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Comparative Assessment of Municipal Wastewater Disposal Methods in Southeast Florida

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A comparative assessment of the risks of three effluent disposal alternatives currently available to wastewater utilities in Southeast Florida is presented in this paper. The alternatives are: deep well injection and ocean outfalls following secondary treatment, and surface water (canal) discharges following secondary wastewater treatment, filtration and nutrient removal. Water quality data, relative to disposal of wastewater treatment plant effluent were gathered, along with water quality data on the receiving waters, from utilities. Comparisons and conclusions regarding potential health concerns associated with the three disposal alternatives are presented. The results indicated that health risks associated with deep wells were generally lower than those of the other two alternatives. The proximity of injection wells to aquifer storage and recovery wells was a determining factor relative to injection well risk. Urban ecological risks were also indicated to be lower, though impacts of urban water use/reuse to the Everglades were not studied. Additional data collection and analysis were recommended to understand the effects of wastewater management on the cycling of water, nutrients and other constituents on southeast Florida. In particular, it was recommended that monitoring of effluents for nitrosamines and pharmaceutically active substances be implemented on a broad scale.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 September 2005

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  • Water Environment Research (WER) is published monthly, including an annual Literature Review. A subscription to WER includes access to the latest content back to 1992, as well as access to fast track articles. An individual subscription is valid for 12 months from month of purchase.

    Water Environment Research (WER) publishes peer-reviewed research papers, research notes, state-of-the-art and critical reviews on original, fundamental and applied research in all scientific and technical areas related to water quality, pollution control, and management. An annual Literature Review provides a review of published books and articles on water quality topics from the previous year.

    Published as: Sewage Works Journal, 1928 - 1949; Sewage and Industrial Wastes, 1950 - 1959; Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, 1959 - Oct 1989; Research Journal Water Pollution Control Federation, Nov 1989 - 1991; Water Environment Research, 1992 - present.
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