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Water Pollution

  1. Water Pollution Resources (UK Rivers Network)
      Provides over 100 sources of information to help reduce various forms of water pollution, such as from fertilizer, oil spills and slicks, algae blooms, decommissioning of oil platforms and structures, debris and dumping of wastes, sewage and wastewater, atmospheric deposition (ocean pollution from air pollution), indoor air pollution caused by water pollution, volatile organic compounds, and laws related to water pollution. 11-00

  1. -Brockovich: Toxic Water System Not Just in Flint (
      "Since 2013, a nationwide EPA program to sample water for unregulated contaminants found PFOA in 103 public water systems in 27 states." 02-16

  2. -Gas Found in Water Near Gas Fracking Sites (NBC News)
      "Elevated levels of methane and other stray gases have been found in drinking water near natural gas wells in Pennsylvania's gas-rich Marcellus shale region, according to new research. In the case of methane, concentrations were six times higher in some drinking water found within one kilometer of drilling operations." 06-13

  3. -Ocean Wastewater Study: 25 Locations Provide Half of the Waste (ScientificAmerican)
      "Though some individual sites have long been known to be major sources of coastal pollution, 'we’ve never had a global understanding of how big the problem is,' says Cascade Tuholske, a geographer at Columbia University’s Earth Institute. He and his colleagues took a broad look at the issue by calculating the amounts of fecal pathogens and nitrogen—which can fuel harmful algal blooms and create oxygen-deprived dead zones—flushed into the ocean in human wastewater at nearly 135,000 sites around the world. They found that they could attribute about half of the nitrogen pollution to just 25 locations and that around half of the pathogens also came from 25 sources, in some cases the same ones." 11-21

  4. -Rio Highlights World Sanitation Problem (
      "In the months leading up to the Rio Olympics, there was growing awareness that Brazil had not met the water quality goals outlined in their bid, and that athletes might be swimming, sailing, rowing or canoeing in waters contaminated with untreated human sewage. News articles discussed the poor water quality in competition waters, health risks to the athletes and the reasons why the US$ 4 billion pledged to greatly reduce the flow of untreated sewage into Guanabara Bay had not materialized."

      "However, what is missing from many, but not all, of the coverage is that the situation in Rio is not only not abnormal, it is common. Currently, about one-third of the global population (2.4 billion people) does not have access to sanitation facilities, such as a latrine or sewerage system, including 946 million people who have no facilities and practice open defecation. Another 2.1 billion urban residents worldwide use improved sanitation facilities that do not safely dispose of human waste, including 1.5 billion who use sewerage systems without treatment." 08-16

  5. -Study: Millions in the U.S. Drink Dirty Water (MSNBC News)
      "More than 20 percent of the nation’s water treatment systems have violated key provisions of the Safe Drinking Water Act over the last five years, according to a New York Times analysis of federal data."

      "That law requires communities to deliver safe tap water to local residents. But since 2004, the water provided to more than 49 million people has contained illegal concentrations of chemicals like arsenic or radioactive substances like uranium, as well as dangerous bacteria often found in sewage."

      "Regulators were informed of each of those violations as they occurred. But regulatory records show that fewer than 6 percent of the water systems that broke the law were ever fined or punished by state or federal officials, including those at the Environmental Protection Agency, which has ultimate responsibility for enforcing standards." 12-09

  6. Clean Water Act and Pollution by State ( star
      Provides information by state related to the clean water act and pollution. 2-02

  7. Coast Guard Wants Barges to Move Fracking Wastewater (ABC News)
      "The U.S. Coast Guard wants to allow barges filled with fracking wastewater to ply the nation's rivers on their way toward disposal. Many environmentalists are horrified, but industry groups say barge transport has its advantages." 12-13

  8. Corn Waste for Reducing Water Pollution (
      "Waste from corn could become a cheap, effective tool for cleaning up polluted water, says Jacob Lehrfeld, a chemist at the National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research in Peoria. The substance absorbs not only lead and other toxic materials but also chemicals, such as the weed killer atrazine. Current anti-pollution agents can't do both. 'It's basically a "two-fer" -- you get rid of a waste material and also you're utilizing a corn product that currently is not being utilized,' says Lehrfeld." 08-12

  9. Fertilizers Creating a Huge "Dead Zone" in the Gulf (MSNBC News)
      "The nation's corn crop is fertilized with millions of pounds of nitrogen-based fertilizer. And when that nitrogen runs off fields in Corn Belt states, it makes its way to the Mississippi River and eventually pours into the Gulf, where it contributes to a growing "dead zone" — a 7,900-square-mile patch so depleted of oxygen that fish, crabs and shrimp suffocate." 12-07

  10. Microbe Attacks Water Pollution (CBS News)
      "An industrial chemical that pollutes groundwater and has resisted cleanup can be neutralized by an obscure microbe that researchers have discovered in the Hudson River bottom mud."

      "In a study appearing Friday in the journal Science, researchers at Michigan State University report a previously unknown bacteria is able to turn trichloroethane, an industrial chemical that is difficult to clear from ground water, into a more benign compound that other microbes can render harmless." 9-03

  11. Over Half a Million Wells in the U.S. Hold Waste With Unknown Risks (MSNBC News)
      "Over the past several decades, U.S. industries have injected more than 30 trillion gallons of toxic liquid deep into the earth, using broad expanses of the nation's geology as an invisible dumping ground."

      "No company would be allowed to pour such dangerous chemicals into the rivers or onto the soil. But until recently, scientists and environmental officials have assumed that deep layers of rock beneath the earth would safely entomb the waste for millenia."

      "There are growing signs they were mistaken."

