Water Quality
Q. What does SSRI stand for?

A. Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors.
Q. Name two ways that antidepressants and other EDCs enter surface waterways.

A. Through wastewater treatment plant effluent outlets, and through runoff associated with biosolids-fertilized fields.
Q. What is a proposed method of treatment for EDCs in wastewater?

A. Ozonation.

Q.   What is the ideal pH level of a pulp and paper wastewater treatment plant?

A. The ideal pH range is from 6.8 to 7.8 for water treatment conditions

Q. What arethe various types of coagulants used in pulp and paper wastewater treatment and their classifications?

A. Alum, Ferric/Ferrous Sulphate ( Chemical ) ,  Chitosan ( Natural ) , polyacramides (Polymeric/Synthetic)

Q. The advantages of a polymeric coagulant in terms of plant efficiency

A. Polymeric coagulants form large, dense flakes during flocculation which decreases their settling time significantly.

Q. What are four problems associated with naphthenic acid?


1) It could seep through the ground and impact the ground water which is used for drinking and agriculture

2)It causes corrosion to distillation units in high temperatures

3) It has both acute and chronic toxic impacts which means it can cause both short term and long term periods

4)Research shows that it kills mammals such as rats and aquatic organisms such as fish species

Q: What were the negative effects of high doses of naphthenic acid on rats?
A: It showed damages to liver, brain and heart. It also showed organ weight increase
What are the two options associated with the bioremediation management technique?
Water capping and constructed wetlands

Name a method environmentalists used in attempt to clean up the algae in Tai Lake.

Answers: Dredging (scooping the algae out with nets), Releasing silver carp to the lake (algae eating fish), Chemical testing with chlorine and permanganate.  (Any of the above).

What lake categorization is Tai Lake currently under and name some characteristics of this phase.

Answer: Eutrophic – high biological productivity and excess nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen.

Name a threat the algae blooms in Tai Lake pose to the environment and its residents.

Answers: Polluted to drinking water, killing of wildlife within the lake (fish), bad odor and taste to water, clogging of water purification process, harmful toxins within the blue green algae. (Any of the above).
#1: What are the limiting factors of oil biodegradation in water?

The limiting factors of oil biodegradation in water are dissolved oxygen concentration and the nutrient concentration of nitrogen and phosphorus.
#2: How does oil affect photosynthesis in water systems?

Oil residue turns into oil mousse, tar balls and tar mats which reduces the sunlight available for photosynthesis of aquatic plants.
#3: What common treatment chemical increases the concentration of naphthenic acid when added to process water?

Sodium hydroxide increases the concentration of naphthenic acid when added to process water.

1.     What is the role of phosphorus in photosynthesis?

Phosphorus is needed in photosynthesis to convert light energy from the sun into chemical energy (ATP). Glucose is a form of energy used by plants to grow.

What are some negative effects of excess phosphorus?


·      Decomposing algae reduces dissolved oxygen concentrations that are vital for aquatic life, like fish, to survive.

·      Excess algae also blocks sunlight from penetrating the water surface

·      Creation of blue-green algae that contains dangerous toxins that can harm animals and humans

·      Algae blocks waterways and pumps

How is coagulation and flocculation with alum used to extract phosphorus?

Aluminum sulphate (alum) dissociates in water and creates aluminum ions that react with the phosphorus found in the water. The resulting product is aluminum phosphate. The alum and phosphate collide in the water creating particles that will sink to the bottom of the water source. The precipitate that is created can be cleaned out once it has settled.
What geological problems may happen with over pumping?

Pore pressure reduces causing surface to cave. This could also cut off water flow.

What are three methods to reduce water withdrawal


– Metering/ pricing

– Pipe surveillance and maintenance

– Treatment of effluent

– Usage and treatment of saline water

– New technologies involving the formation of low   water waste products

Why are stricter global regulations on mining practices, regarding water resources, needed?


