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Chapter 55 - Environmental Pollution

Jerry Spiegel and Lucien Y. Maystre
Over the course of the twentieth century, growing recognition of the environmental
and public health impacts associated with anthropogenic activities (discussed in the
chapter Environmental Health Hazards) has prompted the development and
application of methods and technologies to reduce the effects of pollution. In this
context, governments have adopted regulatory and other policy measures (discussed
in the chapter Environmental Policy) to minimize negative effects and ensure that
environmental quality standards are achieved.
The objective of this chapter is to provide an orientation to the methods that are
applied to control and prevent environmental pollution. The basic principles followed
for eliminating negative impacts on the quality of water, air or land will be introduced;
the shifting emphasis from control to prevention will be considered; and the
limitations of building solutions for individual environmental media will be examined.
It is not enough, for example, to protect air by removing trace metals from a flue gas
only to transfer these contaminants to land through improper solid waste management
practices. Integrated multimedia solutions are required.
The Pollution Control Approach
The environmental consequences of rapid industrialization have resulted in countless
incidents of land, air and water resources sites being contaminated with toxic
materials and other pollutants, threatening humans and ecosystems with serious health
risks. More extensive and intensive use of materials and energy has created
cumulative pressures on the quality of local, regional and global ecosystems.
Before there was a concerted effort to restrict the impact of pollution, environmental
management extended little beyond laissez-faire tolerance, tempered by disposal of
wastes to avoid disruptive local nuisance conceived of in a short-term perspective.
The need for remediation was recognized, by exception, in instances where damage
was determined to be unacceptable. As the pace of industrial activity intensified and

the understanding of cumulative effects grew, a pollution control paradigm became

the dominant approach to environmental management.
Two specific concepts served as the basis for the control approach:
the assimilative capacity concept, which asserts the existence of a specified level
of emissions into the environment which does not lead to unacceptable environmental
or human health effects
the principle of control concept, which assumes that environmental damage can be
avoided by controlling the manner, time and rate at which pollutants enter the
Under the pollution control approach, attempts to protect the environment have
especially relied on isolating contaminants from the environment and using end-ofpipe filters and scrubbers. These solutions have tended to focus on media-specific
environmental quality objectives or emission limits, and have been primarily directed
at point source discharges into specific environmental media (air, water, soil).
Applying Pollution Control Technologies
Application of pollution control methods has demonstrated considerable effectiveness
in controlling pollution problems - particularly those of a local character. Application
of appropriate technologies is based on a systematic analysis of the source and nature
of the emission or discharge in question, of its interaction with the ecosystem and the
ambient pollution problem to be addressed, and the development of appropriate
technologies to mitigate and monitor pollution impacts.
In their article on air pollution control, Dietrich Schwela and Berenice Goelzer
explain the importance and implications of taking a comprehensive approach to
assessment and control of point sources and non-point sources of air pollution. They
also highlight the challenges - and opportunities - that are being addressed in countries
that are undergoing rapid industrialization without having had a strong pollution
control component accompanying earlier development.
Marion Wichman-Fiebig explains the methods that are applied to model air pollutant
dispersion to determine and characterize the nature of pollution problems. This forms
the basis for understanding the controls that are to be put into effect and for evaluating
their effectiveness. As the understanding of potential impacts has deepened,
appreciation of effects has expanded from the local to the regional to the global scale.

Hans-Ulrich Pfeffer and Peter Bruckmann provide an introduction to the equipment

and methods that are used to monitor air quality so that potential pollution problems
can be assessed and the effectiveness of control and prevention interventions can be
John Elias provides an overview of the types of air pollution controls that can be
applied and the issues that must be addressed in selecting appropriate pollution control
management options.
The challenge of water pollution control is addressed by Herbert Preul in an article
which explains the basis whereby the earths natural waters may become polluted
from point, non-point and intermittent sources; the basis for regulating water
pollution; and the different criteria that can be applied in determining control
programmes. Preul explains the manner in which discharges are received in water
bodies, and may be analysed and evaluated to assess and manage risks. Finally, an
overview is provided of the techniques that are applied for large-scale wastewater
treatment and water pollution control.
A case study provides a vivid example of how wastewater can be reused - a topic of
considerable significance in the search for ways that environmental resources can be
used effectively, especially in circumstances of scarcity. Alexander Donagi provides a
summary of the approach that has been pursued for the treatment and groundwater
recharge of municipal wastewater for a population of 1.5 million in Israel.
Comprehensive Waste Management
Under the pollution control perspective, waste is regarded as an undesirable byproduct of the production process which is to be contained so as to ensure that soil,
water and air resources are not contaminated beyond levels deemed to be acceptable.
Lucien Maystre provides an overview of the issues that must be addressed in
managing waste, providing a conceptual link to the increasingly important roles of
recycling and pollution prevention.
In response to extensive evidence of the serious contamination associated with
unrestricted management of waste, governments have established standards for
acceptable practices for collection, handling and disposal to ensure environmental
protection. Particular attention has been paid to the criteria for environmentally safe
disposal through sanitary landfills, incineration and hazardous-waste treatment.
To avoid the potential environmental burden and costs associated with the disposal of
waste and promote a more thorough stewardship of scarce resources, waste
minimization and recycling have received growing attention. Niels Hahn and Poul

Lauridsen provide a summary of the issues that are addressed in pursuing recycling as
a preferred waste management strategy, and consider the potential worker exposure
implications of this.
Shifting Emphasis to Pollution Prevention
End-of-pipe abatement risks transferring pollution from one medium to another,
where it may either cause equally serious environmental problems, or even end up as
an indirect source of pollution to the same medium. While not as expensive as
remediation, end-of-pipe abatement can contribute significantly to the costs of
production processes without contributing any value. It also typically is associated
with regulatory regimes which add other sets of costs associated with enforcing
While the pollution control approach has achieved considerable success in producing
short-term improvements for local pollution problems, it has been less effective in
addressing cumulative problems that are increasingly recognized on regional (e.g.,
acid rain) or global (e.g., ozone depletion) levels.
The aim of a health-oriented environmental pollution control programme is to
promote a better quality of life by reducing pollution to the lowest level possible.
Environmental pollution control programmes and policies, whose implications and
priorities vary from country to country, cover all aspects of pollution (air, water, land
and so on) and involve coordination among areas such as industrial development, city
planning, water resources development and transportation policies.
Thomas Tseng, Victor Shantora and Ian Smith provide a case study example of the
multimedia impact that pollution has had on a vulnerable ecosystem subjected to
many stresses - the North American Great Lakes. The limited effectiveness of the
pollution control model in dealing with persistent toxins that dissipate through the
environment is particularly examined. By focusing on the approach being pursued in
one country and the implications that this has for international action, the implications
for actions that address prevention as well as control are illustrated.
As environmental pollution control technologies have become more sophisticated and
more expensive, there has been a growing interest in ways to incorporate prevention
in the design of industrial processes - with the objective of eliminating harmful
environmental effects while promoting the competitiveness of industries. Among the
benefits of pollution prevention approaches, clean technologies and toxic use
reduction is the potential for eliminating worker exposure to health risks.

David Bennett provides an overview of why pollution prevention is emerging as a

preferred strategy and how it relates to other environmental management methods.
This approach is central to implementing the shift to sustainable development which
has been widely endorsed since the release of the United Nations Commission on
Trade and Development in 1987 and reiterated at the Rio United Nations Conference
on Environment and Development (UNCED) Conference in 1992.
The pollution prevention approach focuses directly on the use of processes, practices,
materials and energy that avoid or minimize the creation of pollutants and wastes at
source, and not on add-on abatement measures. While corporate commitment plays
a critical role in the decision to pursue pollution prevention (see Bringer and Zoesel in
Environmental policy), Bennett draws attention to the societal benefits in reducing
risks to ecosystem and human healthand the health of workers in particular. He
identifies principles that can be usefully applied in assessing opportunities for
pursuing this approach.


Dietrich Schwela and Berenice Goelzer
Air pollution management aims at the elimination, or reduction to acceptable levels,
of airborne gaseous pollutants, suspended particulate matter and physical and, to a
certain extent, biological agents whose presence in the atmosphere can cause adverse
effects on human health (e.g., irritation, increase of incidence or prevalence of
respiratory diseases, morbidity, cancer, excess mortality) or welfare (e.g., sensory
effects, reduction of visibility), deleterious effects on animal or plant life, damage to
materials of economic value to society and damage to the environment (e.g., climatic
modifications). The serious hazards associated with radioactive pollutants, as well as
the special procedures required for their control and disposal, also deserve careful
The importance of efficient management of outdoor and indoor air pollution cannot be
overemphasized. Unless there is adequate control, the multiplication of pollution
sources in the modern world may lead to irreparable damage to the environment and
The objective of this article is to give a general overview of the possible approaches to
the management of ambient air pollution from motor vehicle and industrial sources.
However, it is to be emphasized from the very beginning that indoor air pollution (in
particular, in developing countries) might play an even larger role than outdoor air
pollution due to the observation that indoor air pollutant concentrations are often
substantially higher than outdoor concentrations.

Beyond considerations of emissions from fixed or mobile sources, air pollution

management involves consideration of additional factors (such as topography and
meteorology, and community and government participation, among many others) all
of which must be integrated into a comprehensive programme. For example,
meteorological conditions can greatly affect the ground-level concentrations resulting
from the same pollutant emission. Air pollution sources may be scattered over a
community or a region and their effects may be felt by, or their control may involve,
more than one administration. Furthermore, air pollution does not respect any
boundaries, and emissions from one region may induce effects in another region by
long-distance transport.
Air pollution management, therefore, requires a multidisciplinary approach as well as
a joint effort by private and governmental entities.
Sources of Air Pollution
The sources of man-made air pollution (or emission sources) are of basically two
stationary, which can be subdivided into area sources such as agricultural
production, mining and quarrying, industrial, point and area sources such as
manufacturing of chemicals, nonmetallic mineral products, basic metal industries,
power generation and community sources (e.g., heating of homes and buildings,
municipal waste and sewage sludge incinerators, fireplaces, cooking facilities, laundry
services and cleaning plants)
mobile, comprising any form of combustion-engine vehicles (e.g., light-duty
gasoline powered cars, light- and heavy-duty diesel powered vehicles, motorcycles,
aircraft, including line sources with emissions of gases and particulate matter from
vehicle traffic).
In addition, there are also natural sources of pollution (e.g., eroded areas, volcanoes,
certain plants which release great amounts of pollen, sources of bacteria, spores and
viruses). Natural sources are not discussed in this article.
Types of Air Pollutants
Air pollutants are usually classified into suspended particulate matter (dusts, fumes,
mists, smokes), gaseous pollutants (gases and vapours) and odours. Some examples of
usual pollutants are presented below:

Suspended particulate matter (SPM, PM-10) includes diesel exhaust, coal fly-ash,
mineral dusts (e.g., coal, asbestos, limestone, cement), metal dusts and fumes (e.g.,
zinc, copper, iron, lead) and acid mists (e.g., sulphuric acid), fluorides, paint pigments,
pesticide mists, carbon black and oil smoke. Suspended particulate pollutants, besides
their effects of provoking respiratory diseases, cancers, corrosion, destruction of plant
life and so on, can also constitute a nuisance (e.g., accumulation of dirt), interfere with
sunlight (e.g., formation of smog and haze due to light scattering) and act as catalytic
surfaces for reaction of adsorbed chemicals.
Gaseous pollutants include sulphur compounds (e.g., sulphur dioxide (SO 2) and
sulphur trioxide (SO3)), carbon monoxide, nitrogen compounds (e.g., nitric oxide
(NO), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ammonia), organic compounds (e.g., hydrocarbons
(HC), volatile organic compounds (VOC), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH),
aldehydes), halogen compounds and halogen derivatives (e.g., HF and HCl), hydrogen
sulphide, carbon disulphide and mercaptans (odours).
Secondary pollutants may be formed by thermal, chemical or photochemical
reactions. For example, by thermal action sulphur dioxide can oxidize to sulphur
trioxide which, dissolved in water, gives rise to the formation of sulphuric acid mist
(catalysed by manganese and iron oxides). Photochemical reactions between nitrogen
oxides and reactive hydrocarbons can produce ozone (O 3), formaldehyde and
peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN); reactions between HCl and formaldehyde can form bischloromethyl ether.
While some odours are known to be caused by specific chemical agents such as
hydrogen sulphide (H2S), carbon disulphide (CS2) and mercaptans (R-SH or R1-S-R2)
others are difficult to define chemically.
Examples of the main pollutants associated with some industrial air pollution sources
are presented in table 55.1 (Economopoulos 1993).
Table 55.1 Common atmospheric pollutants and their sources



