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The Perceived Environmental Impact of Car Washing

The Perceived Environmental Impact of
Car Washing
Jen Oknich
Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District
Washing a car may impact the environment in ways vehicle owners have never realized.
A recent article in Stormwater, a surface water quality journal, has raised interest over the
possible affects of domestic car washing. Many particles and chemicals have been found
in wash waters, but the concentration and severity of these in a diluted state are usually
extrapolated, or not considered. A peer-reviewed study on the contents of domestic car
wash waters cannot be found. Instead, studies such as those on commercial car wash or
highway runoff contaminants are commonly applied. Little information exists to
substantiate claims, but nonetheless many cities in the USA and Canada have taken
action, especially against detergents. Concerned governments and organizations hope to
minimize or eliminate potential aesthetic, physical, chemical and biological threats of car
What Has Some Cities and Agencies Concerned
Assuming hand washing in a car wash facility can be likened to hand washing in a
driveway, a 1999 Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) study on Class V Injection
Wells is applicable. EPA found many washed-off pollutants to be in excess of primary
and secondary maximum contaminant levels (MCLs). This study is very similar to
residential washes, as they are manually operated, and no undercarriage or engine
cleaning usually happens (see Figure 1).
Figure 1: EPA Concerns with Car Wash Waters
Item Exceeds Primary
Exceeds Primary
Exceeds Secondary
Antimony* Yes Yes -
Arsenic* Yes Yes -
Beryllium* Yes Yes -
Cadmium* Yes Yes -
Lead* Yes Yes -
Thallium* Yes Yes -
Aluminum - - Yes
pH - - Yes
Iron - - Yes
Manganese - - Yes
Chloride May exceed May exceed -
Naphthalene May exceed May exceed -
TDS May exceed May exceed -
Tetrachloroethene May exceed May exceed -
* All six of these elements are considered toxic (Phoenix College, 1998).
L. Soerme and R. Lagerkvsitb, in a study on urban wastewater, determined commercial
car washes were a major contributor of lead, cadmium, chromium, and zinc to the water
treatment plant in Stockholm. D. Pak and W. Chang found commercial car wash waters
contained high phosphorus levels, a COD and low organic content. EPA raises
awareness of the following list from vehicle and equipment wash waters: TSS, pH, salts,
particulate matter, oil, grease, organics, COD, chlorinated solvents, detergents, lubricants,
additives, heavy metals, antifreeze, and acid/alkaline wastes (EPA, 1995). The National
Water Research Institute (NWRI) of Environment Canada in a study on highway runoff
toxicity found many of the same chemicals running off roads are discovered in car wash
waters (T. Mayer, 2002).
Many of the aforementioned pollutants are simply washed off of vehicles. For example,
the lead in the Soerme study was attributed to break linings and tires, and the zinc to tires
and brakes. The City of Durham, NC found zinc and copper to be higher than water
quality standards (488ppb and 20ppb, respectively) when a car is privately washed (J.
Cox, 2002). With 55-70% of households washing their own cars, there is a chance for
quite a large amount of break linings and chemicals to wash down the drain. Especially
considering 70-90% of domestic car washers see wash waters flowing into their streets
and storm sewers (T. Schueler, 2000).
When not washing contaminated water down storm drains in residential areas, washed
cars leave behind degreasers, detergents and other chemicals in commercial washes.
Degreasers, commonly applied in a commercial wash before detergents and waxes, are
present but not prevalent in residential washes (M. Miyama, 1996; EPA 1999). When
present, however, the four most common degreasers are petroleum solutions, micro-
emulsions of petroleum solutions, alkaline degreasing agents, and vegetable degreasing
agents (Miyama, 1996).
