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Old 13-03-2010, 05:23   #76
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hmmmm... how are we going to shut off the Sesquehana River? lt is the largest culprit draining all the way to NY state.

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Old 13-03-2010, 07:12   #77
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Originally Posted by bella View Post
This is a good bill and will give even better enforcement to the water cops... It apparently hasn't hurt the Fla keys. I understand your sentiments. However, It's a start.

Bella, You seem to be correct this hasn't hurt the Fl Keys, but it hasn't helped in any detectable way either. There has been no improvement in the heath of the ecosystem since the NDZ went into effect. The health of the the reefs is still in decline and will continue because the problem is the same as the one in the Chesapeake. There are simply too many people on the land dumping their sewage into the water. In the Chesapeake this includes their food animals. Advanced treatment can remove most of the nutrients from the sewage water and there are methods of containing agricultural runoff, but it's all expensive and politicians won't get re -elected by raising people's sewer bill $100 per month. A common method of sewage disposal in the keys is injection wells, but the limestone is so porous that dye tests show that the sewage enters the water column sometimes in less than an hour after it's flushed.

I was a marine biologist in Florida in the 80s when some of these NDZ ideas were first batted around. The biologists by enlarge thought these steps were a joke, but the politicians felt like they had to do something to give the appearance of progress. The reason I stated in the beginning of this response that you seemed to be correct, was that the I feel the the NDZ did in fact hurt the keys. The reason is that it distracted the public from the real problem and dealing with the multibillion dollar issue of sewage disposal, not to mention siltation from development. When someone who understands what the real problem is, tries to make their case, the politicians and developers trot out the NDZ and say see we're protecting your reefs. The press picks that up and soon the developers get to put in more condos and already inadequate sewage treatment systems get to process more sewage. The impact of making the chesapeake an NDZ will be completely undetectable, yet the public will feel better that something is being done. In the meantime condtions in the bay will continue to deteriorate because the real problem wasn't addressed.

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Old 13-03-2010, 08:32   #78
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Good article by Tom Neal

Yes, it's easy to target boaters and the cost is low but wouldn't it be far cheaper to establish safety zones around all bodies of water. Lets say 1 mile, where fertilizers and pesticides are restricted or eliminated?

Maybe too many lawyers live on the shore.

Personally I find using a holding tank, workable but it does make sense to pump out treated waste in suitable areas (off shore). Do type I units empty over the side on every flush?
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Old 13-03-2010, 08:34   #79
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An argument that NDZ advocates are putting forth (since they can't deny that MSD devices destroy pathogens) is the 'nutrient' load that MSDs discharge adding to the Bay's nitrogen and phosphorus pollution. The EPA's Evaluation Report of MSDs released on March 12th destroys that argument calling the discharge inconsequential and of no measurable relevant value.

Statement from Tom Neale's Report:

ii. The report found some nutrient in the effluent but at an inconsequential level. The Australian government commissioned a test for nutrients from a LectraSan discharge. It found from samples taken from water immediately outside the discharge port, at flushing, to be of no measurable relevant value. (Appendix 1)

iii. The EPA has failed to make public this test, even though it is aware that the legislature of Maryland is now considering legislation concerning this issue. An EPA official stated on March 5, 2010 that the report is “working its way through the final approval phase.” Addendum: as of March 12, 2010 we’ve received information that the EPA has finally posted this report on its site.

The link may be error prone but a search of' 'Lectra san' at the site works.
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Old 13-03-2010, 09:26   #80
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I think they should ban all boating on the chesapeake. some boaters will continue to find ways to dump effluent plus you'll get rid of any possible chance of maybe having any kind of possible oil/gas/diesel pollution. It's the only guarantee of stopping pollution from boats.
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Old 13-03-2010, 09:29   #81
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There was a lengthy article about this legislation in today's Capitol down in Annapolis.

I really was disappointed with the tone of the article. It had a "get your torches and pitchforks, we're going after those bastard boaters" sound to it, yet deep into the article it admitted that boat discharge probably only accounts for 1% of the problem, and the state admitted that a study hadn't been done.

The article did totally take the path that the nutrient load, not the bacteria relased by boats is the problem. The proposed fines are excessive. Grandfathering is still being discussed.
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Old 13-03-2010, 11:41   #82
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The numbers on this stuff aren't very hard to find on the internet. The current nitrogen nutrient load from sewage treatment plants is 52 million lbs/year and their new target is 13 million lbs/year. Non-point source sources contribute about an additional 78 million lbs. Estimating the boaters nutrient contribution from type 1 MSDs is pretty straight forward. The average human produces about 18 grams per day of nitrogen in their waste products. I did a bit of an estimate using this number and rounding the number of type 1 MSD using recreational boats to 5000. I Estimated that 10% (probably high) of these are liveaboards and used an average of 3 people per boat(probably also high). For the remaining 4500 I also estimated 3 people per boat an 60 days per year of use (probably also high). Using these numbers I estimate that boats contribute slightly less than 60,000 lbs/year to the nitrogen load of the bay. This amounts to .04% of the current total nitrogen load, 0.1% of the current sewage treatment plan load, and 0.4% of the future target nitrogen load. Keep in mind that Washington DC alone has a target of 4.7 millon lbs. Some may attribute this to the abundance of politicians and lawyers, but I digress.

In my former capacity as a biologist I did culture algae for a while and I can assure you that a 0.4% reduction in the nutrient level will have no significant effect on the amount of algae growing in the bay. It is algae blooms triggered by nutrient levels that is causing the deadspots and other problems in the bay. Banning Type 1 MSDs will make no difference.
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Old 13-03-2010, 12:00   #83
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I really was disappointed with the tone of the article. It had a "get your torches and pitchforks, we're going after those bastard boaters" sound to it
Effective politics require a face to the enemy. It matter not what they did so long as they can be identified. It's about knowing who to hate, blame, and convict. It's the assurance you can't be wrong if you know who the bad guys are. It's unclear how this one will end but the results are very certain. Politicians will at least have accomplished the absolute least they could and made a biggest deal of it. It is for certain no matter the outcome.

Some politicians end up in jail so it is mostly is a case of what goes around comes around. It's the potential of our boat being illegal in Maryland that is similar. At least I'll know someone else went to jail even if for the wrong reason. You can find symmetry in politics if you take off your glasses and don't look too close.

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