Emitted pollutants


Open burning


Mining and


Manufacture of

Coal mining


Crude petroleum and natural

gas production


Non-ferrous ore mining


Stone quarrying


Food, beverages and tobacco


Textiles and leather industries


Wood products


Paper products, printing


Phthalic anhydride




Hydrochloric acid


Hydrofluoric acid

HF, SiF4

Sulphuric acid

SO2, SO3

Nitric acid


Phosphoric acid


Lead oxide and pigments




Sodium carbonate


Calcium carbide


Adipic acid


Alkyl lead


Maleic anhydride and

terephthalic acid


Fertilizer and pesticide



Ammonium nitrate


Ammonium sulphate


Petroleum refineries

Synthetic resins, plastic

materials, fibres


Paints, varnishes, lacquers




Carbon black and printing ink



SPM, SO2, NOx, SO3, HNO3

Miscellaneous products of
petroleum and coal


Non-metallic mineral Glass products

products manufacture

Structural clay products

SPM, SO2, NOx, CO, VOC, F2

Cement, lime and plaster


Basic metal industries Iron and steel

Power generation


SPM, SO2, NOx, CO, VOC, Pb

Non-ferrous industries

SPM, SO2, F, Pb

Electricity, gas and steam

SPM, SO2, NOx, CO, VOC, SO3,


Wholesale and retail


Fuel storage, filling operations VOC


Community services

SPM, SO2, NOx, CO, VOC, Pb

Municipal incinerators

SPM, SO2, NOx, CO, VOC, Pb

Source: Economopoulos 1993

Clean Air Implementation Plans
Air quality management aims at the preservation of environmental quality by
prescribing the tolerated degree of pollution, leaving it to the local authorities and
polluters to devise and implement actions to ensure that this degree of pollution will
not be exceeded. An example of legislation within this approach is the adoption of
ambient air quality standards based, very often, on air quality guidelines (WHO 1987)
for different pollutants; these are accepted maximum levels of pollutants (or
indicators) in the target area (e.g., at ground level at a specified point in a community)
and can be either primary or secondary standards. Primary standards (WHO 1980) are
the maximum levels consistent with an adequate safety margin and with the
preservation of public health, and must be complied with within a specific time limit;
secondary standards are those judged to be necessary for protection against known or
anticipated adverse effects other than health hazards (mainly on vegetation) and must
be complied within a reasonable time. Air quality standards are short-, medium- or
long-term values valid for 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, and for monthly,
seasonal or annual exposure of all living subjects (including sensitive subgroups such
as children, the elderly and the sick) as well as non-living objects; this is in contrast to
maximum permissible levels for occupational exposure, which are for a partial weekly
exposure (e.g., 8 hours per day, 5 days per week) of adult and supposedly healthy
Typical measures in air quality management are control measures at the source, for
example, enforcement of the use of catalytic converters in vehicles or of emission
standards in incinerators, land-use planning and shut-down of factories or reduction of

traffic during unfavourable weather conditions. The best air quality management
stresses that the air pollutant emissions should be kept to a minimum; this is basically
defined through emission standards for single sources of air pollution and could be
achieved for industrial sources, for example, through closed systems and highefficiency collectors. An emission standard is a limit on the amount or concentration
of a pollutant emitted from a source. This type of legislation requires a decision, for
each industry, on the best means of controlling its emissions (i.e., fixing emission
The basic aim of air pollution management is to derive a clean air implementation
plan (or air pollution abatement plan) (Schwela and Kth-Jahr 1994) which consists of
the following elements:

description of area with respect to topography, meteorology and socioeconomy

emissions inventory

comparison with emission standards

air pollutant concentrations inventory

simulated air pollutant concentrations

comparison with air quality standards

inventory of effects on public health and the environment

causal analysis

control measures

cost of control measures

cost of public health and environmental effects

cost-benefit analysis (costs of control vs. costs of efforts)

transportation and land-use planning

enforcement plan; resource commitment

projections for the future on population, traffic, industries and fuel consumption

strategies for follow-up.

Some of these issues will be described below.

Emissions Inventory; Comparison with Emission Standards
The emissions inventory is a most complete listing of sources in a given area and of
their individual emissions, estimated as accurately as possible from all emitting point,
line and area (diffuse) sources. When these emissions are compared with emission
standards set for a particular source, first hints on possible control measures are given
if emission standards are not complied with. The emissions inventory also serves to
assess a priority list of important sources according to the amount of pollutants
emitted, and indicates the relative influence of different sourcesfor example, traffic
as compared to industrial or residential sources. The emissions inventory also allows
an estimate of air pollutant concentrations for those pollutants for which ambient
concentration measurements are difficult or too expensive to perform.
Air Pollutant Concentrations Inventory; Comparison with Air Quality Standards
The air pollutant concentrations inventory summarizes the results of the monitoring of
ambient air pollutants in terms of annual means, percentiles and trends of these
quantities. Compounds measured for such an inventory include the following:

sulphur dioxide

nitrogen oxides

suspended particulate matter

carbon monoxide


heavy metals (Pb, Cd, Ni, Cu, Fe, As, Be)

polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons: benzo(a)pyrene, benzo(e)pyrene,

benzo(a)anthracene, dibenzo(a,h)anthracene, benzoghi)perylene, coronen
volatile organic compounds: n-hexane, benzene, 3-methyl-hexane, n-heptane,
toluene, octane, ethyl-benzene xylene (o-,m-,p-), n-nonane, isopropylbenzene,
propylbenezene, n-2-/3-/4-ethyltoluene, 1,2,4-/1,3,5-trimethylbenzene,
trichloromethane, 1,1,1 trichloroethane, tetrachloromethane, tri-/tetrachloroethene.

Comparison of air pollutant concentrations with air quality standards or guidelines, if

they exist, indicates problem areas for which a causal analysis has to be performed in
order to find out which sources are responsible for the non-compliance. Dispersion
modelling has to be used in performing this causal analysis (see Air pollution:
Modelling of air pollutant dispersion). Devices and procedures used in todays
ambient air pollution monitoring are described in Air quality monitoring.
Simulated Air Pollutant Concentrations; Comparison with Air Quality
Starting from the emissions inventory, with its thousands of compounds which cannot
all be monitored in the ambient air for economy reasons, use of dispersion modelling
can help to estimate the concentrations of more exotic compounds. Using
appropriate meteorology parameters in a suitable dispersion model, annual averages
and percentiles can be estimated and compared to air quality standards or guidelines,
if they exist.
Inventory of Effects on Public Health and the Environment; Causal Analysis
Another important source of information is the effects inventory (Ministerium fr
Umwelt 1993), which consists of results of epidemiological studies in the given area
and of effects of air pollution observed in biological and material receptors such as,
for example, plants, animals and construction metals and building stones. Observed
effects attributed to air pollution have to be causally analysed with respect to the
component responsible for a particular effectfor example, increased prevalence of
chronic bronchitis in a polluted area. If the compound or compounds have been fixed
in a causal analysis (compound-causal analysis), a second analysis has to be
performed to find out the responsible sources (source-causal analysis).
Control Measures; Cost of Control Measures
Control measures for industrial facilities include adequate, well-designed, wellinstalled, efficiently operated and maintained air cleaning devices, also called
separators or collectors. A separator or collector can be defined as an apparatus for
separating any one or more of the following from a gaseous medium in which they are
suspended or mixed: solid particles (filter and dust separators), liquid particles (filter
and droplet separator) and gases (gas purifier). The basic types of air pollution
control equipment (discussed further in Air pollution control) are the following:
for particulate matter: inertial separators (e.g., cyclones); fabric filters
(baghouses); electrostatic precipitators; wet collectors (scrubbers)

for gaseous pollutants: wet collectors (scrubbers); adsorption units (e.g.,

adsorption beds); afterburners, which can be direct-fired (thermal incineration) or
catalytic (catalytic combustion).
Wet collectors (scrubbers) can be used to collect, at the same time, gaseous pollutants
and particulate matter. Also, certain types of combustion devices can burn
combustible gases and vapours as well as certain combustible aerosols. Depending on
the type of effluent, one or a combination of more than one collector can be used.
The control of odours that are chemically identifiable relies on the control of the
chemical agent(s) from which they emanate (e.g., by absorption, by incineration).
However, when an odour is not defined chemically or the producing agent is found at
extremely low levels, other techniques may be used, such as masking (by a stronger,
more agreeable and harmless agent) or counteraction (by an additive which
counteracts or partially neutralizes the offensive odour).
It should be kept in mind that adequate operation and maintenance are indispensable
to ensure the expected efficiency from a collector. This should be ensured at the
planning stage, both from the know-how and financial points of view. Energy
requirements must not be overlooked. Whenever selecting an air cleaning device, not
only the initial cost but also operational and maintenance costs should be considered.
Whenever dealing with high-toxicity pollutants, high efficiency should be ensured, as
well as special procedures for maintenance and disposal of waste materials.
The fundamental control measures in industrial facilities are the following:
Substitution of materials. Examples: substitution of less toxic solvents for highly toxic
ones used in certain industrial processes; use of fuels with lower sulphur content (e.g.,
washed coal), therefore giving rise to less sulphur compounds and so on.
Modification or change of the industrial process or equipment. Examples: in the steel
industry, a change from raw ore to pelleted sintered ore (to reduce the dust released
during ore handling); use of closed systems instead of open ones; change of fuel
heating systems to steam, hot water or electrical systems; use of catalysers at the
exhaust air outlets (combustion processes) and so on.
Modifications in processes, as well as in plant layout, may also facilitate and/or
improve the conditions for dispersion and collection of pollutants. For example, a
different plant layout may facilitate the installation of a local exhaust system; the
performance of a process at a lower rate may allow the use of a certain collector (with
volume limitations but otherwise adequate). Process modifications that concentrate
different effluent sources are closely related to the volume of effluent handled, and the

efficiency of some air-cleaning equipment increases with the concentration of

pollutants in the effluent. Both the substitution of materials and the modification of
processes may have technical and/or economic limitations, and these should be
Adequate housekeeping and storage. Examples: strict sanitation in food and animal
product processing; avoidance of open storage of chemicals (e.g., sulphur piles) or
dusty materials (e.g., sand), or, failing this, spraying of the piles of loose particulate
with water (if possible) or application of surface coatings (e.g., wetting agents, plastic)
to piles of materials likely to give off pollutants.
Adequate disposal of wastes. Examples: avoidance of simply piling up chemical
wastes (such as scraps from polymerization reactors), as well as of dumping pollutant
materials (solid or liquid) in water streams. The latter practice not only causes water
pollution but can also create a secondary source of air pollution, as in the case of
liquid wastes from sulphite process pulp mills, which release offensive odorous
gaseous pollutants.
Maintenance. Example: well maintained and well-tuned internal combustion engines
produce less carbon monoxide and hydrocarbons.
Work practices. Example: taking into account meteorological conditions, particularly
winds, when spraying pesticides.
By analogy with adequate practices at the workplace, good practices at the community
level can contribute to air pollution control - for example, changes in the use of motor
vehicles (more collective transportation, small cars and so on) and control of heating
facilities (better insulation of buildings in order to require less heating, better fuels and
so on).
Control measures in vehicle emissions are adequate and efficient mandatory
inspection and maintenance programmes which are enforced for the existing car fleet,
programmes of enforcement of the use of catalytic converters in new cars, aggressive
substitution of solar/battery-powered cars for fuel-powered ones, regulation of road
traffic, and transportation and land use planning concepts.
Motor vehicle emissions are controlled by controlling emissions per vehicle mile
travelled (VMT) and by controlling VMT itself (Walsh 1992). Emissions per VMT
can be reduced by controlling vehicle performance - hardware, maintenance - for both
new and in-use cars. Fuel composition of leaded gasoline may be controlled by
reducing lead or sulphur content, which also has a beneficial effect on decreasing HC
emissions from vehicles. Lowering the levels of sulphur in diesel fuel as a means to

lower diesel particulate emission has the additional beneficial effect of increasing the
potential for catalytic control of diesel particulate and organic HC emissions.
Another important management tool for reducing vehicle evaporative and refuelling
emissions is the control of gasoline volatility. Control of fuel volatility can greatly
lower vehicle evaporative HC emissions. Use of oxygenated additives in gasoline
lowers HC and CO exhaust as long as fuel volatility is not increased.
Reduction of VMT is an additional means of controlling vehicle emissions by control
strategies such as

use of more efficient transportation modes

increasing the average number of passengers per car

spreading congested peak traffic loads

reducing travel demand.