Petroleum is an ingredient of detergents used to clean vehicles, specifically in the
surfactant composition. Petroleum is the basis of the most commonly used surfactant,
LAS, or linear alkylbenzenesulfonates (KMS, 2001; Ecosol, 1997). LAS, commonly
synonymous with anionic surfactants, are very slow to biodegrade, and have carcinogenic
and reproductively toxic by-products (KMS, 2001; Minnesota Pollution Control Agency,
Surfactants move pollutants into storm sewers with every wash. A potential aesthetic
problem lies in the ability of detergents to make suds, and the probability of them
containing nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus. Phosphates (or their chemical
replacement NTA) is a standard component of most car wash detergents (K. Mercer,
2002). Therefore, detergents used to make a vehicle’s exterior more appealing may have
the opposite effect on natural surroundings. Suds could persist in lakes and streams,
while the nutrients could provoke an algae bloom. Detergents in general are attributed to
COD and organic matter in car wash waters (Pak, 2000). Biodegradable soaps are no
exception – they have the same impacts (A. Chapman, 2002; Ecosol, 2002). They also
create a bacterial population increase, transmitting through the food chain to protozoa,
which are more sensitive to car wash toxins than other aquatic organisms, such as fish
(Ecosol, 2002). NWRI found in the concentrations studied, highway runoff contaminants
(determined to be similar to car wash waters) were toxic to Daphnia, sp., nematodes, and
other organisms (Mayer, 2002). A study of detergents common to Seattle residents
showed “no detergent is safe [for trout] to be discharged to a storm drain at any working
concentration” (D. Waddell, 1992).
All detergents will destroy fish mucus membranes and gills to some degree (B. Camp,
2002). The gills may lose natural oils, interrupting oxygen transfer (Chapman, 2002).
Damaged mucus membranes leave fish susceptible to bacteria and parasites. Detergents
are toxic to fish near 15ppm, killing fish eggs at 5ppm. A concentration of 2ppm will
lower the surface tension of water enough for fish to absorb double the amount of organic
chemicals, such as pesticides and phenols. (Camp, 2002) In 2002, the Surfactant
Research Institute, Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, found a linear
correlation between a surfactant’s chemical behavior and the rotifer toxicity and
bioconcentration in fish.
Many surfactants are known to either contain or break down into highly toxic, hormone-
mimicking and environmentally persistent compounds “causing abnormal growth and
development of young fish, and perhaps abnormal behavior as well” (R. Male, 2002;
Chapman, 2002; MPCA, 2000). Nonylphenols and nonylphenol ethoxylates have the
attention of Environment Canada and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) as
they relate to endocrine disrupting and estrogenic effects in fish. These common
detergent surfactants have been shown to be present in the environment and have various
estrogenic responses in aquatic organisms. They are considered toxic and are known to
be capable of disturbing fish health.
How Cities and Agencies Have Taken Action
Fort Worth, Texas has found detergents to be the most common pollutant in storm and
stream water (Fort Worth Environmental Management, 2002). The city began requiring
permits for outdoor cosmetic cleaning activities, but there are no restrictions on residents
(Camp, 2002). The city is, however, promoting commercial car washes, avoiding soap,
using less water, and washing vehicles on lawns (Fort Worth, 2002). The campaign has
resulted in a decrease of detergent-contaminated storm sewer outfalls, from 33% of
outfalls containing detergent to 4%. The presence of fertilizers and pesticides was also
reduced (Camp, 2002).
Federal Way, Washington specifically prohibits “soaps, detergents or ammonia” from
entering surface and stormwaters. This includes commercial, community/charity, and
residential car washing. Car washing kits are available to charity car washing events to
direct flows to the sanitary sewer system. The city enforces the 1999 code on those
discharging without the proper precautions. (D. Smith, 2002)
The City of Calgary has a by-law (28M98) that states no soap is to be used when washing
a car unless the water is going to the sanitary system (M. MacIssac, 2002). By-law
28M98 is enforced by an anonymous tip line.
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) acknowledges the pollutants of highway
runoff and states if no measures are taken to remove contaminants, receiving waters may
be adversely affected. Measures include detention ponds, wetland systems, swales and
filter systems. (FHWA, 2002) MPCA suggests usage of holding tanks, on-site
treatments, sanitary sewers and recycling water when washing vehicles (MPCA, 2000).
The Bay Area Water Pollution Prevention Agencies (BAWPPA) of California promotes
environmentally responsible car washing measures, such as encouraging citizens to bring
vehicles to commercial car washes and keeping soapy water out of the storm drains
(BAWPPA, 2002). Car washing is seen as a source of pollution by the EOA (Santa Clara
Valley Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention Program) in the Bay Area of California (C.
Goulart, 2002).
