38 terms

Chapter 14 - Friedland and Relyea


Terms in this set (...)

Water Pollution
Contamination of streams, lakes, oceans, or groundwater with substances produced by humans.
Waste produced by human activities including human sewage from toilets and gray water.
Point sources
Distinct locations like a factory, or a sewage treatment plant.
Nonpoint Sources
Diffuse areas that pollute. Farming region, suburban community with many lawns and septic systems, or storm runoff from parking lots.
Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD)
Amount of oxygen a quantity of water uses over a period of time at a specific temperature. Lower is less polluted.
Dead Zones
Areas with little oxygen and little life.
a body of water becomes rich in nutrients
Oxygen Demanding Waste
Organic matter that enters a body of water and feeds the growth of microbes that are decomposers. Measured in terms of BOD
Cultural Eutrophication
Overnourishment of aquatic ecosystems with plant nutrients (mostly nitrates and phosphates) from agriculture, urbanization, industrial plants, & sewage treatment plants, causing algae blooms which shade plants from sunlight; decomposition of algae depletes oxygen causing dead zones
Indicator Species
Organism that indicates whether or not disease causing pathogens are likely to be present.
Fecal Coliform bacteria
Generally harmless microorganisms that live in the intestines of human beings and other animals. E. coli. Found in water when human waste is in it.
Septic System
a septic system found in individual houses in rural areas; solids settle to bottom as sludge, middle layer is fairly clear, and floating stuff forms scum layer; gravity moves sewage into underground pipes across a lawn, below the surface, called a leach field & is filtered by soil.
Thermal Shock
Many species die because a dramatic change in temperature puts them outside their natural range of temps.
septic tank
large container that receives wastewater from a house as part of a septic system
solid waste material from wastewater
layer of mostly clear water in the middle of a septic tank
Sewage Treatment Plant System
Underground pipes carry waste to treatment plants. Large debris filters through screens & is sent to landfill. Solid Waste/sludge settles to bottom of tank. Bacteria break down organic material to CO2 & inorganic nutrients & settled particles added to sludge. Sludge thickened by removing water. Thickened sludge taken to landfill, burned, or used for fertilizer. Exposure to chemicals or UV light kills pathogens. Treated water released into river or lake.
Manure Lagoons
Human-made ponds lined with rubber to manage large quantities of manure produced by livestock. Leaks could contaminate groundwater.
Acid Deposition
NOx and SO2 convert to sulfuric and nitric acids in atmosphere. React and bond with rain and fall with it. Increased pH can be lethal to some aquatic organisms.
Naturally in earth's crust and can dissolve into groundwater; humans breaking up rocks also contributes.
group of chemicals used for rocket fuel
Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)
group of industrial compounds used to manufacture plastics & insulate electrical transformers; responsible for many environmental problems
Flame retardants. Can lead to brain damage, been found in fish, birds, and human breast milk. More research needed.
Thermal Pollution
When human activities cause a substantial change in the temperature of water.
Oil Spill Cleanup Methods
For surface oil, contain oil within one area with plastic barriers and suck off surface. Apply chemicals that help break up the oil making it disperse before it hits shoreline, but chemicals could be toxic to marine life. Tides naturally remove from beaches but oil remaining in rocky crevices will have negative effects. No agreed upon method for cleaning up underwater plumes.
Clean Water Act
Maintains and restores the chemical, physical, and biological properties of natural waters.
Maximum Containment Levels
Max level of one of 77 substances that can exist in a body of water.
Leading causes and sources of pollutants for streams and rivers
Bacterial pathogens, habitat alteration, oxygen depletion.
Agriculture, water diversions, dam construction.
Leading causes and sources of pollutants for Lakes, ponds, and reservoirs
Mercury, PCBs, nutrients.
Atmospheric deposition, agriculture.
Leading causes and sources of pollutants for bays and estuaries
Bacterial pathogens, oxygen depletion, mercury.

Atmospheric deposition, municipal discharges including sewage.
Chesapeake Bay Watershed
- Largest estuary in the United States
Safe Drinking Water Act
(SDWA, 1974) set maximum contaminant levels for pollutants in drinking water that may have adverse effects on human health
Leach field
The ground area around a septic tank through which waste waters filters after leaving the tank.
Heavy metal pollution
Such as mercury and lead, can cause various health problems and bio magnify in the aquatic food web.
Oxygen Sag Curve
The curve obtained when the concentration of dissolved oxygen in a river into which sewage or some other pollutant has been discharged is plotted against the distance downstream from the sewage outlet (see graph). Samples of water are taken at areas upstream and downstream from the sewage outlet.
Flint Michigan Water Crisis
Treated water supply switched to Flint river which is more acidic and thus more corrosive to lead pipes. High levels of lead end up in drinking water. Lead contamination has severe health effects on elderly and children including rashes, infections and impairments to the development of brain and nervous system.
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)
Limits the amount of effluents discharged into the USA's waterways.
liquid waste or sewage discharge

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