While such approaches promote fuel conservation, they are not yet accepted by the
general population, and governments have not seriously tried to implement them.
All these technological and political solutions to the motor vehicle problem except
substitution of electrical cars are increasingly offset by growth in the vehicle
population. The vehicle problem can be solved only if the growth problem is
addressed in an appropriate way.
Cost of Public Health and Environmental Effects; Cost-Benefit Analysis
The estimation of the costs of public health and environmental effects is the most
difficult part of a clean air implementation plan, as it is very difficult to estimate the
value of lifetime reduction of disabling illnesses, hospital admission rates and hours of
work lost. However, this estimation and a comparison with the cost of control
measures is absolutely necessary in order to balance the costs of control measures
versus the costs of no such measure undertaken, in terms of public health and
environmental effects.
Transportation and Land-Use Planning
The pollution problem is intimately connected to land-use and transportation,
including issues such as community planning, road design, traffic control and mass
transportation; to concerns of demography, topography and economy; and to social

concerns (Venzia 1977). In general, the rapidly growing urban aggregations have
severe pollution problems due to poor land-use and transportation practices.
Transportation planning for air pollution control includes transportation controls,
transportation policies, mass transit and highway congestion costs. Transportation
controls have an important impact on the general public in terms of equity,
repressiveness and social and economic disruption - in particular, direct transportation
controls such as motor vehicle constraints, gasoline limitations and motor vehicle
emission reductions. Emission reductions due to direct controls can be reliably
estimated and verified. Indirect transportation controls such as reduction of vehicle
miles travelled by improvement of mass transit systems, traffic flow improvement
regulations, regulations on parking lots, road and gasoline taxes, car-use permissions
and incentives for voluntary approaches are mostly based on past trial-and-error
experience, and include many uncertainties when trying to develop a viable
transportation plan.
National action plans incurring indirect transportation controls can affect
transportation and land-use planning with regard to highways, parking lots and
shopping centres. Long-term planning for the transportation system and the area
influenced by it will prevent significant deterioration of air quality and provide for
compliance with air quality standards. Mass transit is consistently considered as a
potential solution for urban air pollution problems. Selection of a mass transit system
to serve an area and different modal splits between highway use and bus or rail service
will ultimately alter land-use patterns. There is an optimum split that will minimize air
pollution; however, this may not be acceptable when non-environmental factors are
The automobile has been called the greatest generator of economic externalities ever
known. Some of these, such as jobs and mobility, are positive, but the negative ones,
such as air pollution, accidents resulting in death and injury, property damage, noise,
loss of time, and aggravation, lead to the conclusion that transportation is not a
decreasing cost industry in urbanized areas. Highway congestion costs are another
externality; lost time and congestion costs, however, are difficult to determine. A true
evaluation of competing transportation modes, such as mass transportation, cannot be
obtained if travel costs for work trips do not include congestion costs.
Land-use planning for air pollution control includes zoning codes and performance
standards, land-use controls, housing and land development, and land-use planning
policies. Land-use zoning was the initial attempt to accomplish protection of the
people, their property and their economic opportunity. However, the ubiquitous nature
of air pollutants required more than physical separation of industries and residential
areas to protect the individual. For this reason, performance standards based initially

on aesthetics or qualitative decisions were introduced into some zoning codes in an

attempt to quantify criteria for identifying potential problems.
The limitations of the assimilative capacity of the environment must be identified for
long-term land-use planning. Then, land-use controls can be developed that will
prorate the capacity equitably among desired local activities. Land-use controls
include permit systems for review of new stationary sources, zoning regulation
between industrial and residential areas, restriction by easement or purchase of land,
receptor location control, emission-density zoning and emission allocation
Housing policies aimed at making home ownership available to many who could
otherwise not afford it (such as tax incentives and mortgage policies) stimulate urban
sprawl and indirectly discourage higher-density residential development. These
policies have now proven to be environmentally disastrous, as no consideration was
given to the simultaneous development of efficient transportation systems to serve the
needs of the multitude of new communities being developed. The lesson learnt from
this development is that programmes impacting on the environment should be
coordinated, and comprehensive planning undertaken at the level where the problem
occurs and on a scale large enough to include the entire system.
Land-use planning must be examined at national, provincial or state, regional and
local levels to adequately ensure long-term protection of the environment.
Governmental programmes usually start with power plant siting, mineral extraction
sites, coastal zoning and desert, mountain or other recreational development. As the
multiplicity of local governments in a given region cannot adequately deal with
regional environmental problems, regional governments or agencies should coordinate
land development and density patterns by supervising the spatial arrangement and
location of new construction and use, and transportation facilities. Land-use and
transportation planning must be interrelated with enforcement of regulations to
maintain the desired air quality. Ideally, air pollution control should be planned for by
the same regional agency that does land-use planning because of the overlapping
externalities associated with both issues.
Enforcement Plan, Resource Commitment
The clean air implementation plan should always contain an enforcement plan which
indicates how the control measures can be enforced. This implies also a resource
commitment which, according to a polluter pays principle, will state what the polluter
has to implement and how the government will help the polluter in fulfilling the

Projections for the Future

In the sense of a precautionary plan, the clean air implementation plan should also
include estimates of the trends in population, traffic, industries and fuel consumption
in order to assess responses to future problems. This will avoid future stresses by
enforcing measures well in advance of imagined problems.
Strategies for Follow-up
A strategy for follow-up of air quality management consists of plans and policies on
how to implement future clean air implementation plans.
Role of Environmental Impact Assessment
Environmental impact assessment (EIA) is the process of providing a detailed
statement by the responsible agency on the environmental impact of a proposed action
significantly affecting the quality of the human environment (Lee 1993). EIA is an
instrument of prevention aiming at consideration of the human environment at an
early stage of the development of a programme or project.
EIA is particularly important for countries which develop projects in the framework of
economic reorientation and restructuring. EIA has become legislation in many
developed countries and is now increasingly applied in developing countries and
economies in transition.
EIA is integrative in the sense of comprehensive environmental planning and
management considering the interactions between different environmental media. On
the other hand, EIA integrates the estimation of environmental consequences into the
planning process and thereby becomes an instrument of sustainable development. EIA
also combines technical and participative properties as it collects, analyses and applies
scientific and technical data with consideration of quality control and quality
assurance, and stresses the importance of consultations prior to licensing procedures
between environmental agencies and the public which could be affected by particular
projects. A clean air implementation plan can be considered as a part of the EIA
procedure with reference to the air.


Marion Wichmann-Fiebig
International Monitoring Programmes

International agencies such as the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Meteorological
Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) have instituted
monitoring and research projects in order to clarify the issues involved in air pollution and to
promote measures to prevent further deterioration of public health and environmental and
climatic conditions.
The Global Environmental Monitoring System GEMS/Air (WHO/ UNEP 1993) is organized and
sponsored by WHO and UNEP and has developed a comprehensive programme for providing the
instruments of rational air pollution management (see figure 55.1. The kernel of this programme
is a global database of urban air pollutant concentrations of sulphur dioxides, suspended
particulate matter, lead, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and ozone. As important as this
database, however, is the provision of management tools such as guides for rapid emission
inventories, programmes for dispersion modelling, population exposure estimates, control
measures, and cost-benefit analysis. In this respect, GEMS/Air provides methodology review
handbooks (WHO/UNEP 1994, 1995), conducts global assessments of air quality, facilitates
review and validation of assessments, acts as a data/information broker, produces technical
documents in support of all aspects of air quality management, facilitates the establishment of
monitoring, conducts and widely distributes annual reviews, and establishes or identifies regional
collaboration centres and/or experts to coordinate and support activities according to the needs of
the regions. (WHO/UNEP 1992, 1993, 1995)
The Global Atmospheric Watch (GAW) programme (Miller and Soudine 1994) provides data and
other information on the chemical composition and related physical characteristics of the
atmosphere, and their trends, with the objective of understanding the relationship between
changing atmospheric composition and changes of global and regional climate, the long-range
atmospheric transport and deposition of potentially harmful substances over terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems, and the natural cycling of chemical elements in the global
atmosphere/ocean/biosphere system, and anthropogenic impacts thereon. The GAW programme
consists of four activity areas: the Global Ozone Observing System (GO3OS), global monitoring
of background atmospheric composition, including the Background Air Pollution Monitoring
Network (BAPMoN); dispersion, transport, chemical transformation and deposition of
atmospheric pollutants over land and sea on different time and space scales; exchange of
pollutants between the atmosphere and other environmental compartments; and integrated
monitoring. One of the most important aspects of the GAW is the establishment of Quality
Assurance Science Activity Centres to oversee the quality of the data produced under GAW.

Figure 55.1 Global Environmental Monitoring System/Air pollution management

The aim of air pollution modelling is the estimation of outdoor pollutant

concentrations caused, for instance, by industrial production processes, accidental
releases or traffic. Air pollution modelling is used to ascertain the total concentration
of a pollutant, as well as to find the cause of extraordinary high levels. For projects in
the planning stage, the additional contribution to the existing burden can be estimated
in advance, and emission conditions may be optimized.
Depending on the air quality standards defined for the pollutant in question, annual
mean values or short-time peak concentrations are of interest. Usually concentrations
have to be determined where people are active - that is, near the surface at a height of
about two metres above the ground.
Parameters Influencing Pollutant Dispersion

Two types of parameters influence pollutant dispersion: source parameters and

meteorological parameters. For source parameters, concentrations are proportional to
the amount of pollutant which is emitted. If dust is concerned, the particle diameter
has to be known to determine sedimentation and deposition of the material (VDI
1992). As surface concentrations are lower with greater stack height, this parameter
also has to be known. In addition, concentrations depend on the total amount of the
exhaust gas, as well as on its temperature and velocity. If the temperature of the
exhaust gas exceeds the temperature of the surrounding air, the gas will be subject to
thermal buoyancy. Its exhaust velocity, which can be calculated from the inner stack
diameter and the exhaust gas volume, will cause a dynamic momentum buoyancy.
Empirical formulae may be used to describe these features (VDI 1985; Venkatram and
Wyngaard 1988). It has to be stressed that it is not the mass of the pollutant in
question but that of the total gas that is responsible for the thermal and dynamic
momentum buoyancy.
Meteorological parameters which influence pollutant dispersion are wind speed and
direction, as well as vertical thermal stratification. The pollutant concentration is
proportional to the reciprocal of wind speed. This is mainly due to the accelerated
transport. Moreover, turbulent mixing increases with growing wind speed. As socalled inversions (i.e., situations where temperature is increasing with height) hinder
turbulent mixing, maximum surface concentrations are observed during highly stable
stratification. On the contrary, convective situations intensify vertical mixing and
therefore show the lowest concentration values.
Air quality standards - for example, annual mean values or 98 percentiles - are usually
based on statistics. Hence, time series data for the relevant meteorological parameters
are needed. Ideally, statistics should be based on ten years of observation. If only
shorter time series are available, it should be ascertained that they are representative
for a longer period. This can be done, for example, by analysis of longer time series
from other observations sites.
The meteorological time series used also has to be representative of the site
considered - that is, it must reflect the local characteristics. This is specially important
concerning air quality standards based on peak fractions of the distribution, like 98
percentiles. If no such time series is at hand, a meteorological flow model may be
used to calculate one from other data, as will be described below.
Concepts of Air Pollution Modelling
As mentioned above, dispersion of pollutants is dependent on emission conditions,
transport and turbulent mixing. Using the full equation which describes these features
is called Eulerian dispersion modelling (Pielke 1984). By this approach, gains and

losses of the pollutant in question have to be determined at every point on an

imaginary spatial grid and in distinct time steps. As this method is very complex and
computer time consuming, it usually cannot be handled routinely. However, for many
applications, it may be simplified using the following assumptions:

no change of emission conditions with time

no change of meteorological conditions during transport

wind speeds above 1 m/s.

In this case, the equation mentioned above can be solved analytically. The resulting
formula describes a plume with Gaussian concentration distribution, the so called
Gaussian plume model (VDI 1992). The distribution parameters depend on
meteorological conditions and downwind distance as well as on stack height. They
have to be determined empirically (Venkatram and Wyngaard 1988). Situations where
emissions and/or meteorological parameters vary by a considerable amount in time
and/or space may be described by the Gaussian puff model (VDI 1994). Under this
approach, distinct puffs are emitted in fixed time steps, each following its own path
according to the current meteorological conditions. On its way, each puff grows
according to turbulent mixing. Parameters describing this growth, again, have to be
determined from empirical data (Venkatram and Wyngaard 1988). It has to be
stressed, however, that to achieve this objective, input parameters must be available
with the necessary resolution in time and/or space.
Concerning accidental releases or single case studies, a Lagrangian or particle model
(VDI Guideline 3945, Part 3) is recommended. The concept thereby is to calculate the
paths of many particles, each of which represents a fixed amount of the pollutant in
question. The individual paths are composed of transport by the mean wind and of
stochastic disturbances. Due to the stochastic part, the paths do not fully agree, but
depict the mixture by turbulence. In principle, Lagrangian models are capable of
considering complex meteorological conditions - in particular, wind and turbulence;
fields calculated by flow models described below can be used for Lagrangian
dispersion modelling.
Dispersion Modelling in Complex Terrain
If pollutant concentrations have to be determined in structured terrain, it may be
necessary to include topographic effects on pollutant dispersion in modelling. Such
effects are, for example, transport following the topographic structure, or thermal
wind systems like sea breezes or mountain winds, which change wind direction in the
course of the day.