King County and Kitsap County in Washington have promoted car wash programs to
keep Puget Sound healthy. King County, as well as the Puget Sound Car Wash
Association and a local radio station, promoted a “Suds Free Saturday” to encourage
residents to use a local car wash. Part of the profit was donated for salmon populations.
(Washington Department of Natural Resources, 2002) The Puget Sound Car Wash
Association has earned honors for their services in promoting environmentally
responsible commercial car washes, as well as the industry in general as a better
alternative to residential washes. (King County Washington, 2002)
Kitsap County loans out Bubble Busters and Drain Plugs free of charge to car wash
facilities. These and other best management practices (BMPs) are suggested by the
Sound Car Wash Program, developed by the County’s Surface and Storm Water
Management Program to keep soap and dirt from entering Puget Sound. BMPs include
use of commercial car washes, less soap, less water, and avoiding phosphates, chlorine,
and nitrates. (Public Works, Kitsap County Washington, 2002) Washing vehicles on
lawns, rather than on pavement may be the simplest BMP suggested to keep soap from
storm sewers. The Hawaii State Department of Health and the City and County of
Honolulu Department of Environmental Services concur with these BMPs (Protecting
Water, 2002).
Though many cities and organizations see car washing as a non-point source of pollution,
the EPA has no promulgated restrictions on car washes. Promulgation had been
mandated for EPA consideration in 1967, but was excluded from regulation in 1982.
(EPA, 1999) It is interesting to note several things provided by the EPA: a number of car
washes made the EPA’s Superfund Site status (Unicar of IL and Route 309 of PA, for
example), the wealth of information on vehicle washing BMPs, and that separate
National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits are required for
industries to wash vehicles (EPA, 2002; EPA, 1995).
Numerous metals and other chemicals exceed EPA standards in hand wash stations,
highway runoff studies and commercial car washes, and common detergents are known
to harm and alter aquatic organisms. Solutions range from simply using little to no
detergents while washing vehicles on lawns to borrowing equipment from the local
government for water filtration. Though no enforcement has been promulgated by the
EPA, many cities, environmental organizations and government units have taken action
in the USA and Canada. Enough evidence exists for the West Coast, Texas, Canada and
the EPA to see the metals, detritus and detergents from car washing as a threat to waters
in North America.
Works Cited
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City of Durham, NC. E-mail correspondence with Cliff Aichinger (6-02).
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 1995. Federal Register Part XIV: Final
National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Storm Water Multi-Sector
General Permit for Industrial Activities Notice.
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Control Study: Volume 4, Wells That Inject Fluids From Carwashes Without
Engine or Undercarriage Cleaning.
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Francavilla, D.U. Gubser, M.M. Miller, C. Jonsson, A.S. Jonsson. 1996. The
influence of degreasing agents used at car washes on the performance of
ultrafiltration membranes. Desalination, 100(1): 115-123.
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treating wastewater from car-washing facility. Water Science and Technology,
41(4-5): 487-492.
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Management Program, Seattle, Washington. 25 June Memo.
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inquiry (6-02).
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inquiry (7-02).
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(Professor, Hydrology) and Paige Novak (Professor, Environmental Engineering);
others from varied Natural Resources fields. E-mail inquiry (7-02).
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(Department Head, Fisheries and Wildlife), Bruce VonDracek (Associate
Professor), Andrew Simons (Assistant Professor). E-mail inquiry (6-02).
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CA. E-mail inquiry (7-02).
... After the cleaning process, large quantities of derivatives are discharged into aquatic and terrestrial environments [2]. Car wash activities leave behind degreasers, surfactants and other chemicals [3]. It is generally perceived by public that car wash wastewater is not severely contaminated compared to other industrial wastewaters. ...
... EPA 1999 has already take note on the concentration of heavy metals produced from car wash activities. Some parameters are observed to exceed the discharge limit, such as antimony, arsenic, beryllium, cadmium, lead, thallium, aluminum, pH, iron and manganese [3]. Thus, the concentration of heavy metals was also monitored in this study. ...
