TABLE 1.1 Wastewater and Stormwater Constituent Characterizations and the Associated Impacts in the Marine Environment

Characterizations

Examples

Associated Impacts in the Marine Environment

Solids

Particulate matter ranging from large items to fine particles

Most of the larger sized particles will be removed in treatment process. Fine particles remaining in wastewater effluent may be associated with toxic organics, metals, and pathogens. Solids discharged in shallow and nearshore areas, particularly from runoff, may cause excessive turbidity, shading of seagrasses, and sedimentation.

Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD)

Oxygen demanded (or required) for the biodegradation of organic matter

In shallow or enclosed aquatic systems, excessive BOD can cause hypoxia and anoxia and suffocate living resources.

Nutrients

Nitrogen

Phosphorus

Iron

Silica

Excessive levels of nutrients increase primary production. At adverse levels, impacts include nuisance algal blooms, dieback of coral and seagrasses, and local- and regional-scale eutrophication. Eutrophication can lead to hypoxia and anoxia, which suffocate living resources.

Pathogens

Salmonella

Shigella

Campylobacter

Enteroviruses

Hepatitis E virus and A virus

Gastrointestinal viruses

Vibrio species

Exposure to human pathogens via contact with contaminated water or consumption of contaminated shellfish can result in infection and disease.



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