If such effects take place on a scale much larger than the model area, the influence
may be considered by using meteorological data which reflect the local
characteristics. If no such data are available, the three-dimensional structure
impressed on the flow by topography can be obtained by using a corresponding flow
model. Based on these data, dispersion modelling itself may be carried out assuming
horizontal homogeneity as described above in the case of the Gaussian plume model.
However, in situations where wind conditions change significantly inside the model
area, dispersion modelling itself has to consider the three-dimensional flow affected
by the topographic structure. As mentioned above, this may be done by using a
Gaussian puff or a Lagrangian model. Another way is to perform the more complex
Eulerian modelling.
To determine wind direction in accord with the topographically structured terrain,
mass consistent or diagnostic flow modelling may be used (Pielke 1984). Using this
approach, the flow is fitted to topography by varying the initial values as little as
possible and by keeping its mass consistent. As this is an approach which leads to
quick results, it may also be used to calculate wind statistics for a certain site if no
observations are available. To do this, geostrophic wind statistics (i.e., upper air data
from rawinsondes) are used.
If, however, thermal wind systems have to be considered in more detail, so called
prognostic models have to be used. Depending on the scale and the steepness of the
model area, a hydrostatic, or the even more complex non-hydrostatic, approach is
suitable (VDI 1981). Models of this type need much computer power, as well as much
experience in application. Determination of concentrations based on annual means, in
general, are not possible with these models. Instead, worst case studies can be
performed by considering only one wind direction and those wind speed and
stratification parameters which result in the highest surface concentration values. If
those worst case values do not exceed air quality standards, more detailed studies are
not necessary.
Figure 55.2, figure 55.3 and figure 55.4 demonstrate how the transport and
dispension of pollutants can be presented in relation to the influence of terrain and
wind climatologies derived from consideration of surface and geostrophic wind
Figure 55.2 Topographic structure of a model region

Figure 55.3 Surface frequency distributions as determined from geostrophic

frequency distribution

Figure 55.4 Annual mean pollutant concentrations for a hypothetical region

calculated from the geostrophic frequency distribution for heterogeneous wind

Dispersion Modelling in Case of Low Sources

Considering air pollution caused by low sources (i.e., stack heights on the order of
building height or emissions of road traffic) the influence of the surrounding buildings
has to be considered. Road traffic emissions will be trapped to a certain amount in
street canyons. Empirical formulations have been found to describe this (Yamartino
and Wiegand 1986).
Pollutants emitted from a low stack situated on a building will be captured in the
circulation on the lee side of the building. The extent of this lee circulation depends on
the height and width of the building, as well as on wind speed. Therefore, simplified
approaches to describe pollutant dispersion in such a case, based solely on the height
of a building, are not generally valid. The vertical and horizontal extent of the lee
circulation has been obtained from wind tunnel studies (Hosker 1985) and can be
implemented in mass consistent diagnostic models. As soon as the flow field has been

determined, it can be used to calculate the transport and turbulent mixing of the
pollutant emitted. This can be done by Lagrangian or Eulerian dispersion modelling.
More detailed studies - concerning accidental releases, for instance - can be performed
only by using non-hydrostatic flow and dispersion models instead of a diagnostic
approach. As this, in general, demands high computer power, a worst case approach as
described above is recommended in advance of a complete statistical modelling.


Hans-Ulrich Pfeffer and Peter Bruckmann
Air quality monitoring means the systematic measurement of ambient air pollutants in
order to be able to assess the exposure of vulnerable receptors (e.g., people, animals,
plants and art works) on the basis of standards and guidelines derived from observed
effects, and/or to establish the source of the air pollution (causal analysis).
Ambient air pollutant concentrations are influenced by the spatial or time variance of
emissions of hazardous substances and the dynamics of their dispersion in the air. As a
consequence, marked daily and annual variations of concentrations occur. It is
practically impossible to determine in a unified way all these different variations of air
quality (in statistical language, the population of air quality states). Thus, ambient air
pollutant concentrations measurements always have the character of random spatial or
time samples.
Measurement Planning
The first step in measurement planning is to formulate the purpose of the
measurement as precisely as possible. Important questions and fields of operation for
air quality monitoring include:
Area measurement:

representative determination of exposure in one area (general air monitoring)

representative measurement of pre-existing pollution in the area of a planned

facility (permit, TA Luft (Technical instruction, air))

smog warning (winter smog, high ozone concentrations)

measurements in hot spots of air pollution to estimate maximum exposure of

receptors (EU-NO2 guideline, measurements in street canyons, in accordance with the
German Federal Immission Control Act)

checking the results of pollution abatement measures and trends over time

screening measurements

scientific investigations - for example, the transport of air pollution, chemical

conversions, calibrating dispersion calculations.
Facility measurement:

measurements in response to complaints

ascertaining sources of emissions, causal analysis

measurements in cases of fires and accidental releases

checking success of reduction measures

monitoring factory fugitive emissions.

The goal of measurement planning is to use adequate measurement and assessment

procedures to answer specific questions with sufficient certainty and at minimum
possible expense.
An example of the parameters that should be used for measurement planning is
presented in table 55.2 , in relation to an assessment of air pollution in the area of a
planned industrial facility. Recognizing that formal requirements vary by jurisdiction,
it should be noted that specific reference here is made to German licensing procedures
for industrial facilities.
Table 55.2 Parameters for measurement planning in measuring ambient air pollution
concentrations (with example of application)


Example of application: Licensing procedure for

industrial facilities in Germany

Statement of the question

Measurement of prior pollution in the licensing

procedure; representative random probe


Area of measurement

Circle around location with radius 30 times actual

chimney height (simplified)

Assessment standards (place and

time dependent): characteristic
values to be obtained from
measurement data

Threshold limits IW1 (arithmetic mean) and IW2

(98th percentile) of TA Luft (Technical
instruction, air); calculation of I1 (arithmetic
mean) and I2 (98th percentile) from
measurements taken for 1 km2 (assessment
surface) to be compared with IW1 and IW2

Ordering, choice and density of

measurement sites

Regular scan of 1km2, resulting in random

choice of measurement sites

Measurement time period

1 year, at least 6 months

Measurement height

1.5 to 4 metres above ground

Measurement frequency

52 (104) measurements per assessment area for

gaseous pollutants, depending on the height of the

Duration of each measurement

1/2 hour for gaseous pollutants,

24 hours for suspended dust,
1 month for dust precipitation

Measurement time

Random choice

Measured object

Air pollution emitted from the planned facility

Measurement procedure

National standard measurement procedure (VDI


Necessary certainty of measurement



Quality requirements, quality

control, calibration, maintenance

VDI guidelines

Recording of measurement data,

validation, archiving, assessment

Calculation of quantity of data I1V and I2V for

every assessment area


Depend on measurement area and objectives

The example in table 55.2 shows the case of a measurement network that is supposed
to monitor the air quality in a specific area as representatively as possible, to compare
with designated air quality limits. The idea behind this approach is that a random
choice of measurement sites is made in order to cover equally locations in an area
with varying air quality (e.g., living areas, streets, industrial zones, parks, city centres,
suburbs). This approach may be very costly in large areas due to the number of
measurement sites necessary.
Another conception for a measurement network therefore starts with measurement
sites that are representatively selected. If measurements of differing air quality are
conducted in the most important locations, and the length of time that the protected
objects remain in these microenvironments is known, then the exposure can be
determined. This approach can be extended to other microenvironments (e.g., interior
rooms, cars) in order to estimate the total exposure. Diffusion modelling or screening
measurements can help in choosing the right measurement sites.

A third approach is to measure at the points of presumed highest exposure (e.g., for
NO2 and benzene in street canyons). If assessment standards are met at this site, there
is sufficient probability that this will also be the case for all other sites. This approach,
by focusing on critical points, requires relatively few measurement sites, but these
must be chosen with particular care. This particular method risks overestimating real
The parameters of measurement time period, assessment of the measurement data and
measurement frequency are essentially given in the definition of the assessment
standards (limits) and the desired level of certainty of the results. Threshold limits and
the peripheral conditions to be considered in measurement planning are related. By
using continuous measurement procedures, a resolution that is temporally almost
seamless can be achieved. But this is necessary only in monitoring peak values and/or
for smog warnings; for monitoring annual mean values, for example, discontinuous
measurements are adequate.
The following section is dedicated to describing the capabilities of measurement
procedures and quality control as a further parameter important to measurement
Quality Assurance
Measurements of ambient air pollutant concentrations can be costly to conduct, and
results can affect significant decisions with serious economic or ecological
implications. Therefore, quality assurance measures are an integral part of the
measurement process. Two areas should be distinguished here.
Procedure-oriented measures
Every complete measurement procedure consists of several steps: sampling, sample
preparation and clean-up; separation, detection (final analytical step); and data
collection and assessment. In some cases, especially with continuous measurement of
inorganic gases, some steps of the procedure can be left out (e.g., separation).
Comprehensive adherence to procedures should be strived for in conducting
measurements. Procedures that are standardized and thus comprehensively
documented should be followed, in the form of DIN/ISO standards, CEN standards or
VDI guidelines.
User-oriented measures
Using standardized and proven equipment and procedures for ambient air pollutant
concentration measurement cannot alone ensure acceptable quality if the user does not

employ adequate methods of quality control. The standards series DIN/EN/ISO 9000
(Quality Management and Quality Assurance Standards), EN 45000 (which defines
the requirements for testing laboratories) and ISO Guide 25 (General Requirements
for the Competence of Calibration and Testing Laboratories) are important for useroriented measures to ensure quality.
Important aspects of user quality control measures include:
acceptance and practice of the content of the measures in the sense of good
laboratory practice (GLP)
correct maintenance of measurement equipment, qualified measures to eliminate
disruptions and ensure repairs

carrying out calibrations and regular checking to ensure proper functioning

carrying out interlaboratory testing.

Measurement Procedures
Measurement procedures for inorganic gases

A wealth of measurement procedures exists for the broad range of inorganic gases. We
will differentiate between manual and automatic methods.
Manual procedures

In the case of manual measurement procedures for inorganic gases, the substance to
be measured is normally adsorbed during the sampling in a solution or solid material.
In most cases a photometric determination is made after an appropriate colour
reaction. Several manual measurement procedures have special significance as
reference procedures. Because of the relatively high personnel cost, these manual
procedures are conducted only rarely for field measurements today, when alternative
automatic procedures are available. The most important procedures are briefly
sketched in table 55.3 .
Table 55.3 Manual measurement procedures for inorganic gases

Material Procedure




Absorption in tetrachloromercurate solution

EU-reference measurement

TCM procedure

(wash bottle); reaction with formaldehyde and

pararosaniline to red-violet sulphonic acid;
photometric determination

procedure; DL = 0.2 g SO2;

= 0.03 mg/m3 at 0.5 mg/m3

DL = 0.3 g SO2;
s = 0.03 mg/m3 at 0.5 mg/m3


Silica gel procedure

Removal of interfering substances by

concentrated H3PO4; adsorption on silica gel;
thermal desorption in H2-stream and reduction
to H2S; reaction to molybdenum-blue;
photometric determination


Saltzman procedure

Absorption in reaction solution while forming a Calibration with sodium nitrit

red azo dye (wash bottle); photometric
DL = 3 g/m3


Potassium iodide

Formation of iodine from aqueous potassium

iodide solution (wash bottle); photometric


Silver bead
procedure; variant 1

Sampling with dust preseparator; enrichment of Inclusion of an undetermined

F- on sodium carbonate-coated silver beads;
portion of particulate fluoride
elution and measurement with ion-sensitive
lanthanum fluoride-electrode chain


Silver bead
procedure; variant 2

Sampling with heated membrane filter;

enrichment of F- on sodium carbonate-coated
silver beads; determination by electrochemical
(variant 1) or photometric (alizarincomplexone) procedure


Mercury rhodanide

Absorption in 0.1 N sodium hydroxide solution DL = 9 g/m3

(wash bottle); reaction with mercury rhodanide
and Fe(III) ions to iron thiocyanato complex;
photometric determination



Bleaching reaction with methyl-orange solution DL = 0.015 mg/m3

DL = 20 g/m3;
rel. s = 3.5% at 390 g/m3

Danger of lower findings due

partial sorption of gaseous
fluoride immissions on
membrane filter; DL = 0.5


(wash bottle); photometric determination


Indophenol procedure Absorption in dilute H2SO4 (Impinger/wash

bottle); conversion with phenol and
hypochlorite to indophenol dye; photometric

DL = 3 g/m3 (impinger);
partial inclusion of compoun
and amines


Nessler procedure

Absorption in dilute H2SO4 (Impinger/wash

bottle); distillation and reaction with Nesslers
reagent, photometric determination

DL = 2.5 g/m3 (impinger);

partial inclusion of NH4+compounds and amines



Absorption as silver sulphide on glass beads

treated with silver sulphate and potassium
hydrogen sulphate (sorption tube); released as
hydrogen sulphide and conversion to
molybdenum blue; photometric determination

DL = 0.4 g/m3


Methylene blue

Absorption in cadmium hydroxide suspension

while forming CdS; conversion to methylene
blue; photometric determination

DL = 0.3 g/m3

DL = detection limit; s = standard deviation; rel. s = relative s.

