The Bacterial Bioassay and Laboratory Assessments of Waste Disposal Activities at DWD-106

  • Ralph F. Vaccaro
  • Mark R. Dennett
Part of the Marine Science book series (MR, volume 12)


Changes in the bacterial uptake of 14C labeled glucose in sea-water are used to quantify some sublethal consequences of Edgemoor and Grasselli waste disposal at Deep Water Dumpsite 106.

The fractional amounts of waste in seawater which led to a 50 percent reduction in 14C uptake ranged from 0.01–0.02 percent for Edgemoor waste and from 0.10–0.20 percent for Grasselli waste.

Both Edgemoor and Grasselli wastes cause an inhibitory bacterial response which exceeds that associated with their respective acid and caustic chemical compositions. Heavy metals appear to be the principle toxic components of Edgemoor waste whereas organic species appear to produce the toxicity of Grasselli waste.

Resistance to chemical alteration as demonstrated by ultraviolet radiation and persulfate oxidation may imply an environmental persistence for Grasselli waste.

Edgemoor waste reacts with seawater with a precipitation of its heavy metal content. Such behavior is certain to influence its distribution kinetics and its impact on life processes of the ocean.

Mixtures of Edgemoor and Grasselli wastes impart an inhibitory response which is measurably less than that anticipated from the sum of their individual effects. This suggests the possibility of positive benefits from their coordinated release within the Dumpsite area.

An unambiguous approach to improve bioassay interpretations in potentially reactive, multi-waste situations was developed. The method relies upon a graphical solution to differentiate between the net response induced by mixed wastes and a hypothetical response corresponding to the sum of the individual response patterns observed independently.


Heavy Metal Heavy Metal Content Laboratory Assessment Potassium Persulfate Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution 


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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1981

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ralph F. Vaccaro
    • 1
  • Mark R. Dennett
    • 1
  1. 1.Woods Hole Oceanographic InstitutionWoods HoleUSA

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