      "Records from disparate corners of the United States show that wells drilled to bury this waste deep beneath the ground have repeatedly leaked, sending dangerous chemicals and waste gurgling to the surface or, on occasion, seeping into shallow aquifers that store a significant portion of the nation's drinking water."

      " 'There is no certainty at all in any of this, and whoever tells you the opposite is not telling you the truth,' said Stefan Finsterle, a leading hydrogeologist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory who specializes in understanding the properties of rock layers and modeling how fluid flows through them. 'You have changed the system with pressure and temperature and fracturing, so you don't know how it will behave.' "

      Editor's Note: This is relevant to the extraction of natural gas through fracking. 06-12

  12. Phosphates Banned in Dishwashing Detergent (
      "In 2006 the activists managed to push through the first statewide ban on phosphates in household automatic-dishwasher detergents, though it didn't take effect until this year because of an industry compromise. Since then, 15 other states have followed suit. "There was a really broad constituency for the idea of getting these chemicals out of the [wastewater] system," says Rachael Osborn, a public-interest lawyer who worked on the Washington campaign, which has significantly reduced the amount of phosphorus reaching Spokane water-treatment plants."

      "The slew of state regulations helped lead the American Cleaning Institute (ACI), the trade group that represents most detergent manufacturers, to adopt a voluntary ban this past summer. This means it won't be long before phosphate-laden detergents essentially disappear from U.S. store shelves--a major victory for clean-water advocates."

  13. Reduction of Hexavalent Chromium Cr(VI) in Water (Pakistan Research Repository)
      "Bacterial strains especially (CrT-1, CrT-l3, CrM-l, CrM-3 and S-6) were very efficient in the reduction of hexavalent chromium into trivalent chromium and this activity extenuated in the presence of Eichonzia crassipes plants. Among these three chromium resistant bacteria CrT-1, CrT -13 and S -6 were selected for 16S rRNA gene sequence analysis. Strains CrT -1, CrT -13 and S-6 were isolated from the effluent of tanneries and from chromium contaminated soil. All the three strains were very efficient in the uptake and reduction of toxic hexavalent chromium. Beside this strains were also able to improve the growth of different crops (Triticum aestivum, Helianthus annuus and Vigna radiata) efficiently as compared to others strains from the respective source." Cr(VI) is a by-product of tanneries and making stainless steel. 04-08

  14. Reduction of Hexavalent Chromium Cr(VI) in Water (
      "Cr(VI)-reducing bacteria are widespread and Cr(VI) reduction occurs under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions." Cr(VI) is a by-product of tanneries and making stainless steel. 04-08

  15. Report: Possible Environmental Contamination Across Great Lakes States (US News)
      "The investigative group Center for Public Integrity this morning posted bootlegged portions of what appears to be a disturbing—and purportedly suppressed—government report about environmental contamination across the Great Lakes region. Six years in the making, the report assesses evidence of health-threatening contamination in 26 'areas of concern' covering parts of eight states, and it links contamination in many of those areas to high rates of infant mortality, other infant health problems, and adult malignancies, including breast, colon, and lung cancers." 02-08

  16. Report: Texas Flaunted Federal Aquifer Rules (ABC News)
      "Texas allowed the drilling of oil and natural gas injection wells in some areas near drinking water sources starting more than three decades ago, but state regulators recently assured the federal government the effort posed "little to no risk" to the subterranean reserves, according to a report released Friday." 08-16

  17. Solutions for the Environment (Awesome Library - Adams)
      Provides a summary of key activities necessary to reduce air and water pollution, reduce the rate of global warming, and more. 1-01

  18. Starfish Killing the Great Coral Reef (CNN News)
      “ 'The debate is over. This latest research demonstrates that more decisive action to cut chemical fertilizer is urgently needed to prevent unprecedented and on-going outbreaks of Crown of Thorns starfish, which are in turn converting the Great Barrier Reef into rubble,' WWF-Australia spokesperson Nick Heath said in a statement."

      "According to the study, the starfish in its larval stage feeds on plankton, populations of which surge when fertilizer runoff floods the coastal ocean waters with nutrients. So plentiful plankton can lead to swarms of hungry starfish."

      "The starfish consume the corals by climbing onto them, thrusting out their stomachs, and bathing the coral in digestive enzymes, which liquefy it for ingestion. Adult crown-of-thorns starfish, ranging in size from 9 to 18 inches in diameter and with up to 21 arms, can eat nearly a square foot of coral each in a day." 10-12

  19. Water Pollution Report Card for States (CBS News)
      "Two environmental groups released a review of government records Tuesday, showing that water pollution enforcement is failing in more than 40 states."

      "Friends of the Earth and the Environmental Working Group say these states have allowed critically important water pollution permits to expire, effectively issuing industries a license to pollute."

      "The review also concludes that there is currently little action afoot to correct this serious problem. Nevada, Rhode Island, Oregon and Nebraska all had more than two-thirds of their permits expired. Texas had the largest number of expired permits at 135." 9-03

  20. Water Pollution and Conservation (
      Provides an overview of the world water situation. "By the middle of this century: at worst seven billion people in 60 countries will be faced with water scarcity, at best 2 billion in 48 countries, depending on factors like population growth and policy-making."

      "About 2 million tons of waste are dumped every day into rivers, lakes and streams. One litre of wastewater pollutes about eight litres of freshwater."

  21. Water Woes Get Worse in India (Times of India)
      " No wonder 37.7 million people [in India] — over 75% of whom are children — are afflicted by waterborne diseases every year." 04-08

Purchase Resources
  1. Water Pollution (NASA Sample)
      Provides studies for kids to explore water pollution. 4-00


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