– Contamination downstream

– Overpumping of sources

Disturbing local recharge of aquifers

List 3 alternative practices or methods to reduce road salt application.


a) a)    Sugar beet derivatives with salt

b)    b)“pre-wetting” salt granules

c)     c) covering salt with domes and using snow fences for snow dump sites

d)    using calibrated systems with spreader trucks

e)    sand

2.How does increased sodium levels affect aquatic life?

Increased sodium levels in water causes:

·      spring overturn to stop

·      acidity in streams to increase

·      change the mortality and reproduction of aquatic life

·      helps invasive species

·      alters microbial community structures

·      decreases diversity

3. What were the results of Environment Canada’s Assessment?

Environment Canada’s findings showed that road salt is toxic to plants and animals.
1)  What are some of the pollutants affecting water quality in the Hamilton Harbour?
1)  The pollutants affecting the water quality are: zinc, copper, lead, chromium, nickel, cadmium, arsenic, mercury, Polychlorinated biphenyl and Polyaromatic Hydrocarbons.
2)  What are two remediation techniques that are being exercised to improve water quality?
2)     Potential remediation techniques include the use of a sand cap to cover bottom sediments and dredging to cover bottom sediments. A sand cap is composed of granular materials and sediment in which is placed over existing sediment in the water. Dredging is the removal of accumulated lake bottom sediments. Dredging is often used to widen channels for boat use, but can also be used to remove contaminated bottom sediments, for proper disposal.
3)  How is the pollution of the water effecting the fish population in the Hamilton Harbour?

)     The pollution of the water is affecting the B-cell numbers in fish, resulting in an increased frequency of tumors.

1.   Why is eutrophication more harmful at night?
1. Algae continues to grow without the presence of solar energy and uses up oxygen found in the water which is needed by the aquatic wildlife to survive.
2.   How do Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals affect aquatic populations?
2. An Endocrine Disrupting Chemical (EDC), when released in to the environment at high enough concentrations, has adverse effects on the hormone balance (or the endocrine system) of exposed aquatic populations.

3.   What are the limits of exposure to EE2 that will avoid adverse effects?

3. The average aquatic ecosystem exposure to EE2 (over a 30 day period) should not exceed 0.5 ng/L with no individual data point exceeding 0.75 ng/L in order to avoid the adverse effects of EE2.
)      Which Animal organs can be damaged from mercury?
c)       Muscles, liver and heart
2) Common sources of mercury contamination include:
i) Combustion
iii)Waste Incineration
c) i, ii, iii ***
3)      What function does the Gold Nanoparticle-Aluminum Oxide have in treatment?

c)       Absorbent

1.       What source accounts for most of the mercury deposition to the Great Lakes?

a.  Contaminated leaf litter

b.      Absorption of gaseous Hg from air

c.       Sewage and industrial discharge

d.      Precipitation

e.      All of the above

a.  Contaminated leaf litter


What is the most probable cause for mercury poisoning?

a.      Drinking water contaminated with elemental mercury

b.      Breathing air with high concentration of gaseous mercury

c.       Consuming vegetables with high mercury content

d.Consuming meat with high concentration of accumulated methyl mercury

e.      Both C and D


d.Consuming meat with high concentration of accumulated methyl mercury

3.       What is type of regulations have been used to reduce mercury contamination in the Great Lakes basin?

a.      Funding for research into technologies that reduce mercury demand

b.      Strict limits on mercury concentration in industrial effluent wastewater

c.       Regulations on disposal of mercury-containing waste

d.      All of the above

e.  A and C only

e.  A and C only
1) What are mine tailings?

Mine tailings are leftover waste rock generated from the process of the mining.  These tailings span over large areas and contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment.  They can contaminate nearby water bodies and kill all existing plant life.
2) What chemicals are normally found in tailings?
Copper (Cu), Cadmium (Cd), Total Dissolved Solids (TDS), Lead (Pb) and many other chemicals are found in mine tailings.
3) What are the major impacts of tailings on the environment?