A special sampling variant, used primarily in connection with manual measurement
procedures, is the diffusion separation tube (denuder). The denuder technique is aimed
at separating the gas and particle phases by using their different diffusion rates. Thus,
it is often used on difficult separation problems (e.g., ammonia and ammonium
compounds; nitrogen oxides, nitric acid and nitrates; sulphur oxides, sulphuric acid
and sulphates or hydrogen halides/halides). In the classic denuder technique, the test
air is sucked through a glass tube with a special coating, depending on the material(s)
to be collected. The denuder technique has been further developed in many variations
and also partially automated. It has greatly expanded the possibilities of differentiated
sampling, but, depending on the variant, it can be very laborious, and proper
utilization requires a great deal of experience.
Automated procedures

There are numerous different continuous measuring monitors on the market for
sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and ozone. For the most part they
are used particularly in measurement networks. The most important features of the
individual methods are collected in table 55.4 .
Table 55.4 Automated measurement procedures for inorganic gases


Measuring principle



Conductometry reaction of SO2 with

H2O2 in dilute H2SO4; measurement
of increased conductivity

Exclusion of interferences with

selective filter (KHSO4/AgNO3)


UV fluorescence; excitation of
SO2molecules with UV radiation
(190230 nm); measurement of
fluorescence radiation

Interferences, e.g., by hydrocarbons,

must be eliminated with appropriate
filter systems


Chemiluminescence; reaction of NO
with O3 to NO2; detection of
chemiluminescence radiation with

NO2 only indirectly measurable; use

of converters for reduction of NO2 to
NO; measurement of NO and NOx
(=NO+NO2) in separate channels


Non-dispersive infrared absorption;

Reference: (a) cell with N2;
measurement of IR absorption with
(b) ambient air after removal of CO;
specific detector against reference cell (c) optical removal of CO absorption
(gas filter correlation)


UV absorption; low-pressure Hg lamp Reference: ambient air after removal

as radiation source (253.7 nm);
of ozone (e.g., Cu/MnO2)
registration of UV absorption in
accordance with Lambert-Beers law;
detector: vacuum photodiode,
photosensitive valve


Chemiluminescence; reaction of
O3with ethene to formaldehyde;
detection of chemiluminescence
radiation with photomultiplier

Good selectivity; ethylene necessary

as reagent gas

It should be emphasized here that all automatic measurement procedures based on

chemical-physical principles must be calibrated using (manual) reference procedures.
Since automatic equipment in measurement networks often runs for extended periods
of time (e.g., several weeks) without direct human supervision, it is indispensable that
their correct functioning is regularly and automatically checked. This generally is
done using zero and test gases that can be produced by several methods (preparation
of ambient air; pressurized gas cylinders; permeation; diffusion; static and dynamic
Measurement procedures for dust-forming air pollutants and its composition

Among particulate air pollutants, dustfall and suspended particulate matter (SPM) are
differentiated. Dustfall consists of larger particles, which sink to the ground because
of their size and thickness. SPM includes the particle fraction that is dispersed in the
atmosphere in a quasi-stable and quasi-homogenous manner and therefore remains
suspended for a certain time.
Measurement of suspended particulate matter and metallic compounds in SPM

As is the case with measurements of gaseous air pollutants, continuous and

discontinuous measurement procedures for SPM can be differentiated. As a rule, SPM
is first separated on glass fibre or membrane filters. It follows a gravimetric or
radiometric determination. Depending on the sampling, a distinction can be made
between a procedure to measure the total SPM without fractionation according to the
size of the particles and a fractionation procedure to measure the fine dust.
The advantages and disadvantages of fractionated suspended dust measurements are
disputed internationally. In Germany, for example, all threshold limits and assessment
standards are based on total suspended particulates. This means that, for the most part,
only total SPM measurements are performed. In the United States, on the contrary, the
so-called PM-10 procedure (particulate matter 10mm) is very common. In this
procedure, only particles with an aerodynamic diameter up to 10 mm are included (50
per cent inclusion portion), which are inhalable and can enter the lungs. The plan is to
introduce the PM-10 procedure into the European Union as a reference procedure. The
cost for fractionated SPM measurements is considerably higher than for measuring

total suspended dust, because the measuring devices must be fitted with special,
expensively constructed sampling heads that require costly maintenance. Table 55.5
contains details on the most important SPM measurement procedures.
Table 55.5 Measurement procedures for suspended particulate matter (SPM)


Measuring principle


Small filter device

Non-fractionated sampling; air Easy handling; control clock;

flow rate 2.72.8 m3/h; filter
device operable with PM-10
diameter 50 mm; gravimetric

LIB device

Non-fractionated sampling; air

flow rate 15-16 m3/h; filter
diameter 120 mm; gravimetric

Separation of large dust

quantities; advantageous for
analysis of dust components;
control clock

High-Volume-Sampler Inclusion of particles up to

approx. 30 m diameter; air
flow rate approx. 100 m3/h;
filter diameter 257 mm;
gravimetric analysis

Separation of large dust

quantities, advantageous for
analysis of dust components;
relatively high noise level

FH 62 I

Continuous, radiometric dust

measuring device; nonfractionating sampling; air
flow rate 1 or 3 m3/h;
registration of dust mass
separated on a filter band by
measuring attenuation of radiation (krypton 85) in
passage through exposed filter
(ionization chamber)

Gravimetric calibration by
dusting of single filters; device
also operable with PM-10

BETA dust meter F

Continuous, radiometric dust

Gravimetric calibration by


measuring device; nondusting of single filters; device

fractionated sampling; air flow also operable with PM-10
rate 3 m3/h; registration of
dust mass separated on a filter
band by measuring attenuation
of -radiation (carbon 14) in
passage through exposed filter
(Geiger Mller counter tube)

TEOM 1400

Continuous dust measuring

device; non-fractionated
sampling; air flow rate 1 m3/h;
dust collected on a filter, which
is part of a self-resonating,
vibrating system, in side
stream (3 l/min); registration
of the frequency lowering by
increased dust load on the

Relationship between
frequency lowering and dust
mass must be established
through calibration

Recently, automatic filter changers have also been developed that hold a larger
number of filters and supply them to the sampler, one after another, at timed intervals.
The exposed filters are stored in a magazine. The detection limits for filter procedures
lie between 5 and 10 g/m3 of dust, as a rule.
Finally, the black smoke procedure for SPM measurements has to be mentioned.
Coming from Britain, it has been incorporated into EU guidelines for SO 2 and
suspended dust. In this procedure, the blackening of the coated filter is measured with
a reflex photometer after the sampling. The black smoke values that are thus
photometrically obtained are converted into gravimetric units (g/m 3) with the help of
a calibration curve. Since this calibration function depends to a high degree on the
composition of the dust, especially its soot content, the conversion into gravimetric
units is problematic.
Today, metal compounds are often routinely determined in suspended dust immission
samples. In general, the collection of the suspended dust on filters is followed by a
chemical dissolution of the separated dusts, since the most common final analytical
steps presuppose converting the metallic and metalloid compounds in an aqueous
solution. In practice, the most important methods by far are atom absorption
spectroscopy (AAS) and spectroscopy with plasma excitation (ICP-OES). Other

procedures for determining metallic compounds in suspended dust are x-ray

fluorescence analysis, polarography and neutron activation analysis. Although
metallic compounds have been measured for more than a decade now as a component
of SPM in outside air at certain measurement sites, important unanswered questions
remain. Thus the conventional sampling by separating the suspended dust on filters
assumes that the separation of the heavy metal compounds on the filter is complete.
However, earlier indications have been found in the literature questioning this. The
results are very heterogeneous.
A further problem lies in the fact that different compound forms, or single compounds
of the respective elements, cannot be distinguished in the analysis of metallic
compounds in suspended dust using the conventional measurement procedures. While
in many cases adequate total determinations can be made, a more thorough
differentiation would be desirable with certain especially carcinogenic metals (As, Cd,
Cr, Ni, Co, Be). There are often big differences in the carcinogenic effects of elements
and their individual compounds (e.g., chromium compounds in oxidation levels III
and VI - only those in level VI are carcinogenic). In such cases a specific
measurement of the individual compounds (species analysis) would be desirable.
Despite the significance of this problem, only first attempts at species analysis are
being made in measurement technique.
Measurement of dustfall and metallic compounds in dustfall

Two fundamentally different methods are used to collect dustfall:

sampling in collecting vessels

sampling on adhesive surfaces.

A popular procedure for measuring dustfall (deposited dust) is the so-called

Bergerhoff procedure. In this procedure the entire atmospheric precipitation (dry and
wet depositions) is collected over 30 2 days in vessels about 1.5 to 2.0 metres above
the ground (bulk deposition). Then the collecting vessels are taken to the lab and
prepared (filtered, water evaporated, dried, weighed). The result is calculated on the
basis of the surface area of the collecting vessel and exposure time in grams per
square meter and day (g/m2d). The relative detection limit is 0.035 g/m2d.
Additional procedures for collecting dustfall include the Liesegang-Lbner device and
methods which collect the deposited dust on adhesive foils.
All measurement results for dustfall are relative values that depend on the apparatus
used, as the dust separation is influenced by the flow conditions at the device and

other parameters. The differences in the measurement values obtained with the
different procedures can reach 50 per cent.
Also important is the composition of the deposited dust, such as the content of lead,
cadmium and other metallic compounds. The analytical procedures used for this are
basically the same as those used for suspended dust.
Measuring special materials in dust form

Special materials in dust form include asbestos and soot. Collecting fibres as air
pollutants is important since asbestos has been classified as a confirmed carcinogenic
material. Fibres with a diameter of D 3mm and a length of L 5mm, where L:D 3,
are considered carcinogenic. Measurement procedures for fibrous materials consist of
counting, under the microscope, fibres that have been separated on filters. Only
electron microscopic procedures can be considered for outside air measurements. The
fibres are separated on gold-coated porous filters. Prior to assessment in an electron
scan microscope, the sample is freed of organic substances through plasma
incineration right on the filter. The fibres are counted on part of the filter surface,
randomly chosen and classified by geometry and type of fibre. With the help of energy
dispersive x-ray analysis (EDXA), asbestos fibres, calcium sulphate fibres and other
inorganic fibres can be differentiated on the basis of elemental composition. The
entire procedure is extremely expensive and requires the greatest care to achieve
reliable results.
Soot in the form of particles emitted by diesel motors has become relevant since diesel
soot was also classified as carcinogenic. Because of its changing and complex
composition and because of the fact that various constituents are also emitted from
other sources, there is no measurement procedure specific to diesel soot. Nevertheless,
in order to say something concrete about the concentrations in ambient air, soot is
conventionally defined as elemental carbon, as a part of total carbon. It is measured
after sampling and an extraction step and/or thermal desorption. Determination of the
carbon content ensues through burning in an oxygen stream and coulometric titration
or non-dispersive IR detection of the carbon dioxide formed in the process.
The so-called aethalometer and the photoelectric aerosol sensor are also used for
measuring soot, in principle.
Measuring Wet Depositions
Together with dry deposition, wet deposition in rain, snow, fog and dew constitute the
most important means by which harmful materials enter the ground, water or plant
surfaces from the air.

In order to clearly distinguish the wet deposition in rain and snow (fog and dew
present special problems) from the measurement of total deposition (bulk deposition,
see section Measurement of dustfall and metallic compounds above) and dry
deposition, rain catchers, whose collection opening is covered when there is no rain
(wet-only sampler), are used for sampling. With rain sensors, which mostly work on
the principle of conductivity changes, the cover is opened when it starts to rain and
closed again when the rain stops.
The samples are transferred through a funnel (open area approx. 500 cm 2 and more)
into a darkened and if possible insulated collection container (of glass or polyethylene
for inorganic components only).
In general, analysing the collected water for inorganic components can be done
without sample preparation. The water should be centrifuged or filtered if it is visibly
cloudy. The conductivity, pH value and important anions (NO 3 , SO42 , Cl) and
cations (Ca2+, K+, Mg2+, Na+, NH4+ and so on) are routinely measured. Unstable trace
compounds and intermediate states like H 2O2 or HSO3 are also measured for
research purposes.
For analysis, procedures are used that are generally available for aqueous solutions
such as conductometry for conductivity, electrodes for pH values, atom adsorption
spectroscopy for cations (see section Measuring special materials in dust form,
above) and, increasingly, ion exchange chromatography with conductivity detection
for anions.
Organic compounds are extracted from rain water with, for example,
dichloromethane, or blown out with argon and adsorbed with Tenax tubes (only highly
volatile materials). The materials are then subjected to a gas chromatographic analysis
(see Measurement procedures for organic air pollutants, below).
Dry deposition correlates directly with ambient air concentrations. The concentration
differences of airborne harmful materials in rain, however, are relatively small, so that
for measuring wet deposition, wide-mesh measuring networks are adequate. Examples
include the European EMEP measurement network, in which the entry of sulphate and
nitrate ions, certain cations and precipitation pH values are collected in approximately
90 stations. There are also extensive measurement networks in North America.
Optical Long-Distance Measurement Procedures
Whereas the procedures described up to now catch air pollution at one point, optical
long-distance measuring procedures measure in an integrated manner over light paths
of several kilometres or they determine the spatial distribution. They use the

absorption characteristics of gases in the atmosphere in the UV, visible or IR spectral

range and are based on the Lambert-Beer law, according to which the product of light
path and concentration are proportional to the measured extinction. If the sender and
receiver of the measuring installation change the wavelength, several components can
be measured in parallel or sequentially with one device.
In practice, the measurement systems identified in table 55.6 play the biggest role.
Table 55.6 Long-distance measurement procedures




Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy


IR range (approx. 700

3,000 cm1), several
hundred metres light
path. Monitors diffuse
surface sources
(optical fence),
measures individual
organic compounds

+ Multicomponent
+ dl a few ppb

Differential optical absorption

spectrometry (DOAS)

Light path to several

km; measures SO2,
NO2, benzene, HNO3;
monitors linear and
surface sources, used
in measuring

+ Easy to handle
+ Successful
performance test
+ Multicomponent
High dl under
conditions of poor
visibility (e.g.fog)

Long-distance laser absorption

spectroscopy (TDLAS)

Research area, in lowpressure cuvettes for


+ High sensitivity
(to ppt)
+ Measures
unstable trace
High cost
Difficult to


Differential Absorption LIDAR (DIAL)

Monitors surface
sources, large surface

+ Measurements
of spatial
+ Measures
places (e.g.,
smoke gas trails)
spectrum (SO2,
O3, NO2)

LIDAR = Light detection and ranging; DIAL = differential absorption LIDAR.

