ution, such as fecal bacteria, that typically close area beaches. Investigating the infrastructure currently used to divert urban runoff, the researchers found that 99 percent of the pollution occurs during rainstorms, when diversion systems such as water drains are not operating because the infrastructure cannot handle large volumes of runoff. The systems are more effective during the dry season, when the volume is smaller, originating primarily from sources like irrigation systems and car washes.
"This result has public policy ramifications because the current strategy for managing surface water runoff involves capturing and treating the dry-weather surface runoff, also referred to as urban slobber," Grant said. "The idea that urban slobber might constitute only 1 percent of the problem is staggering. The results point to the importance of developing new approaches for treating storm runoff. At present, there aren't any obvious solutions out there."
In addition, the researchers offered an approach for locating the sources of coastal pollution, as well as estimating the physical sizes of these areas and the rates they are generating pollution. The approach involves collecting shoreline water quality data and then running them through a mathematical model. When applied to Huntington Beach, the approach points to tidal outlets the Santa Ana River and the Talbert Marsh outlet as being major contributors to the pollution problem along the shore. The study also notes that a large fraction of the shoreline pollution is coming from a region where there are no obvious sources of fecal indicator bacteria. "We answered a lot of questions, but a few mysteries remain," Grant said.
Page: 1 2 Related biology news :1
Contact: Nicole Knight
University of California - Irvine
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