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Although commonly perceived lightly in the eye of public, car wash wastewater should be taken more seriously as they have the tendency to be harmful and toxic not only towards the environment, but also humans. In this study, car wash wastewater samples were taken from three stations in Johor with different cleaning methods; manually-dispersed car wash (MCW), snow car wash (SCW) and auto car wash (ACW). At each station, samples were taken during the initial rinsing (IR), and final rinsing (FR) of the vehicles. The samples taken were analyzed for its pH, chemical oxygen demand (COD), biological oxygen demand (BOD), oil and grease (O & G), total suspended solids (TSS), anions (anionic surfactant, nitrate, sulphate, chloride, fluoride, orthophosphate) and heavy metals (iron, zinc, magnesium, chromium, manganese, copper, lead, silver). The results obtained shows that there appears to be no specific pattern to differentiate between the IR and FR samples due to the different washing methods, chemicals and equipment used. The level of contamination of the car wash wastewater was SCW > MCW > ACW. Overall, the result shows that some of the samples did not pass the standard discharge limit; pH, COD, BOD, O & G, TSS, AS and Fe. This shows that car wash wastewater produced in the cleaning activities should be given more concern and need to be treated before being released to the water body.
... The prevailing Zn contamination of soils in fuel filling station maybe due to oil leakage from underground storage tanks (Emmanuel et al., 2014). However, the pollution of soils in carwash with Zn may be due to the waste water which contains Zn from the brake pad of vehicles (Oknich, 2002). Nonetheless, the SEPI values obtained revealed that the degree of Zn contamination was low (SEPI < 1) in all the land uses. ...
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The study assessed point-source pollution of anthropic soils in Benin City, Nigeria. Eleven soil samples (0-15cm depth) were collected from selected urban land uses (Market, fuel filling station, cattle lairage, abattoir, sawmill, waste dumpsite, granite dump, carwash, auto-mechanic workshop, scrap metal dump and horticultural garden). The investigated heavy metals (Zn, Cu, Cr, Pb, Mn, Fe, Ni, Co and Cd) were extracted using the USEPA method 3050B and data analyzed using Single Element Pollution Index (SEPI). Zn, Cu, Cr, Pb, Mn, Fe, Ni and Co contamination was low in soils of all the land uses. Amongst all the selected urban land uses, only the soils in auto-mechanic workshop had the highest concentrations of the examined heavy metals. However, Cd pollution on the examined sites was higher. The study concludes that Cd is the most widespread heavy metal on urban soils. The research recommends the use of Biosurfactant sophorolipids made from Starmerella bombicola CGMCC 1576 as a bioremediation agent to eradicate Cd from the polluted anthropic soils.
... The elevated levels of these metals in the soil profiles constitute a serious threat to both the surface and ground water. These results tally with the observations of Moores et al. [25] who reported that Zn and Cu are the highest metal contaminants found in carwash effluents, derived mainly from tyres and brakepads , respectively Oknich [26]. Through the values of the correlation matrix for the soil from inside the station, we note that the highest value of the correlation coefficient in the matrix 0.856 strong direct correlation was between the two elements copper and iron, while the second highest value was the correlation coefficient of 0.549, which is an average direct correlation between the copper element and the moisture content. ...
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Car washing generates a lot of wastewater which flows into our environment through a wastewater network or drains directly into the soil carrying with it contaminants. This study assessed the heavy metal and total petroleum hydrocarbon concentrations in wastewater from car washing stations and the surrounding soils in Misurata city, Libya. Pollution indices, such as the contamination factor (CF) and geoaccumulation index (Igeo), were used to assess the heavy metal and total petroleum hydrocarbon contamination status and ecological risk in the wastewater and soil from car washing stations. The results obtained in this study show that the average pH of the soil samples inside the stations ranged between 6.6-8.53, while outside the stations the pH ranged from 5.97-8.63 and in sediments 6.8-8.44. The results for the heavy metal contamination studied indicate that the average cadmium concentration in soil samples inside and outside the washing stations ranged from 0.013-0.018 ppm and 0.013-0.25 ppm, respectively, and the average cadmium concentration in sediment samples ranged between 0.05-0.23 ppm. Also, the concentration of lead in soil samples inside and outside the stations and in the sediments ranged from 0.21-0.85, 0.19-1.06 and 0.21-1.06 ppm, respectively. The total petroleum hydrocarbon concentration levels obtained in this study were between 389-7000 mg/kg for the soil samples inside the stations, whereas in soil samples outside the stations the concentration ranged from 27000-55000 mg/kg. Some environmental indicators were used to determine the environmental status of the particular washing stations studied.
