BSCI205 Final Review

BSCI205 Final Review - Water Pollution#13 A Water pollution...

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Water Pollution (#13) A) Water pollution is any contaminant in the water that makes it unfit for use (humans, animals, crops) -This is responsible for many illnesses -Our water is so polluted because everything dissolves in it B) Sources of Water Pollution: point vs. non-point -Point sources are discharges of pollutants at a specific location ~Ex: tankers that leak oil into the ocean and sewage treatment plants -Nonpoint sources are discharges of pollutants over very large areas ~Ex: farmland, construction areas, roads, and cities *Point sources are easier to control than nonpoint sources C) Major Water Pollutants 1. Acid Wastes a. Sources of acid wastes include mining coal and burning coal (1) Mining coal – acid mine drainage -Wastewater that drains through abandoned mines is polluted with sulfuric acid and water is acidic (2) Burning coal – acid precipitation -Nitrate gas and sulfur dioxide gas N + S NO 2 + SO 2 In the atmosphere: HNO 3 + H2SO 4 Acid Rain + Snow b. Effects of acid precipitation are terrestrial and aquatic (1) Terrestrial -Can kill plants and forests because it changes soil chemistry -Corrosive on things we build (2) Aquatic -Fishkills because the pH of the water is lowered c. pH scale ~10x (ten-fold) scale ~7 is neutral d. Consequences of nitrogen deposition ~High levels of nitrogen in water leads to algal blooms. Algal blooms lead to shading of water (blocking of sunlight). When the algae die, they feed bacteria, which leads to low O 2 levels in the water 2. Organic Wastes a. The two sources are sewage from humans and waste from livestock b. BOD (biological oxygen demand) ~The amount of O2 in the water required by bacteria as they decompose organic wastes ~BOD is used as a measure of organic pollution *In natural waters, there is 5.5 – 10 mg of O2 in every liter of water, which is a BOD of 2-5 *Demand < Supply ~Sewage, vegetables processing plants, and slaughterhouses all have a high BOD - Anoxic Water – water without O 2 in it
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-Hypoxic Water – water with low O 2 levels -Human and other Animal Wastes: ~The avg. American uses 13,000 gallons of water to get rid of waste ~Kansas has no rivers or streams fit for drinking or swimming 3. Phosphates (PO 4 ) from Detergents -Relatively new problem -States, such as Maryland, are banning phosphates from detergents a. How phosphates are harmful: PO4 Algae Bacteria O2 in water death of aquatic organisms b. Ecosystem Effect is what is stated above 4. Water Pollutants from Agriculture include inorganic fertilizers, organic fertilizers, sediment, and pesticides and herbicides a. Inorganic Fertilizers: Nitrogen leads to blue baby syndrome—the inability for an infant’s blood to carry enough oxygen to body cells and tissues—which is from water with too much nitrogen.
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