infectious Agens (pathogens)
2. Oxygen demanding wastes
3. Plant Nutrients
4. Organic Chemicals
5. Inorganic Chemicals
6. Sediments
7. Heavy Metals
8. Thermal Pollution
Infectious agents (pathogens) bateria, viruses, parasites
Effects: disease spread- vectors
Oxygen Demanding Wastes (organic waste)
Effects: Biological oxygen demand (BOD)
Plant Nutrients Nitrates & Phosphats for plant growth
Effect: Eutrophication- process which you get scum (algae)
Organic Chemicals From refined fossil fuels (gas, oil, pesticides, and fertilizers)
Effect: Poisoning
Inorganic Chemicals Acids (<7), Bases (>7),metallic compounds
Effect: poisoning
Sediments Sil, silt from erosion & runoff
Effect: disrupts egg cycles, reduces photosynthesis
Heavy Metals Lead (Pb), Mercury (Hg)
Effect: Neurological damage- build up in organs- liver
Thermal Pollution Heat damage from industrial plants
Effects: Kills fish, damages food chain, spread diseases
Stream Flow out
Lakes/Reserviors Stratified thermal layer- very littler vertical mixing & little horzontal flow/mixing
Groundwater Pollution Aquifer, very little lateral flow (approx. 1ft/day)low dissolved oxygen Decades —> centuries to clean up
Ocean Pollution 80% of pollution is land based pollution most oil pollution; some industry chemicals 53% of U.S. Pop. lives on/near coasts
Natural Ocean Pollution Red tide- toxic red algae blooms in gulf due o excess natural nutrients- phophrus & nitrates Oxygen depletion zones- large algae blooms- reduces photosynthesis- low dissolved oxygen
Man-made Ocean Pollution Oil Pollution (1/2 land based, 1/2 crude oil spills- tankers/oil rigs 5,500)
VOC's volatile (fumes) organic compunds- can kills birds (cause them to lose feathers, feathers result in insulation) Biodegrades in 3 years Refined- 10-20 years
Sewage Treatment 1. Septic System- residential 2. Convential (municipal sewage treatment plants- suspended soilds & organic waste- 97% removed; toxic compunds/organic chemicals = 70% removal 3. Natural Sewage treatment- tanks, artifical marsh, aqurium tanks
Water Treatment Process (drinking) have a settling basin with aeration which produces DO, solids sink to bottom or broken down. The partially decomposed then goes to a water treatment plant where they use chemicals such as chlorine.
1972 Created the Clean Water Act, beginning of EPA
1. Increased construction of sewage treatment plants & water treatment plants
2. Stream quality increased (fish/swim)
3. Reduction of topsoil loss/erosion control
4. Reduced wetlands loss

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