Hydraulics & Waterways

Oral

394771 - The Impact of an Eco-restoration on the Fate of Nutrients and Emerging Contaminants in a Suburban Effluent-Dominated Stream

Wednesday, June 6
4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
Location: Regency Room
Co-Authors: Karl Rockne, Chicago – University of Illinois at Chicago

Wastewater treatment plants are a major aquatic interface between the “technosphere” and the ecosphere. As such, they can provide a key point of study for interchange processes, as well as a focus for downstream eco-restoration efforts. Suburban wastewater treatment facilities frequently discharge their treated effluents to small ephemeral streams. During dry season and other periods of low flow, wastewater effluent frequently comprises >75% of the total stream discharge, and thus downstream water quality is largely determined by wastewater effluent characteristics in these effluent-dominated streams (EDSs). Although standard secondary wastewater treatment reduces the concentration of organic matter in the effluent, challenges in the removal of excess nitrogen and phosphorous persist, and understanding the control and impact of emerging anthropogenic stressors on EDSs is still a nascent field of study.
This study focuses on high frequency monitoring of in-stream nutrient dynamics in a suburban EDS following completion of a stream restoration project. After installing monitoring devices in the restored reach and the unmitigated upstream reach, we assessed the conditions affecting nutrient concentrations over two years. Results demonstrate substantial changes in aquatic conditions and decrease in nutrient concentrations in a downstream transect through the eco-restoration. Treated wastewater effluent is also a source of emerging contaminants of concern such as engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) in EDSs. Data collected to date show elevated ENP concentrations in sediments close to the effluent outfall. Interestingly, water concentrations of ENPs measured at four sampling points along the stream were relatively low (2 – 18 ppb Zn; 2 – 4 ppb Ti). Factors affecting the fate and transport of nutrients and ENPs in this EDS will be discussed.

Abhilasha Krishnamurthy, MS

Student
University of Illinois At Chicago

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394771 - The Impact of an Eco-restoration on the Fate of Nutrients and Emerging Contaminants in a Suburban Effluent-Dominated Stream



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