... En el caso analizado, el lavadero de equipos es considerado como el lugar con mayor incidencia ambiental aun cuando no es el más importante dentro de las actividades de la organización, como podrían ser los talleres de reparación, en donde se generan diversos tipos de residuos peligrosos (Oknich, 2002). El RIA permitió visualizar rápidamente que las dos primeras actividades duplican a las siguientes (Tabla 3) y por lo tanto requieren mayor atención por parte del administrador del SGA. ...
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En el presente caso de estudio se identificaron y valoraron aspectos e impactos ambientales de la Dirección Nacional de Vialidad (DNV ), 14º Distrito San Luis (Argentina). Esta organización cuenta con campamentos técnicos donde se realizan tareas de mantenimiento de grandes equipos viales, vehículos livianos, lavaderos, expendio de combustible, etc. La actividad se asocia a la generación de residuos y efluentes peligrosos y se encuentra en un área urbana. Se desglosaron las tareas y se identificaron aspectos e impactos ambientales vinculados a: generación de residuos, consumo de recursos naturales, generación de efluentes, consumo de energía y uso de insumos peligrosos, entre otros. Para cada aspecto se asignó un valor y se calculó el Índice de Prioridad de Riesgo (IPR). El 74% de los aspectos ambientales identificados son ambientalmente significativos. Para poder valorar ambientalmente cada actividad, se realizó un Ranking de Impacto Ambiental (RIA), que resulta de la sumatoria de los IPR de cada una. El 62% de los posibles impactos se asocian a la contaminación del suelo. La metodología empleada permitió identificar las actividades más riesgosas ambientalmente y definir los aspectos ambientales más significativos. De este modo se pudo determinar aquellas áreas que requieren intervención inmediata en el plan de gestión ambiental y aquellas que son secundarias. La metodología planteada es accesible y puede ser empleada en otras dependencias de la DNV del país, o en empresas con actividades similares.
Objectif : La présente étude a pour objectif de caractériser les paramètres physico-chimiques des eaux du delta de l’Ouémé au Bénin et de faire une évaluation du niveau de pollution organique à partir des paramètres déterminés.Méthodologie et résultats : Treize paramètres physico-chimiques ont été mesurés dans huit stations entre avril 2014 et mars 2015. Les données ont fait l’objet d’une analyse statistique descriptive univarirée, et d’une Analyse Canonique Discriminante (ACD) pour mettre en évidence la variabilité spatiale et temporelle des paramètres étudiés, ainsi que leur contribution à la discrimination des stations. L’Indice de pollution Organique de Leclerq (2001) a été utilisé pour apprécier le niveau de pollution des eaux. Les résultats de l’ACD ont révélé une variabilité dans la distribution des paramètres physico-chimiques en fonction des stations et de la saison. En outre, l'analyse canonique discriminante pas à pas a montré que la température, la transparence, la vitesse, les substances azotées et les orthophosphates sont les paramètres les plus pertinents qui discriminent les groupes de stations du moyen et du bas delta. Enfin, l’indice de pollution organique traduit une pollution modérée (3,60) dans les stations du moyen delta et une pollution organique forte dans les stations en bas du delta (2,66).Conclusion et application : Les valeurs des paramètres physico-chimiques indiquent une tendance à la pollution organique sur l’ensemble des stations, avec une sévérité prononcée pour les stations du bas delta. Elles interpellent les gestionnaires et les aménagistes quant à la dégradation de la qualité de l’eau dans cette partie la plus productive du fleuve Ouémé.Mots-clés : Physico-chimie, pollution, cours d’eau, eutrophisation, Ouémé. Physico - chemical characteristic and pollution of water of the Oueme delta in BeninABSTRACTObjective: The present study aims to characterize the physico - chemical parameters of waters of the Ouémé delta in Benin and to make an assessment of the organic pollution level from the determined parameters.Methodology and results: Thirteen physico-chemical parameters have been measured in eight stations between April 2014 and March 2015. The data were submitted to descriptive statistical analysis and Canonical Discriminant Analysis (CDA) to highlight the spatial and temporal variability of the physico-chemical parameters and their contribution in the discrimination of the stations. Leclerq (2001) index of Organic pollution has beenused to appreciate the level of pollution of stations. The results of the CDA revealed high variability of physico– chemical parameters according to season and station (respectively Wilks' Lambda = 0.00016; ddl = 91; Prob < 0, 0001 and Wilks' Lambda = 0.2095; ddl = 13; Prob < 0, 0001). Stepwise discriminative canonical analysis showed that the temperature, the transparency, the velocity, the nitrogenous substances and the orthophosphates are the most relevant parameters that discriminate the groups of station. Finally, the organic pollution index revealed a moderate pollution (3.60) in the stations of the middle delta and a strong organic pollution in the stations at the low delta (2.66).Conclusion and application: The values of the physico - chemical parameters of waters shows tendency to organic pollution, principally in the low delta. Making important issues for stakeholders as the water quality is rapidly deteriorating in this most productive part of the Ouémé delta.