Tailings can produce a lower pH reading of local bodies of water making it more acidic, they contaminate local drinking water, have physical impacts on the water and soils including discolouration, and finally destroy most wildlife in the area.
1.  Is it likely that you have been exposed to endocrine disrupting inhibitors? Explain.

Ans Yes. EDCs are very ubiquitous and can be found in contaminated drinking water, contaminated air, and food.
2.  If you have been exposed, what health effects may you experience?
Ans Possible health effects, depending on your gender, include: feminization of males, abnormal sexual behavior, birth defects, altered sex ratios, decreased sperm density, decreased size of testes, breast cancer, testicular cancer, reproductive failure and thyroid dysfunction.
3.  What factors affect the partitioning coefficients of EDCs?

Ans Significant parameters may be the hydrophobic nature of the compounds and factors relating to organic matter, particulate matter, and conditions occurring in the aquatic system.
1. What type(s) of organisms have been documented to show the greatest adverse effects to endocrine disrupting chemicals?
A: Aquatic life, such as fish.

2.       What are three important parameters in designing a method for endocrine disrupting chemical removal during wastewater treatment?

A: High sensitivity, simplicity and cost effectiveness

3.       Identify a type of endocrine disrupting chemical removal method and briefly explain how it works

A: Three types discussed. (1) Degradation via enzymatic recycling- bacteria actively biodegrades EDCs. (2) Activated Carbon- column with activated carbon filters wastewater by adsorption. Contaminant remains in column with activated carbon, while effluent is drained. (3) Retention time adjustments- modifying solid retention time and hydraulic retention time until endocrine disrupting chemical removal is optimized.
1) One of the techniques used in tailing pond reclamation is the injection of carbon dioxide prior to entering the ponds. What does  thisaccomplish?

Injecting carbon dioxide produces a reaction in the tailing pond and carbonic acid is formed. The carbonic acid lowers the pH of the water allowing the tailings to settle more quickly.
2) What are Mature Fine Tailings? And why is reducing the amount such an important issue in oil waste water treatment?

Mature fine tailings are a mixture of 70% water and 30% clay and solvents. Reducing the amount of MFTs is an important issue, because without help; MTFs in a tailing pond will take over 100 years to naturally settle.
3) Steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) is one of the main techniques used to remove Bitumen from the tar sands. How does this work?
Two wells are drilled parallel to each other. steam is injected into the top well, causing the bitumen to liquefy. the thinner bitumen is then able to be pumped to the surface from the other well. 
What are some of the main effects of hydrocarbons in water?

-destroy aquatic habitats
-lead to liver and kidney damage, are also linked to cancers
What are the two main release categories of hydrocarbons into water? Give examples.

-Natural Seeps – deep ocean oil vaults
-Transportation- Recreational boating, international shipping
What is bioremediation and what are some of its advantages?

-Use of bacterial microorganisms to remove hydrocarbons from water using natural processes.
-Inexpensive and very effective
1. How do aesthetic and health-based parameters pose challenges to rural water delivery? Use an example from this class or from your experience.

End users may prioritize aesthetics, such as look, taste and smell. Service providers prioritize health parameters, which may be inconsistent with aesthetic parameters. Lack of acceptance of water quality by end users may result in them finding alternative water sources (which may be unsafe).

An example of this occurs in situations when coloured water is safe to drink, but clear water is not. This shows the disconnection between the end user and service provider understanding of water quality.  

2. Why is community participation in rural water service delivery important? Give at least two reasons.

1) Increases a sense of ownership over use and care for the service provided.
2) Communities may be more willing to pay for initial costs and maintenance.
3) Communities may desire to initiate collective action to solve problems related to institutional and infrastructure design.
3.  List three criteria for appropriate design of water service delivery models.

1) Understanding local behaviour and organizational capacity.
2) Creating services based on end user demand.
3) High accountability of service provider to end user.
4) Consideration of local variability.
Q:How does radiation enter the water cycle?

A:Radiation enters the water cycle through the leakage of radioactive by-products during operations and nuclear accidents.
Q: Why should we stop using nuclear power plants to generate energy?