Measurement Procedures for Organic Air Pollutants
The measurement of air pollution containing organic components is complicated
primarily by the range of materials in this class of compounds. Several hundred
individual components with very different toxicological, chemical and physical
characteristics are covered under the general title organic air pollutants in the
emissions registers and air quality plans of congested areas.
Especially due to the great differences in potential impact, collecting relevant
individual components has more and more taken the place of previously used
summation procedures (e.g., Flame Ionization Detector, total carbon procedure), the
results of which cannot be assessed toxicologically. The FID method, however, has
retained a certain significance in connection with a short separation column to
separate out methane, which is photochemically not very reactive, and for collecting
the precursor volatile organic compounds (VOC) for the formation of photo-oxidants.
The frequent necessity of separating the complex mixtures of the organic compounds
into relevant individual components makes measuring it virtually an exercise in
applied chromatography. Chromatographic procedures are the methods of choice
when the organic compounds are sufficiently stable, thermally and chemically. For
organic materials with reactive functional groups, separate procedures that use the

functional groups physical characteristics or chemical reactions for detection continue

to hold their ground.
Examples include using amines to convert aldehydes to hydrazones, with subsequent
photometric measurement; derivatization with 2,4-dinitrophenylhydrazine and
separation of the 2,4-hydrazone that is formed; or forming azo-dyes with pnitroaniline for detecting phenols and cresols.
Among chromatographic procedures, gas chromatography (GC) and high-pressure
liquid chromatography (HPLC) are most frequently employed for separating the often
complex mixtures. For gas chromatography, separation columns with very narrow
diameters (approx. 0.2 to 0.3 mm, and approx. 30 to 100 m long), so-called highresolution capillary columns (HRGC), are almost exclusively utilized today. A series
of detectors are available for finding the individual components after the separation
column, such as the above-mentioned FID, the ECD (electron capture detector,
specifically for electrophilic substitutes such as halogen), the PID (photo-ionization
detector, which is especially sensitive to aromatic hydrocarbons and other -electron
systems), and the NPD (thermo-ionic detector specifically for nitrogen and
phosphorus compounds). The HPLC uses special through-flow detectors which, for
example, are designed as the through-flow cuvette of a UV spectrometer.
Especially effective, but also especially expensive, is the use of a mass spectrometer
as a detector. Really certain identification, especially with unknown mixtures of
compounds, is often possible only through the mass spectrum of the organic
compound. The qualitative information of the so-called retention time (time the
material remains in the column) that is contained in the chromatogram with
conventional detectors is supplemented with the specific detection of the individual
components by mass fragmentograms with high detection sensitivity.
Sampling must be considered before the actual analysis. The choice of sampling
method is determined primarily by volatility, but also by expected concentration
range, polarity and chemical stability. Furthermore, with non-volatile compounds, a
choice must be made between concentration and deposition measurements.
Table 55.7 provides an overview of common procedures in air monitoring for active
enrichment and chromatographic analysis of organic compounds, with examples of
Table 55.7 Overview of common chromatographic air quality measurement procedures of
organic compounds (with examples of applications)

Material group

Concentration range Sampling, preparation

Final analytical step

Hydrocarbons C1-C9 g/m3

Gas mice (rapid sampling), gas-tight

syringe, cold trapping in front of
capillary column (focusing), thermal

hydrocarbons, highly
volatile halogenated

Evacuated, passivated high-grade steel GC/FID/ECD/PID

cylinder (also for clean air
measurements) Sampling dispatch
through gas loops, cold trapping,
thermal desorption

Organic compounds g/m3

in boiling point
range C6-C30(60-350

Adsorption on activated carbon, (a)

desorption with CS2
(b) desorption with solvents
(c) headspace analysis

Capillary GC/FID

Organic compounds ng/m3-g/m3

in boiling point
range 20-300 C

Adsorption on organic polymers (e.g.,

Tenax) or molecular carbon sieve
(carbopack), thermal desorption with
cold trapping in front of capillary
column (focusing) or solvent

Capillary GC/FID/ECD/M

Adsorption on cooled polymers (e.g.

thermogradient tube), cooled to -120
C, use of carbopack

Capillary GC/FID/ECD/M

Sampling on filters (e.g., small filter

device or high volume sampler) with
subsequent polyurethane cartridges for
gaseous portion, solvent desorption of
filter and polyurethane, various
purification and preparatory steps, for

Capillary GC-GCMS
(PCDD/PCDF), capillary
HPLC fluorescence detec

Modification for
compounds (from
-120 C)


High boiling organic fg/m3-ng/m3

compounds partially
attached to particles
(esp. PAH, PCB,
PCDD/PCDF), high
sampling volume


PAH also sublimation

High boiling organic fg/m3-ng/m3

compounds, esp.
sampling volume

Adsorption on organic polymers (e.g., HRGC/ECD

polyurethane foam cylinder) with prior
filters (e.g., glass fibre) or inorg.
adsorp. (e.g., silica gel), extraction
with solvents, various purification and
preparatory steps, (including
multicolumn chromatography),
derivatizing for chlorophenols

High boiling organic ng/m3

compounds bound ng-g/g aerosol
to particles, e.g.,
pg-ng/m2 day
components of
organic aerosols,
deposition samples

Separation of aerosols on glass fibre

filters (e.g., high or low volume
sampler) or dust collection on
standardized surfaces, extraction with
solvents (for deposition also of
remaining filtered water), various
purification and preparation steps



GC = gas chromatography;
GCMS = GC/mass spectroscopy;
FID = flame ionization detector
HRGC/ECD = high resolution GC/ECD;
ECD = electron capture detector
HPLC = high performance liquid chromatography.
PID = photo-ionization detector.
Deposition measurements of organic compounds with low volatility (e.g.,
dibenzodioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/PCDF), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
(PAH)) are gaining in importance from the perspective of environmental impact.
Since food is the main source of human intake, airborne material transferred onto food
plants is of great significance. There is, however, evidence that material transfer by

way of particulate deposition is less important than dry deposition of quasi-gaseous

For measuring total deposition, standardized devices for dust precipitation are used
(e.g., Bergerhoff procedure), which have been slightly modified by darkening as a
protection against the entry of strong light. Important technical measurement
problems, such as the resuspension of already separated particles, evaporation or
possible photolytic decomposition, are now being systematically researched in order
to improve the less-than-optimal sampling procedures for organic compounds.
Olfactometric Investigations
Olfactometric immission investigations are used in monitoring to quantify odour
complaints and to determine baseline pollution in licensing procedures. They serve
primarily to assess whether existing or anticipated odours should be classified as
In principle, three methodological approaches can be differentiated:
measurement of the emission concentration (number of odour units) with an
olfactometer and subsequent dispersion modelling
measurement of individual components (e.g., NH3) or mixtures of compounds
(e.g., gas chromatography of gases from landfills), if these adequately characterize the

odour determinations by means of inspections.

The first possibility combines emission measurement with modelling and, strictly
speaking, cannot be classified under the term air quality monitoring. In the third
method, the human nose is used as the detector with significantly reduced precision as
compared to physical-chemical methods.
Details of inspections, measurement plans and assessing the results are contained, for
example, in the environmental protection regulations of some German states.
Screening Measurement Procedures
Simplified measurement procedures are sometimes used for preparatory studies
(screening). Examples include passive samplers, test tubes and biological procedures.
With passive (diffusive) samplers, the material to be tested is collected with freely
flowing processes such as diffusion, permeation or adsorption in simple forms of

collectors (tubes, plaques) and enriched in impregnated filters, meshes or other

adsorption media. So-called active sampling (sucking the sample air through a pump)
thus does not occur. The enriched quantity of material, analytically determined
according to definite exposure time, is converted into concentration units on the basis
of physical laws (e.g., of diffusion) with the help of collection time and the collectors
geometric parameters. The methodology stems from the field of occupational health
(personal sampling) and indoor air measurement, but it is increasingly being used for
ambient air pollutant concentration measurements. An overview can be found in
Brown 1993.
Detector tubes are often used for sampling and quick preparatory analysis of gases. A
certain test air volume is sucked through a glass tube that is filled with an adsorptive
reagent that corresponds with the test objective. The contents of the tube change
colour depending on the concentration of the material to be determined that is present
in the test air. Small testing tubes are often used in the field of workplace monitoring
or as a quick procedure in cases of accidents, such as fires. They are not used for
routine ambient air pollutant concentration measurements due to the generally too
high detection limits and too limited selectivity. Detector testing tubes are available
for numerous materials in various concentration ranges.
Among the biological procedures, two methods have become accepted in routine
monitoring. With the standardized lichen exposure procedure, the mortality rate of the
lichen is determined over the exposure time of 300 days. In another procedure, French
pasture grass is exposed for 141 days. Then the amount of growth is determined.
Both procedures serve as summary determinations of air pollutant concentration
Air Quality Monitoring Networks
Around the world, the most varied types of air quality networks are utilized. A
distinction should be drawn between measurement networks, consisting of automatic,
computer-controlled measuring stations (measurement containers), and virtual
measurement networks, which only define the measurement locations for various
types of air pollutant concentration measurements in the form of a preset grid. Tasks
and conceptions of measurement networks were discussed above.
Continuous monitoring networks

Continuously operating measurement networks are based on automatic measuring

stations, and serve primarily for air quality monitoring of urban areas. Measured are
air pollutants such as sulphur dioxide (SO2), dust, nitrogen monoxide (NO), nitrogen
dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), ozone (O3), and to an extent also the sum of

the hydrocarbons (free methane, CnHm) or individual organic components (e.g.,

benzene, toluene, xylenes). In addition, depending on need, meteorological parameters
such as wind direction, wind speed, air temperature, relative humidity, precipitation,
global radiation or radiation balance are included.
The measuring equipment operated in measurement stations generally consists of an
analyser, a calibration unit, and control and steering electronics, which monitors the
whole measuring equipment and contains a standardized interface for data collection.
In addition to the measurement values, the measuring equipment supplies so-called
status signals on errors and the operating status. The calibration of the devices is
automatically checked by computer at regular intervals.
As a rule, the measurement stations are connected with fixed data lines, dial
connections or other data transfer systems to a computer (process computer,
workstation or PC, depending on the scope of the system) in which the measurement
results are entered, processed and displayed. The measurement network computers
and, if necessary, specially trained personnel monitor continuously whether various
threshold limits are exceeded. In this manner critical air quality situations can be
recognized at any time. This is very important, especially for monitoring critical smog
situations in winter and summer (photo-oxidants) and for current public information.
Measurement networks for random sample measurements

Beyond the telemetric measurement network, other measuring systems for monitoring
air quality are used to varying extents. Examples include (occasionally partially
automated) measurement networks to determine:

dust deposition and its components

suspended dust (SPM) and its components

hydrocarbons and chlorinated hydrocarbons

low volatile organic materials (dioxins, furans, polychlorinated biphenyls).

A series of substances measured in this manner have been classified as carcinogens,

such as cadmium compounds, PAHs or benzene. Monitoring them is therefore
particularly important.
To provide an example of a comprehensive programme, table 55.8 summarizes the air
quality monitoring that is systematically conducted in North Rhine-Westphalia, which
with 18 million inhabitants is the most populous state in Germany.

