Monitoring Pollutant And Nutrient

Read Complete Research Material

Monitoring Pollutant and Nutrient

Monitoring Pollutant and Nutrient Flow Submission

Monitoring Pollutant and Nutrient Flow Submission

Question 1

Nutrients, organic material, sediment and other pollutants are introduced to the Chesapeake Bay from a variety of sources. These are generally separated into two broad classes, point and nonpoint sources. Point sources, as the name implies, are inputs with a specific point of entry into the system (Khadam, 2006, pp.354-367). Municipal sewage and industrial discharges are examples of the major point sources of pollutants to the Bay. Nonpoint sources do not have a readily identifiable point of entry to the system or they may have many, diffuse points of entry to the system. Rain water runoff and ground water discharges are examples of the major nonpoint sources of pollutants to the Bay.

Design Considerations

The pollutant input monitoring program described here is divided into three major components; 1) municipal point sources, primarily sewage treatment facilities; 2) industrial point source discharges, of a variety of types; and 3) river inputs, the combined result of many upstream, point and nonpoint source pollutant inputs (Kay, 2008, pp.2649-2661).

Municipal Point Source Monitoring Program

Point source discharges are regulated in Maryland by the Office of Environmental Programs as part of the federally mandated National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) which is administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The OEP monitoring program for point source discharges was developed to meet the specific requirements of NPDES and EPA. The entire program is based on establishing and enforcing specific discharge permits. As part of its regulatory responsibility, OEP issues discharge permits and reviews monitoring data to assure compliance with the permits (Johnes, 1996, pp. 323-349).

Several types of monitoring approaches are taken for municipal sewage discharges. The most comprehensive monitoring is carried out by the dischargers themselves. Daily sampling and records of effluent parameters and operational indices are generally required. To verify this self monitoring, OEP personnel conduct periodic compliance monitoring at varying frequencies depending on permit conditions, discharge volume and type of treatment process used. Onsite reviews of plant operation are also conducted regularly by OEP engineers (Gurel, 2011, pp.219-229).

The new Maryland Chesapeake Bay initiatives affecting municipal point sources are directed toward improving the operation of municipal sewage treatment plants through improved financial management and operator training, improved regulation and monitoring of industrial discharges which go into the municipal waste stream to be treated at sewage treatment facilities, and enhanced compliance enforcement efforts. However, the major focus of the existing point source monitoring efforts, that is, to verify the individual discharger's compliance with permit conditions did not change.

In the evaluation of water quality impacts of point source pollution the compliance monitoring data dealing with effluent flows and concentrations of associated nutrients are of primary concern. The bulk of the effluent monitoring data is collected by the plant operators. These data are periodically verified by comparison with State monitoring data (Erturk, 2006, pp.2045-2056). In the past, the effluent data for groups of plants have been complied only periodically to provide Bay or watershed point source loading estimates ...