Terms in this set (52)
any physical, chemical or biological change in water quality that has a harmful effect on organisms or makes it unsuitable for use
1)disease-causing agents from untreated animal and human wastes;
2)ex. fecal coliform bacteria;
3)contaminated water causes 80% of disease in developing countries (cholera, typhoid fever, etc.)
1)what are pathogens/where do they come from? 2)name an example of one. 3)what are the effects of this water pollutant?
1)organic wastes that are broken down by aerobic bacteria
2)dead organisms or organic wastes (feces)
3)causes a depletion of dissolved oxygen in the water
1)what are oxygen-demanding wastes/where do they come from? 2)name an example of one. 3)what are the effects of this water pollutant?
pathogens, oxygen-demanding wastes, organic chemicals, inorganic chemicals
examples of water pollutants
1)carbon-based chemicals in the water; come from oil spills, boating, pipeline breaks, pesticide runoff
2)primarily hydrocarbons (oil, gasoline, pesticides, plastics, etc.) and PCBs
3)disrupts ecosystem function/ kills organisms
1)what are organic chemicals/where do they come from? 2)name an example of one. 3)what are the effects of this water pollutant?
1)a class of more than 200 chlorine-containing organic compounds that are very stable and non-flammable. they were used in a variety of fluids and products (paint, lubricants, etc.). Research showed that they were carcinogenic
2)PCB's entered the air, water and soil during their manufacture, use and disposal. they break down very slowly in the environment and are fat soluble, meaning they can bioaccumulate/biomagnify.
1)what are PCBs? 2)describe how and why PCBs became pervasive in the environment
1)chemicals that are inorganic and do not easily dissolve in water. usually come from industrial wastes
2)Mercury, lead, arsenic, salts and other metals, and nitrates and phosphates from fertilizer runoff
3)may bioaccumulate and be toxic in certain quantities
1)what are inorganic chemicals/where do they come from? 2)name an example of one. 3)what are the effects of this water pollutant?
1)small particles suspended in water (turbidity); come from erosion; very prevalent in fast moving streams or estuaries
3)clouds water, reduces photosynthesis and npp
1)what are sediments/where do they come from? 2)name an example of one. 3)what are the effects of this water pollutant?
1)radioactive waste comes from power plants, weapons manufacturing and mining
3)Carcinogenic and radioactive; Biomagnifies and has a long half-life
1)what are radioactive isotopes/where do they come from? 2)name an example of one. 3)what are the effects of this water pollutant?
1)a severe increase in water temperature; comes from superheated industrial wastewater
2)kills anything it touches, causing decomposition and reduced oxygen levels
1)what is thermal pollution/where does it come from? 2)what are the effects of this water pollutant?
the amount of dissolved oxygen needed by decomposers to break down a given amount of waste in the water. a high BOD means high organic pollution
what is Biological Oxygen Demand?
1) the introduction of non-native species by human beings
2)disruption of food webs
3)zebra mussel, asian carp
1)what is genetic pollution/where does it come from? 2)what are the effects of this water pollutant? 3)name some examples
1)a single, discrete source of pollution (from a pipeline or something)
2)often results with an oxygen "sag curve" if pollution is organic
3)factory, sewage pipe, mine, tanker
1)what is point source water pollution? 2)what are its usual effects? 3)name some examples
-multiple, broad, or continuous sources of water pollution
-Government legislation; federal water pollution control act 1972 (sets standards for allowed levels of key water pollutants and requires polluters to get permits limiting how much of various pollutants they can discharge) and water quality act of 1987 regulate non-point source pollution in the US
what is non-point source water pollution? how can we mitigate the effects of point-source pollution?
physical treatment; screening and sifting of large solids, settling of small solids, and skimming of fats and oils
describe the process of primary sewage treatment
biological treatment; physically treated water enters an aerated tank where aerobic bacteria are used to digest pollutants
describe the process of secondary sewage treatment
-chemical treatment; water undergoes chlorination, flocculation, sedimentation, activated carbon filtration, and flouridation
-primarily for drinking water treatment only
describe the process of tertiary sewage treatment
sewage flows through a massive solar greenhouse or outdoor site containing rows of large open tanks containing algae, microogranisms, plants and sediment filters that decompose organic wastes, absorb their nutrients and filter out remaining particles of algae and waste. snails and zooplankton then consume remaining microorganisms, which are in turn eaten by fish. finally, the water flows through a second artificial marsh for final filtration.
describe the process of the "living machine" sewage treatment
-in 1892 William T Love began a canal and housing community near Niagra Falls, NY. The project failed in 1910
-From 1920s to the 1953 it was used as a chemical dump site
-In 1953, the canal was covered over and sold for $1. New homes were built on the land in the 1950s
-sealed chemical containers leaked 82 chemicals into area basements and backyards. miscarriage and birth defect rates exceeded average levels.
-the area was abandoned by most of the 800-900 families. court cases followed
-the superfund act 1980 followed, which required that all chemical companies pool their money into one fund which would pay for any liabilities
Describe & list the events of the Love Canal case study
1)the innermost layer of atmosphere
2)there is higher atmospheric pressure and density b/c gravity pulls air particles toward the surface. wind currents and weather occur here; 0-11 miles from the earth's surface, it contains most of the atmosphere's air mass
1)define the troposphere. 2)what unique qualities does the troposphere have?
