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Chemical and Physical Processes in a Dispersing Sewage Sludge Plume

  • Patrick G. Hatcher
  • George A. Berberian
  • Adriana Y. Cantillo
  • Philip A. McGillivary
  • Philip Hanson
  • Richard H. West
Part of the Marine Science book series (MR, volume 12)

Abstract

In July 1976, an experiment was conducted to determine the physical and chemical changes occurring during a sewage sludge dump in a thermally stratified water column in the New York Bight with a line dump, a modified line dump, and one spot dump. The results indicate that a rapid dilution occurs in the line dump such that dissolved and particulate trace metals, nutrients, and bulk organic compounds are diluted to near background levels. Only the trace organic compounds, ammonia, and dissolved Cu provide any indication for presence of the plume for a period of 5 hours after dumping. The fecal steroid coprostanol is used as a quantitative sludge tracer to determine the initial 104 dilution of the plume, to measure the amount of mixing as the sludge disperses in the stratified water column, and to determine if any other chemical compounds deviate from conservative mixing. There is physical and chemical fractionation as the sludge settles. Initially, a large portion rapidly settles within a narrow zone below the thermocline. Above the thermocline in the mixed layer, the sludge mixes and disperses more rapidly. Dissolved sludge components and the sludge plume, thereby, undergo dis-solved/particulate fractionation. In the spot dump and modified line dump, the particulate and dissolved sludge are diluted a factor of 10 less than in the line dump and the plume concentrations of measured chemical parameters are a factor of 10 more elevated than background values.

Keywords

Sewage Sludge Dissolve Inorganic Carbon Particulate Organic Carbon Unresolved Complex Mixture Particulate Organic Nitrogen 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Patrick G. Hatcher
    • 1
  • George A. Berberian
    • 1
  • Adriana Y. Cantillo
    • 1
  • Philip A. McGillivary
    • 1
  • Philip Hanson
    • 1
  • Richard H. West
    • 1
  1. 1.Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratories Ocean Chemistry LaboratoryNOAAMiamiUSA

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