Low-income households may need financial help to address the impact of rising wastewater bills, according to a study of current and projected sewage treatment costs published last month by the Puget Sound Institute. The study was initiated in support of the Marine Water Quality Implementation Strategy, a state and federal recovery plan addressing water pollution in Puget Sound. Since 2018, concerns have been rising about the potential ecological impacts from treated sewage flowing into the waterway. State regulators are calling for improvements to wastewater treatment plants that could increase utility […]
Find out how researchers in the Baltic Sea are tackling some of the same issues facing Puget Sound. Jacob Carstensen of the Baltic Nest Institute will be speaking at our next online workshop. He’ll talk about his region’s responses to nutrient pollution. The image shown above, although pretty, is an example of how excess nutrients (nitrogen and other sources) can lead to harmful blooms of phytoplankton that sometimes cause low oxygen levels and other conditions harmful to sea life. After Carstensen’s talk, Tim Essington of the University of Washington will […]
New event: More than 130 researchers, scientists, modelers, and other experts attended our first workshop in July on The Science of Puget Sound Water Quality. The discussion continues with two interrelated workshops focusing on scientific tools for evaluating marine conditions and species health. Join us: September 29th from 8 – 10 AM PT for Tools to Evaluate Water Quality. Learn about tools and new analyses from monitoring and modeling that help us better understand water quality and potential eutrophication impacts. We will look in particular at increased access to spatial and temporal […]
In an effort to stem the flow of excess nitrogen into Puget Sound, Washington Department of Ecology has proposed a new type of permit for some 60 sewage-treatment plants operating throughout the region. The flexible permit, called the Puget Sound Nutrient General Permit, aims to hold nitrogen releases close to or below their current levels at most of the treatment plants while offering plant operators options for how to meet those goals. It’s a temporary solution, because the long-term goal is to make significant cuts in the total amount of […]
As the region’s population grows, scientists say we can expect to see increasing amounts of nitrogen and other elements flowing into Puget Sound. Known as “nutrients” these elements are naturally occurring and even necessary for life, but officials worry that nutrients from wastewater and other human sources are tipping the balance. That could mean big problems for fish and other marine life, gradually depleting the water of oxygen and altering the food web. Read our latest story in Salish Sea Currents.
By Jeff Rice, Puget Sound Institute First there was “The Blob” that fed last year’s massive algae bloom in the Pacific Ocean. Now there is another monster getting our attention. You might call it “The slime that ate Lake Erie.” The incredible images of Lake Erie’s expanding blanket of green show the familiar effect of nutrient pollution. Nutrients such as phosphorous and nitrogen have been flowing into the giant lake primarily from sources like agricultural fertilizer and wastewater. This has led to a 700-square-mile algae slick, alarming officials worried about potential […]