In Utah little, if any, water quality benefits will/would result from nutrient
removal at our sewage treatment plants, particularly along the Wasatch Front!"Nutrients" are indeed complex as related to water quality
because: (1) They are necessary nutrients for all life, including algae
which are a natural, key part of aquatic food webs. (2) In many waters,
they are not the limiting growth factors that determine how much algae grows.
(3) It is difficult and usually very expensive to "control"
nutrients.In Utah many of our headwaters, and even mid-range waters,
do/will benefit from nutrient control, but as water flows through geological
areas rich in phosphorus it often accumulates to where, overall, other , largely
uncontrollable, growth factors naturally "limit" the algae growth. This
is the case in the main surface waters along the Wasatch Front and, as to algae,
we have what we have and need to find ways of managing "bloom" problems
as best as we can, without naively hoping that somehow nutrient removal is the
panacea. At risk is hundreds of millions of dollars in additional treatment
costs that most likely would not improve receiving-water quality at all!
Sounds like a local problem - why are the rest of us paying for this? Remember
- Utah despises the Federal government and screams "land grab" every
other day, but comes with hat in hand when they trash their own environment.
When people flush their toilets, they assume that their waste is properly taken
care of. What they do not know is that EPA, during the past 45 years, never
implemented the CWA. By establishing sewage treatment standards in 1972, EPA
sadly used an essential test (BOD) incorrect and not only ignored 60% of the
oxygen robing waste in sewage, but all the nitrogenous waste (urine), while this
waste also is a fertilizer for algae. Meanwhile we keep blaming mostly farmers
for this 'nutrient' pollution, while we keep keep polluting our rivers
with the same pollution. And all that, because of a faulty test, nobody wants to
admit causing this and many more problems. The CWA is the second largest
federally funded public works program. If the first, the Interstate Highway
Program, had been implemented like the CWA, only 20 states would have been
connected with two-lane roads!
It takes the oxygen out of the water than the fish die an the water is poised to
everything that drinks it.