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The huge quantity of water consumed per car during washing cars yields the untreated effluents discharged to the stormwater system. Wastewater samples from snow car wash and two full hand service car wash station were analyzed for pH and the presence of PO43-,TP, O&G, alkalinity, TSS, NO3-, NO2-, COD and surfactant in accordance Standard Method of Water and Wastewater 2012. Two full hand wash service stations and one station of snow foam service were investigated in this study. Amongst the stations, snow foam car wash station indicates the highest concentration of PO43-, TP, O&G, TSS, COD and surfactant with the average value of 10.18 ± 0.87 mg/L, 30.93 ± 0.31 mg/L , 85.00 ± 0.64 mg/L 325.0 ± 0.6 mg/L, 485.0 ± 0.3 mg/L and 54.00 ± 2.50 mg/L as MBAS, respectively. Whereas, in parameters characterization in different stages throughout the car wash process, O&G was found to be the highest in pre soak stage, PO43-, TP, TSS and COD in washing stage and NO3- and NO2- in rinse stage. All parameters were compared to Environmental Quality (Industrial Effluent) Regulations, 2009. There is a strong need to study on the characterization of car wash water in order to suggest the suitable treatment need for this type of wastewater.
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Due to their enhanced reactivity, metal and metal-oxide nanoscale zero-valent iron (nZVI) nanomaterials have been introduced into remediation practice. To ensure that environmental applications of nanomaterials are safe, their possible toxic effects should be described. However, there is still a lack of suitable toxicity tests that address the specific mode of action of nanoparticles, especially for nZVI. This contribution presents a novel approach for monitoring one of the most discussed adverse effects of nanoparticles, i.e., oxidative stress (OS). We optimized and developed an assay based on headspace-SPME-GC-MS analysis that enables the direct determination of volatile oxidative damage products (aldehydes) of lipids and proteins in microbial cultures after exposure to commercial types of nZVI. The method employs PDMS/DVB SPME fibers and pentafluorobenzyl derivatization, and the protocol was successfully tested using representatives of bacteria, fungi, and algae. Six aldehydes, namely, formaldehyde, acrolein, methional, benzaldehyde, glyoxal, and methylglyoxal, were detected in the cultures, and all of them exhibited dose-dependent sigmoidal responses. The presence of methional, which was detected in all cultures except those including an algal strain, documents that nZVI also caused oxidative damage to proteins in addition to lipids. The most sensitive toward nZVI exposure in terms of aldehyde production was the yeast strain Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which had an EC50 value of 0.08 g/L nZVI. To the best of our knowledge, this paper is the first to document the production of aldehydes resulting from lipids and proteins as a result of OS in microorganisms from different kingdoms after exposure to iron nanoparticles.
A two-biofilter system operated under alternating anaerobic/aerobic conditions was tested to remove nutrient as well as organics from wastewater generated from car-washing facility. The wastewater was characterized by relatively low organic and high phosphorus content. The factors affecting phosphorus removal in the two-biofilter system were investigated. Operational parameters examined in this study were hydraulic retention time, organic, suspended solid and nitrogen loading rate. The factors affecting phosphorus removal in biological filter appeared to be influent COD, COD/T-P, BOD/COD, nitrogen, and SS/T-P. Nitrite and nitrate produced in the biofilter in aerobic condition affected phosphorus removal by the two-biofilter system. The biomass wasted during backwash procedure also affected total phosphorus removal by the system.