A:Because we cannot completely control radiation at present, disasters will only continue to happen, especially when accidents like the damage of earthquakes and decaying pipes leading happen.
Q:What problem will we have to face in the future if we keep using nuclear power?

A:Since our technology cannot fully control the nuclear power plants, the radiation levels of water will eventually becomes too high and we will have to decide whether to stop using the nuclear power or scarify our environment including safe-to-drink water.
Question #1: How much water is used to extract 1 barrel of oil in the oil sands?

Ans: Between 7 and 10 barrels of water for 1 barrel of oil
Question #2: What is the primary toxin in oil sands tailings?

Ans: Naphthenic Acid
Question #3: What is the recycle rate for oil sands process water?

1) What are the sources of estrogen in wastewater effluent?

Naturally produced in urine, oral contraceptives
2) Which type of wastewater treatment is the most effective?
Granular activated carbon
2) Which type of wastewater treatment is the most effective?
Granular activated carbon
3) What is the impact of estrogen compounds on aquatic life?

Negative impact as it inhibits ovarian development, reduces quality and quantity of eggs and reduces the ability to control glucose levels

1. What is acid mine drainage?

The acidic effluent that can drain out of both operational and abandoned mines and is caused when sulphides in the rock are exposed to the elements.

2. What effects does it have on ecosystems?

It will cause a pH drop in the water. Not many species can survive if the pH drops below 6.

3. How can we mitigate the effects?

Use stabilization and solidification to prevent sulphides from reacting and leaching into the surrounding environment, add alkaline minerals to help restore the pH, or treat the water before it leaves the mine.
1. What is the best way to filter adenoviruses from water?

Multi-barrier approach using a series of membranes; coagulations and flocculation also works
2. Who are adenoviruses most dangerous too?

Children under 3 or 4 because they have not developed the proper antibodies.
3. How many different types of adenoviruses are there?
here are 51 different types of adenoviruses (30% are harmful to humans)
1) What are the sources of estrogen in wastewater effluent?

aturally produced in urine, oral contraceptives
2) Which type of wastewater treatment is the most effective?

Granular activated carbon
3) What is the impact of estrogen compounds on aquatic life?

Negative impact as it inhibits ovarian development, reduces quality and quantity of eggs and reduces the ability to control glucose levels

  1. Explain the effect of hypoxia/anoxia on the biodiversity of a lake.

Hypoxia is the condition when oxygen concentrations in a lake fall below the level necessary to sustain most animal life. Therefore, hypoxic conditions will cause aquatic life to die off due to lack of oxygen, reducing biodiversity in a lake. Native species may disappear being replaced by more resistant species to the new lake conditions.


  1. How can excessive plant and algal growth shorten the lifetime of a lake?



Plant and algae eventually die and undergo sedimentation at the bottom of the lake once decomposed by the bacteria. These layers of sediments will build over time, decreasing the depth of the water and increasingly making it shallower. Over time, a lake may be reduced to wetlands or completely dry out to just shrub growth.

  1. Describe a minimum of 3 effects of eutrophication in Lake Erie.

Some effects of eutrophication include: algal bloom covering large areas of the lake, attached algae on rock and man-made structures, decomposing algae washing up on beaches and shores, taste and odour problems in municipal waters, and hypoxic conditions in deeper areas of the lake.

What Best Management practice results in low chemical nutrient transport out of the field? Why?


A large lag between manure application and rainfall event. The time lag gives the phosphorous and nitrogen time to soak into soil. Large rainfall directly after manure application results in high concentrations of phosphorous and nitrogen in runoff.

What best management practice results in a low fecal coliform population in runoff? Why do farmers not wildly implement this solution?


·       At least a 3m wide vegetated buffer around the outside of the field, consisting of short natural plants.

·       Cuts down on the amount of workable land. It shades crops on the outside of the field, stunting growth.


What chemical within manure runoff is the most hazardous for fresh-water system? Why?