Table 55.8 Systematic air quality monitoring in North-Rhine-Westphalia (Germany)

Continuous measuring

Partially automated
measuring system

Discontinuous measuring

Sulphur dioxide
Nitrogen monoxide
Nitrogen dioxide
Carbon monoxide
Suspended particulate matter
Wind direction
Wind speed
Air temperature
Air pressure
Relative humidity
Radiation balance

SPM composition:

Benzene and other

Halogenated hydrocarbons
Dust deposition and material
Polychlorinated biphenyls
dibenzodioxins and


John Elias
Management of Air Pollution
The objective of a manager of an air pollution control system is to ensure that
excessive concentrations of air pollutants do not reach a susceptible target. Targets
could include people, plants, animals and materials. In all cases we should be
concerned with the most sensitive of each of these groups. Air pollutants could
include gases, vapours, aerosols and, in some cases, biohazardous materials. A well
designed system will prevent a target from receiving a harmful concentration of a
Most air pollution control systems involve a combination of several control
techniques, usually a combination of technological controls and administrative
controls, and in larger or more complex sources there may be more than one type of
technological control.

Ideally, the selection of the appropriate controls will be made in the context of the
problem to be solved.

What is emitted, in what concentration?

What are the targets? What is the most susceptible target?

What are acceptable short-term exposure levels?

What are acceptable long-term exposure levels?

What combination of controls must be selected to ensure that the short-term and
long-term exposure levels are not exceeded?
Table 55.9 describes the steps in this process.
Table 55.9 Steps in selecting pollution controls

Step 1:
Define emissions.

The first part is to determine what will be released from the stack. All
potentially harmful emissions must be listed. The second part is to
estimate how much of each material will be released. Without this
information, the manager cannot begin to design a control programme.

Step 2:
Define target groups.

All susceptible targets should be identified. This includes people,

animals, plants and materials. In each case, the most susceptible
member of each group must be identified. For example, asthmatics
near a plant that emits isocyanates.

Step 3:
Determine acceptable
exposure levels.*

An acceptable level of exposure for the most sensitive target group

must be established. If the pollutant is a material that has cumulative
effects, such as a carcinogen, then long-term exposure levels (annual)
must be set. If the pollutant has short-term effects, such as an irritant or
a sensitizer, a short-term or perhaps peak exposure level must be set.**

Step 4:
Select controls.

Step 1 identifies the emissions, and Step 3 determines the acceptable

level. In this step, each pollutant is checked to ensure that it does not
exceed the acceptable level. If it exceeds the acceptable level,
additional controls must be added, and the exposure levels checked

again. This process continues until all exposures are at or below the
acceptable level. Dispersion modelling can be used to estimate
exposures for new plants or to test alternative solutions for existing

* When setting exposure levels in Step 3, it must be remembered that these exposures
are total exposures, not just those from the plant. Once the acceptable level has been
established, background levels, and contributions from other plants must be subtracted
to determine the maximum amount that the plant can emit without exceeding the
acceptable exposure level. If this is not done, and three plants are allowed to emit at
the maximum, the target groups will be exposed to three times the acceptable level.
** Some materials such as carcinogens do not have a threshold below which no
harmful effects will occur. Therefore, as long as some of the material is allowed to
escape to the environment, there will be some risk to the target populations. In this
case a no effect level cannot be set (other than zero). Instead, an acceptable level of
risk must be established. Usually this is set in the range of 1 adverse outcome in
100,000 to 1,000,000 exposed persons.
Some jurisdictions have done some of the work by setting standards based on the
maximum concentration of a contaminant that a susceptible target can receive. With
this type of standard, the manager does not have to carry out Steps 2 and 3, since the
regulating agency has already done this. Under this system, the manager must
establish only the uncontrolled emission standards for each pollutant (Step 1), and
then determine what controls are necessary to meet the standard (Step 4).
By having air quality standards, regulators can measure individual exposures and thus
determine whether anyone is exposed to potentially harmful levels. It is assumed that
the standards set under these conditions are low enough to protect the most
susceptible target group. This is not always a safe assumption. As shown in table
55.10, there can be a wide variation in common air quality standards. Air quality
standards for sulphur dioxide range from 30 to 140 g/m3. For less commonly
regulated materials this variation can be even larger (1.2 to 1,718 g/m 3), as shown
in table 55.11 for benzene. This is not surprising given that economics can play as
large a role in standard setting as does toxicology. If a standard is not set low enough
to protect susceptible populations, no one is well served. Exposed populations have a
feeling of false confidence, and can unknowingly be put at risk. The emitter may at
first feel that they have benefited from a lenient standard, but if effects in the
community require the company to redesign their controls, or install new controls,
costs could be higher than doing it correctly the first time.

Table 55.10 Range of air quality standards for a commonly controlled air contaminant
(sulphur dioxide)

Countries and territories

Long-term sulphur dioxide air

quality standards (g/m3)













Table 55.11 Range of air quality standards for a less commonly controlled air contaminant


24-hour air quality standard for

benzene (g/m3)







North Carolina




New York






The levels were standardized to an averaging time of 24 hours to assist in the

(Adapted from Calabrese and Kenyon 1991.)
Sometimes this stepwise approach to selecting air pollution controls is short circuited,
and the regulators and designers go directly to a universal solution. One such
method is best available control technology (BACT). It is assumed that by using the
best combination of scrubbers, filters and good work practices on an emission source,
a level of emissions low enough to protect the most susceptible target group would be
achieved. Frequently, the resulting emission level will be below the minimum
required to protect the most susceptible targets. This way all unnecessary exposures
should be eliminated. Examples of BACT are shown in table 55.12 .
Table 55.12 Selected examples of best available control technology (BACT) showing the
control method used and estimated efficiency



Control method


Soil remediation


Thermal oxidizer


Kraft pulp mill

recovery boiler




Production of
fumed silica

Carbon monoxide

Good practice


Automobile painting Hydrocarbons

Oven afterburner


Electric arc furnace




Petroleum refinery,
catalytic cracking


Cyclone + Venturi


Medical incinerator

Hydrogen chloride

Wet scrubber + dry



Coal-fired boiler

Sulphur dioxide

Spray dryer + absorber


Waste disposal by
dehydration and


Cyclone + condenser +
Venturi scrubber + wet


Asphalt plant


Thermal oxidizer


BACT by itself does not ensure adequate control levels. Although this is the best
control system based on gas cleaning controls and good operating practices, BACT

may not be good enough if the source is a large plant, or if it is located next to a
sensitive target. Best available control technology should be tested to ensure that it is
indeed good enough. The resulting emission standards should be checked to determine
whether or not they may still be harmful even with the best gas cleaning controls. If
emission standards are still harmful, other basic controls, such as selecting safer
processes or materials, or relocating in a less sensitive area, may have to be
Another universal solution that bypasses some of the steps is source performance
standards. Many jurisdictions establish emission standards that cannot be exceeded.
Emission standards are based on emissions at the source. Usually this works well, but
like BACT they can be unreliable. The levels should be low enough to maintain the
maximum emissions low enough to protect susceptible target populations from typical
emissions. However, as with best available control technology, this may not be good
enough to protect everyone where there are large emission sources or nearby
susceptible populations. If this is the case, other procedures must be used to ensure the
safety of all target groups.
Both BACT and emission standards have a basic fault. They assume that if certain
criteria are met at the plant, the target groups will be automatically protected. This is
not necessarily so, but once such a system is passed into law, effects on the target
become secondary to compliance with the law.
BACT and source emission standards or design criteria should be used as minimum
criteria for controls. If BACT or emission criteria will protect the susceptible targets,
then they can be used as intended, otherwise other administrative controls must be
Control Measures
Controls can be divided into two basic types of controls - technological and
administrative. Technological controls are defined here as the hardware put on an
emission source to reduce contaminants in the gas stream to a level that is acceptable
to the community and that will protect the most sensitive target. Administrative
controls are defined here as other control measures.
Technological controls

Gas cleaning systems are placed at the source, before the stack, to remove
contaminants from the gas stream before releasing it to the environment. Table 55.13
shows a brief summary of the different classes of gas cleaning system.

Table 55.13 Gas cleaning methods for removing harmful gases, vapours and particulates
from industrial process emissions

Control method





Contact condensers
Surface condensers

The vapour is cooled and condensed to a liquid.

This is inefficient and is used as a preconditioner
to other methods

80+% w


Wet scrubbers
(packed or plate

The gas or vapour is collected in a liquid.

ppm 95
>100 pp


Silica gel
Molecular sieve

The gas or vapour is collected on a solid.

90+% w
ppm 95+
>1,000 p


Catalytic incinerator

An organic gas or vapour is oxidized by heating it

to a high temperature and holding it at that
temperature for a sufficient time period.

Not reco
when co


Particle-laden gases are forced to change

direction. The inertia of the particle causes them to
separate from the gas stream. This is inefficient
and is used as a preconditioner to other methods.




Wet scrubbers

Wetted filter
Tray or sieve

Liquid droplets (water) collect the particles by

impaction, interception and diffusion. The droplets
and their particles are then separated from the gas

For 5 m
w.g.; 99
For 1 m
99.95 at



Electrical forces are used to move the particles out

of the gas stream onto collection plates




A porous fabric removes particulates from the gas

stream. The porous dust cake that forms on the
fabric then actually does the filtration.

99.9% fo
99.5% fo

The gas cleaner is part of a complex system consisting of hoods, ductwork, fans,
cleaners and stacks. The design, performance and maintenance of each part affects the
performance of all other parts, and the system as a whole.
It should be noted that system efficiency varies widely for each type of cleaner,
depending on its design, energy input and the characteristics of the gas stream and the
contaminant. As a result, the sample efficiencies in table 55.13 are only
approximations. The variation in efficiencies is demonstrated with wet scrubbers
in table 55.13 . Wet scrubber collection efficiency goes from 98.5 per cent for 5 m
particles to 45 per cent for 1 m particles at the same pressure drop across the
scrubber (6.8 in. water gauge (w.g.)). For the same size particle, 1 m, efficiency goes
from 45 per cent efficiency at 6.8 w.g. to 99.95 at 50 w.g. As a result, gas cleaners
must be matched to the specific gas stream in question. The use of generic devices is
not recommended.
Waste disposal

When selecting and designing gas cleaning systems, careful consideration must be
given to the safe disposal of the collected material. As shown in table 55.14 , some
processes produce large amounts of contaminants. If most of the contaminants are
collected by the gas cleaning equipment there can be a hazardous waste disposal
Table 55.14 Sample uncontrolled emission rates for selected industrial processes

Industrial source

Emission rate

100 ton electric furnace

257 tons/year particulates

1,500 MM BTU/hr oil/gas turbine

444 lb/hr SO2

41.7 ton/hr incinerator

208 lb/hr NOx

100 trucks/day clear coat

3,795 lb/week organics

In some cases the wastes may contain valuable products that can be recycled, such as
heavy metals from a smelter, or solvent from a painting line. The wastes can be used
as a raw material for another industrial process - for example, sulphur dioxide
collected as sulphuric acid can be used in the manufacture of fertilizers.
Where the wastes cannot be recycled or reused, disposal may not be simple. Not only
can the volume be a problem, but they may be hazardous themselves. For example, if
the sulphuric acid captured from a boiler or smelter cannot be reused, it will have to
be further treated to neutralize it before disposal.

Dispersion can reduce the concentration of a pollutant at a target. However, it must be

remembered that dispersion does not reduce the total amount of material leaving a
plant. A tall stack only allows the plume to spread out and be diluted before it reaches
ground level, where susceptible targets are likely to exist. If the pollutant is primarily
a nuisance, such as an odour, dispersion may be acceptable. However if the material is
persistent or cumulative, such as heavy metals, dilution may not be an answer to an air
pollution problem.
Dispersion should be used with caution. Local meteorological and ground surface
conditions must be taken into consideration. For example, in colder climates,
particularly with snow cover, there can be frequent temperature inversions that can
trap pollutants close to the ground, resulting in unexpectedly high exposures.

Similarly, if a plant is located in a valley, the plumes may move up and down the
valley, or be blocked by surrounding hills so that they do not spread out and disperse
as expected.
Administrative controls

In addition to the technological systems, there is another group of controls that must
be considered in the overall design of an air pollution control system. For the large
part, they come from the basic tools of industrial hygiene.