We conducted a laboratory study at 10 degrees C on the biological decontamination of the waste water from a garage and car-wash that was contaminated with anionic surfactants (57 mg 1(-1)) and fuel oil (184 mg hydrocarbons 1(-1)). The indigenous microorganisms degraded both contaminants efficiently after biostimulation by an inorganic nutrient supply. After 7 days at 10 degrees C, the residual contaminations were 11 mg anionic surfactants 1(-1) and 26 mg hydrocarbons 1(-1). After 35 days, only the anionic surfactants had been further reduced to 3 mg 1(-1). Bioaugmentation of the unfertilized waste water with a cold-adapted inoculum, able to degrade both hydrocarbons (diesel oil) and anionic surfactants (sodium dodecyl sulphate), resulted in a significant increase of the hydrocarbon biodegradation during the first 3 days of decontamination, whereas biodegradation of anionic surfactants was inhibited during the first 21 days following inoculation. Bioaugmentation of the nutrient-amended waste water was without any effect.
The sources of heavy metals to a wastewater treatment plant was investigated. Sources can be actual goods, e.g. runoff from roofs, wear of tires, food, or activities, e.g. large enterprises, car washes. The sources were identified by knowing the metals content in various goods and the emissions from goods to sewage or stormwater. The sources of sewage water and stormwater were categorized to enable comparison with other research and measurements. The categories were households, drainage water, businesses, pipe sediment (all transported in sewage water), atmospheric deposition, traffic, building materials and pipe sediment (transported in stormwater). Results show that it was possible to track the sources of heavy metals for some metals such as Cu and Zn (110 and 100% found, respectively) as well as Ni and Hg (70% found). Other metals sources are still poorly understood or underestimated (Cd 60%, Pb 50%, Cr 20% known). The largest sources of Cu were tap water and roofs. For Zn the largest sources were galvanized material and car washes. In the case of Ni, the largest sources were chemicals used in the WTP and drinking water itself. And finally, for Hg the most dominant emission source was the amalgam in teeth. For Pb, Cr and Cd, where sources were more poorly understood, the largest contributors for all were car washes. Estimated results of sources from this study were compared with previously done measurements. The comparison shows that measured contribution from households is higher than that estimated (except Hg), leading to the conclusion that the sources of sewage water from households are still poorly understood or that known sources are underestimated. In the case of stormwater, the estimated contributions are rather well in agreement with measured contributions, although uncertainties are large for both estimations and measurements. Existing pipe sediments in the plumbing system, which release Hg and Pb, could be one explanation for the missing amount of these metals. Large enterprises were found to make a very small contribution, 4% or less for all metals studied. Smaller enterprises (with the exception of car washes) have been shown to make a small contribution in another city; the contribution in this case study is still unknown.
Environmental contaminants as hormone mimetics and genetic variation in trypsin from fish
  • Dr Male
  • Rune
Male, Dr. Rune. Environmental contaminants as hormone mimetics and genetic variation in trypsin from fish. (8-02).
Suds Free Saturday: Saves Money and Salmon
  • Wa Dnr
WA DNR. Suds Free Saturday: Saves Money and Salmon. (7-02).
Detergent is our #1 pollutant Water Quality Division, City of Fort Worth, Texas
  • Brian Camp
Camp, Brian. Detergent is our #1 pollutant. Water Quality Division, City of Fort Worth, Texas. (8-02).
Professional Engineer, Department of Public Works/Storm Water Services, City of Durham, NC. E-mail correspondence with Cliff Aichinger
  • John Cox
Cox, John. Professional Engineer, Department of Public Works/Storm Water Services, City of Durham, NC. E-mail correspondence with Cliff Aichinger (6-02).
City of Calgary Wastewater and Drainage. E-mail correspondence
  • Mike Macisaac
MacIsaac, Mike. City of Calgary Wastewater and Drainage. E-mail correspondence (6 and 7-02).
Professional Engineer, King County Hazardous Waste. E-mail correspondence with Washington County Environmental Services
  • Alice I Chapman
Chapman, Alice I., Professional Engineer, King County Hazardous Waste. E-mail correspondence with Washington County Environmental Services (6 and 7-02).