      Phosphorous because it is the limiting reactant in the eutrophication process.

Why do nuclear power plants need to be located close to a water source?

Requires a substantial amount of water to process steam and generate power. Water can be easily treated on site from a natural source to accommodate the high demand instead of bringing water in.

How does the released water temperature affect the water quality?


Water temperature levels are raised through the process of cooling components in the nuclear power plant. The warm water released is prone to chemical stress and alters surrounding environments. The fluctuation of temperatures during plant maintenance influences the waters quality and directly affecting aquatic life.

How does radioactive material reach a natural water source?

The radioactive compounds found on clothing and sometimes skin end up in the water system from laundry and showering. The radioactive materials go through the treatment process before release but are sometimes difficult to remove resulting in small levels of radioactivity in the environment.
1. Why does the post-chlorination step tend have a higher efficiency for removing pharmaceuticals than the pre-chlorination step?

-Efficiency of removal can be explained by the chlorine’s high reactivity with the primary and secondary amine groups.
What is the reason for pharmaceutical compounds such as amlodipine, taxoxifen, ertraline, oxazepam and furosemide reduction being greater than 99% in the pre-chlorination step?

-due to the reduction of organic contaminants
-allowing the chlorine to operate more efficiently.
?3.Pollution is a large issue in developing regions. What are the main contributing factors that cause pollution to flourish in developing countries?

?-Waste increases as population density increases
?-Poor regulations for waste and living cause pollution issues in developing countries.
?-Lack of resources and knowledge of drainage
-Accelerated urbanization has no respect towards environmental issues
-Water quality is not at the top of the priority list
. What reason does the majority of people give for drinking bottled water?

a. It costs the same so why not?
b. Their tap water has made them ill

c. The health benefits of drinking bottled water are tremendous
d.They fear their tap water will make them ill

d.They fear their tap water will make them ill
Ans: d
2. The Nestlé Bottling plant outside Guelph has a water taking licence to remove how much water per day (L)?

a. 36 000 L

b. 360 000 L
c. 3 600 L
d. 3 600 000 L

d. 3 600 000 L

3. Adding fluoride to water is always beneficial to our dental health. True or False?

a. True

b. False

Ans: el falso
1. Why is NaCl still the most popular deicing agent even though it has negative environmental impacts?

Ans: It is widely available and costs significantly less ( 20 times less)
2. Does the chloride from NaCl increase or decrease food web dynamics in stormwater detention ponds?

Ans: decrease
3. What is salt stratification? Why is it a problem?

Ans: it is a layer of salt forming  near the top of the surface of the water. Problematic because it does not allow for oxygen to cross the water surface boundary killing microorganisms.
1. Is there a clear relationship between water hardness and human disease?

2. What are the main sources of error in the research?

Water hardness as a mean value, smoking and hypertension, migration, meat and fat consumption, physical activity
3. If there were a clear relationship between water hardness and human diseases, would it have effects on public health?

There would be large effects on human health
How do pesticides affect local economies?

-One industry grows, another may deplet
-Organic products cost more and the yield is lower
What toxic effects do pesticides have on society?

-Human Health issues (cancer, reproductive defects, disease)
Effective alternatives to pesticides?

-Cultivation of the land (land rotation to maximize growth and land preparation)
– Bioremediation (using microorganism metabolism)
1. What is  nonpoint source pollution and how do agricultural activities affect it?

-The quality of water indirectly affected by pollutants from different human activities
– Not purposely discarded chemicals
– Fertilizers, pesticides and animal activities
List 3 actions being taken to prevent or reduce the impact of non-point source pollution

– Responsible irrigation (only when necessary)
– Use only the appropriate amount of chemicals needed for area
-Short term weather forecast: don’t do in windy or close to a storm

-Manure instead of conventional fertilizers

3. Brief description of how livestock activity has a negative impact on water quality

-Livestock waste must be properly disposed or it will contaminate surrounding bodies of water
-Pathogens in waste transferred to water
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