1) the second layer of the atmosphere
2)more ozone, less water vapor and matter than the atmosphere, but other than that its composition is the same
1)define the stratosphere. 2)what unique qualities does the stratosphere have?
1)in the stratosphere
3)filters out carcinogenic, mutagenic UV
ozone layer: 1)where is it located, 2)how is it made, 3)what does it do?
CFC ban that allowed the ozone layer to repair itself to some extent
what were the terms and repercussions of the Montreal protocol?
1)simple toxic compounds that can combine and react. they come from natural (dust, ash, volcanic emissions), stationary (factory smoke) and mobile (automobiles) sources
2)co2, so2, ch4, no2
1)what are primary air pollutants/where do they come from? 2)name an example of one.
1)when primary pollutants combine and react with air or water vapor, secondary pollutants are made
2)acid rain (nitric acid, sulfuric acid), ozone, hydrogen peroxide
1)what are secondary air pollutants/where do they come from? 2)name an example of one.
-UV radiation emmited from sun
-some reflected off ozone layer, some passes through
-UV passes through greenhouse gases quite easily. it then hits the earth, emits heat and is reflected off the earth's surface as infrared rays
-infrared rays have less energy and therefore do not pass through greenhouse gases as easily; some leaves, some is trapped and emits heat on the earth's surface again
-the thicker the layer of greenhouse gases, the more infrared radiation that is trapped
describe the greenhouse effect
carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur dioxide, water vapor
name some greenhouse gases
nitrogen oxides and other air pollutants, often from cars, react with UV radiation to form a reddish-brown photochemical smog
How is photochemical smog produced? what are its effects?
changing weather patterns, rising sea levels, glacial melting, loss of species, reduced agricultural yields
effects of global warming
1)solid (acidic particles) or liquid precipitation of acidified particles
2)tall smokestacks of industrial power plants emit sulfur dioxide, suspended particles, and nitrogen oxides into the atmosphere where wind mixes, dilutes and disperses them
3)acidifies the soil (especially thin, acidic soils), which can push plant species out of their range of tolerance, and leaches soil nutrients from the soil, weakening trees and other plants. it also causes the acidification and leaching of toxic metals into the soil and lakes used for drinking water. This kills fish and poisons the water
acid deposition: 1)what is it? 2)what causes it? 3)how does it effect soil/plants/water?
treat: add lime or phosphate fertilizer to neutralize acidic lakes
prevent: cleaner energy in power plants and cars
how treat/prevent acid deposition
radon gas seepage from the soil, asbestos, mold, carbon monoxide
name some indoor air pollutants
Asthma, chronic bronchitis, lung cancer, emphysema. Effects most severe in "sensitive groups" like children, elderly, asthmatics
the health effects of air pollutants
-congress directed the EPA to establish national ambient air quality standards to limit 6 pollutants to protect human health and prevent environmental or property damage
-the EPA has the power to shut down violators
-enforcement is not rigorous
-authorized cap and trade emissions trading, where each plant is given a number of pollution credits; if a company has more credits than it pollutes, it can sell them or keep them for future use
describe the terms and effects of the clean air acts in the US
filters smokestack emissions to remove pollutants. there are different types: electrostatic precipitators, wet scrubbers, and bag scrubbers
low emission cars, bicycles, walking, mass transit, tax incentives (most powerful)
ways to prevent air pollution
involves using natural or genetically engineered plants to absorb, filter, and remove contaminants from polluted water and soil
passes an electrical current through a gas to create an electric arch that turns hazardous waste into plasma. decomposes hazardous waste into ions and atoms that can be converted into simple molecules of a synthetic gas consisting mostly of H2 and CO
plasma arch torch
liquid hazardous wastes are pumped through a pipe into dry, porous rock formations far beneath aquifers. ideally, they are isolated from groundwater by impermeable layers of clay, but such spaces are limited and the wastes sometimes leak into groundwater anyway
deep well disposal
ponds, pits, or lagoons into which hazardous wastes are stored. can leak or overflow from flooding
liquid and solid hazardous wastes are put into drums or other containers and buried in carefully designed landfills, called secure landfills
secure hazardous waste landfills
industry, mining, agriculture. this is where the majority of solid waste comes from
industrial solid waste comes from:
garbage generated by households and small businesses
plastic (less food, metal, yard)
compared to 50 years ago, today's solid wastes bear a much greater percentage of:
a mass burn of all waste types (not separated)
Pros: reduces volume, provides electricity
Cons: produce large amounts of toxic ash, air pollution, encourages trash production
describe incineration and its pros and cons:
pit-furnace(ash)-boiler(steam-generator)-wet scrubber(gross water)-electrostatic precipitator (ash)-smokestack
steps of incineration
-probes detect leaks
-solid waste collected in cells, which consist of compacted garbage surrounded by a cover of soil
-perforated pipes collect leachat
-plastic liners and/or clay barriers prevent soil and water contamination
garbage water formed when rain trickles through waste (highly toxic, risk of groundwater contamination)
a flammable gas created from the breakdown of organics; it is collected and burned for electricity
methane: how is it produced and what is it used for?
-Low air pollution
-methane is a greenhouse gas, leachate contaminates water
-people don't like living near them
-there is no "away"
-risk of collapse
landfill pros and cons
wastes recycled into products of the same type (aluminum cans to aluminum cans)
wastes recycled into different products (aluminum cans to aluminum covering for planes)