Contributions of Sewage effluents to Nutrients, Discharge, and DOC in Streams in Puerto Rico
McDowell, William H.
Ortiz-Zayas, Jorge R.
Martínez, Gustavo A.
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Some waste water treatment plants(WWTP) in Puerto Rico continuously discharge their effluents directly to streams. With urbanization, generation of sewage effluents increases and fluvial export of nutrients are expected to increase above background levels. Excess nitrogen and phosphorus are of particular concern because eutrophication of inland reservoirs is limited by phosphorus inputs, and coral reefs are damaged by excessive nitrogen inputs. Effluent discharges are regulated based on organic load contributed to the receiving water body. Stream communities rely on organic matter and the type of organic matter in the stream can be altered by changes in the landscape or human activities. Economic development on the heavily populated island of Puerto Rico has resulted in increasing waste water generation. Therefore, it is imperative to document the impacts of WWTP effluents on stream quality in order to devise better decision-making tools for stream management and restoration.