One of the preferred occupational hygiene methods for controlling environmental

hazards in the workplace is to substitute a safer material or process. If a safer process
or material can be used, and harmful emissions avoided, the type or efficacy of
controls becomes academic. It is better to avoid the problem than it is to try to correct
a bad first decision. Examples of substitution include the use of cleaner fuels, covers
for bulk storage and reduced temperatures in dryers.
This applies to minor purchases as well as the major design criteria for the plant. If
only environmentally safe products or processes are purchased, there will be no risk to
the environment, indoors or out. If the wrong purchase is made, the remainder of the
programme consists of trying to compensate for that first decision. If a low-cost but
hazardous product or process is purchased it may need special handling procedures
and equipment, and special disposal methods. As a result, the low-cost item may have
only a low purchase price, but a high price to use and dispose of it. Perhaps a safer but
more expensive material or process would have been less costly in the long run.
Local ventilation

Controls are required for all the identified problems that cannot be avoided by
substituting safer materials or methods. Emissions start at the individual worksite, not
the stack. A ventilation system that captures and controls emissions at the source will
help protect the community if it is properly designed. The hoods and ducts of the
ventilation system are part of the total air pollution control system.
A local ventilation system is preferred. It does not dilute the contaminants, and
provides a concentrated gas stream that is easier to clean before release to the
environment. Gas cleaning equipment is more efficient when cleaning air with higher
concentrations of contaminants. For example, a capture hood over the pouring spout
of a metal furnace will prevent contaminants from getting into the environment, and
deliver the fumes to the gas cleaning system. In table 55.13 it can be seen that
cleaning efficiencies for absorption and adsorption cleaners increase with the

concentration of the contaminant, and condensation cleaners are not recommended for
low levels (<2,000 ppm) of contaminants.
If pollutants are not caught at the source and are allowed to escape through windows
and ventilation openings, they become uncontrolled fugitive emissions. In some cases,
these uncontrolled fugitive emissions can have a significant impact on the immediate

Isolation - locating the plant away from susceptible targets - can be a major control
method when engineering controls are inadequate by themselves. This may be the
only means of achieving an acceptable level of control when best available control
technology (BACT) must be relied on. If, after applying the best available controls, a
target group is still at risk, consideration must be given to finding an alternate site
where sensitive populations are not present.
Isolation, as presented above, is a means of separating an individual plant from
susceptible targets. Another isolation system is where local authorities use zoning to
separate classes of industries from susceptible targets. Once industries have been
separated from target populations, the population should not be allowed to relocate
next to the facility. Although this seems like common sense, it isnt employed as often
as it should be.
Work procedures

Work procedures must be developed to ensure that equipment is used properly and
safely, without risk to workers or the environment. Complex air pollution systems
must be properly maintained and operated if they are to do their job as intended. An
important factor in this is staff training. Staff must be trained in how to use and
maintain the equipment to reduce or eliminate the amount of hazardous materials
emitted to the workplace or the community. In some cases BACT relies on good
practice to ensure acceptable results.
Real time monitoring

A system based on real time monitoring is not popular, and is not commonly used. In
this case, continuous emission and meteorological monitoring can be combined with
dispersion modelling to predict downwind exposures. When the predicted exposures
approach the acceptable levels, the information is used to reduce production rates and
emissions. This is an inefficient method, but may be an acceptable interim control
method for an existing facility.

The converse of this to announce warnings to the public when conditions are such that
excessive concentrations of contaminants may exist, so that the public can take
appropriate action. For example, if a warning is sent out that atmospheric conditions
are such that sulphur dioxide levels downwind of a smelter are excessive, susceptible
populations such as asthmatics would know not to go outside. Again, this may be an
acceptable interim control until permanent controls are installed.
Real time atmospheric and meteorological monitoring is sometimes used to avoid or
reduce major air pollution events where multiple sources may exist. When it becomes
evident that excessive air pollution levels are likely, the personal use of cars may be
restricted and major emitting industries shut down.

In all cases the effectiveness of the controls depends on proper maintenance; the
equipment has to operate as intended. Not only must the air pollution controls be
maintained and used as intended, but the processes generating potential emissions
must be maintained and operated properly. An example of an industrial process is a
wood chip dryer with a failing temperature controller; if the dryer is operated at too
high a temperature, it will emit more materials, and perhaps a different type of
material, from the drying wood. An example of gas cleaner maintenance affecting
emissions would be a poorly maintained baghouse with broken bags, which would
allow particulates to pass through the filter.
Housekeeping also plays an important part in controlling total emissions. Dusts that
are not quickly cleaned up inside the plant can become re-entrained and present a
hazard to staff. If the dusts are carried outside of the plant, they are a community
hazard. Poor housekeeping in the plant yard could present a significant risk to the
community. Uncovered bulk materials, plant wastes or vehicle-raised dusts can result
in pollutants being carried on the winds into the community. Keeping the yard clean,
using proper containers or storage sites, is important in reducing total emissions. A
system must be not only designed properly, but used properly as well if the
community is to be protected.
A worst case example of poor maintenance and housekeeping would be the lead
recovery plant with a broken lead dust conveyor. The dust was allowed to escape from
the conveyor until the pile was so high the dust could slide down the pile and out a
broken window. Local winds then carried the dust around the neighbourhood.
Equipment for Emission Sampling
Source sampling can be carried out for several reasons:

To characterize the emissions. To design an air pollution control system, one must
know what is being emitted. Not only the volume of gas, but the amount, identity and,
in the case of particulates, size distribution of the material being emitted must be
known. The same information is necessary to catalogue total emissions in a
To test equipment efficiency. After an air pollution control system has been
purchased, it should be tested to ensure that it is doing the intended job.
As part of a control system. When emissions are continuously monitored, the data
can be used to fine tune the air pollution control system, or the plant operation itself.
To determine compliance. When regulatory standards include emission limits,
emission sampling can be used to determine compliance or non-compliance with the
The type of sampling system used will depend on the reason for taking the samples,
costs, availability of technology, and training of staff.
Visible emissions

Where there is a desire to reduce the soiling power of the air, improve visibility or
prevent the introduction of aerosols into the atmosphere, standards may be based on
visible emissions.
Visible emissions are composed of small particles or coloured gases. The more opaque
a plume is, the more material is being emitted. This characteristic is evident to the
sight, and trained observers can be used to assess emission levels. There are several
advantages to using this method of assessing emission standards:

No expensive equipment is required.

One person can make many observations in a day.

Plant operators can quickly assess the effects of process changes at low cost.

Violators can be cited without time-consuming source testing.

Questionable emissions can be located and the actual emissions then determined
by source testing as described in the following sections.
Extractive sampling

A much more rigorous sampling method calls for a sample of the gas stream to be
removed from the stack and analysed. Although this sounds simple, it does not
translate into a simple sampling method.
The sample should be collected isokinetically, especially when particulates are being
collected. Isokinetic sampling is defined as sampling by drawing the sample into the
sampling probe at the same velocity that the material is moving in the stack or duct.
This is done by measuring the velocity of the gas stream with a pitot tube and then
adjusting the sampling rate so that the sample enters the probe at the same velocity.
This is essential when sampling for particulates, since larger, heavier particles will not
follow a change in direction or velocity. As a result the concentration of larger
particles in the sample will not be representative of the gas stream and the sample will
be inaccurate.
A sample train for sulphur dioxide is shown in figure 55.5 . It is not simple, and a
trained operator is required to ensure that a sample is collected properly. If something
other than sulphur dioxide is to be sampled, the impingers and ice bath can be
removed and the appropriate collection device inserted.
Figure 55.5 A diagram of an isokinetic sampling train for sulphur dioxide

Extractive sampling, particularly isokinetic sampling, can be very accurate and

versatile, and has several uses:
It is a recognized sampling method with adequate quality controls, and thus can be
used to determine compliance with standards.

The potential accuracy of the method makes it suitable for performance testing of
new control equipment.
Since samples can be collected and analysed under controlled laboratory
conditions for many components, it is useful for characterizing the gas stream.
A simplified and automated sampling system can be connected to a continuous gas
(electrochemical, ultraviolet-photometric or flame ionization sensors) or particulate
(nephelometer) analyzer to continuously monitor emissions. This can provide
documentation of the emissions, and instantaneous operating status of the air pollution
control system.
In situ sampling

Emissions can also be sampled in the stack. Figure 55.6 is a representation of a simple
transmissometer used to measure materials in the gas stream. In this example, a beam
of light is projected across the stack to a photcell. The particulates or coloured gas will
absorb or block some of the light. The more material, the less light will get to the
photocell. (See figure 55.6.)
Figure 55.6 A simple transmissometer to measure particulates in a stack

By using different light sources and detectors such as ultraviolet light (UV), gases
transparent to visible light can be detected. These devices can be tuned to specific
gases, and thus can measure gas concentration in the waste stream.

An in situ monitoring system has an advantage over an extractive system in that it can
measure the concentration across the entire stack or duct, whereas the extractive
method measures concentrations only at the point from which the sample was
extracted. This can result in significant error if the sample gas stream is not well
mixed. However, the extractive method offers more methods of analysis, and thus
perhaps can be used in more applications.
Since the in situ system provides a continuous readout, it can be used to document
emissions, or to fine tune the operating system.


Herbert C. Preul
This article is intended to provide the reader with an understanding of currently
available technology for approaching water pollution control, building on the
discussion of trends and occurrence provided by Hespanhol and Helmer in the chapter
Environmental Health Hazards. The following sections address the control of water
pollution problems, first under the heading Surface Water Pollution Control and
then under the heading Groundwater Pollution Control.
Surface Water Pollution Control
Definition of water pollution

Water pollution refers to the qualitative state of impurity or uncleanliness in

hydrologic waters of a certain region, such as a watershed. It results from an
occurrence or process which causes a reduction in the utility of the earths waters,
especially as related to human health and environmental effects. The pollution process
stresses the loss of purity through contamination, which further implies intrusion by or
contact with an outside source as the cause. The term tainted is applied to extremely
low levels of water pollution, as in their initial corruption and decay. Defilement is the
result of pollution and suggests violation or desecration.
Hydrologic waters

The earths natural waters may be viewed as a continuously circulating system as

shown in figure 55.7 , which provides a graphic illustration of waters in the
hydrologic cycle, including both surface and subsurface waters.
Figure 55.7 The hydrologic cycle

As a reference for water quality, distilled waters (H 2O) represent the highest state of
purity. Waters in the hydrologic cycle may be viewed as natural, but are not pure.
They become polluted from both natural and human activities. Natural degradation
effects may result from a myriad of sources - from fauna, flora, volcano eruptions,
lightning strikes causing fires and so on, which on a long-term basis are considered to
be prevailing background levels for scientific purposes.
Human-made pollution disrupts the natural balance by superimposing waste materials
discharged from various sources. Pollutants may be introduced into the waters of the
hydrologic cycle at any point. For example: atmospheric precipitation (rainfall) may
become contaminated by air pollutants; surface waters may become polluted in the
runoff process from watersheds; sewage may be discharged into streams and rivers;

and groundwaters may become polluted through infiltration and underground

Figure 55.8 shows a distribution of hydrologic waters. Pollution is then superimposed
on these waters and may therefore be viewed as an unnatural or unbalanced
environmental condition. The process of pollution may occur in waters of any part of
the hydrologic cycle, and is more obvious on the earths surface in the form of runoff
from watersheds into streams and rivers. However groundwater pollution is also of
major environmental impact and is discussed following the section on surface water
Figure 55.8 Distribution of precipitation

Watershed sources of water pollution

Watersheds are the originating domain of surface water pollution. A watershed is

defined as an area of the earths surface on which hydrologic waters fall, accumulate,
are used, disposed of, and eventually are discharged into streams, rivers or other
bodies of water. It is comprised of a drainage system with ultimate runoff or collection
in a stream or river. Large river watersheds are usually referred to as drainage
basins. Figure 55.9 is a representation of the hydrologic cycle on a regional
watershed. For a region, the disposition of the various waters can be written as a
simple equation, which is the basic equation of hydrology as written by Viessman,
Lewis and Knapp (1989); typical units are mm/year:
P - R - G - E - T = S
P = precipitation (i.e., rainfall, snowfall, hail)
R = runoff or watershed surface flow
G = groundwater
E = evaporation
T = transpiration
S = surface storage
Figure 55.9 Regional hydrologic cycle

Precipitation is viewed as the initiating form in the above hydrologic budget. The term
runoff is synonymous with stream flow. Storage refers to reservoirs or detention
systems which collect waters; for example, a human-made dam (barrage) on a river
creates a reservoir for purposes of water storage. Groundwater collects as a storage
system and may flow from one location to another; it may be influent or effluent in
relation to surface streams. Evaporation is a water surface phenomenon, and
transpiration is associated with transmission from biota.
Although watersheds may vary greatly in size, certain drainage systems for water
pollution designation are classified as urban or non-urban (agricultural, rural,

undeveloped) in character. Pollution occurring within these drainage systems

originates from the following sources:
Point sources: waste discharges into a receiving water body at a specific location, at a
point such as a sewer pipe or some type of concentrated system outlet.
Non-point (dispersed) sources: pollution entering a receiving water body from
dispersed sources in the watershed; uncollected rainfall runoff water drainage into a
stream is typical. Non-point sources are also sometimes referred to as diffuse
waters; however, the term dispersed is seen as more descriptive.
Intermittent sources: from a point or source which discharges under certain
circumstances, such as with overloaded conditions; combined sewer overflows during
heavy rainfall runoff periods are typical.
Water pollutants in streams and rivers

When deleterious waste materials from the above sources are discharged into streams
or other bodies of water, they become pollutants which have been classified and
described in a previous section. Pollutants or contaminants which enter a body of
water can be further divided into:
degradable (non-conservative) pollutants: impurities which eventually decompose
into harmless substances or which may be removed by treatment methods; that is,
certain organic materials and chemicals, domestic sewage, heat, plant nutrients, most
bacteria and viruses, certain sediments
non-degradable (conservative) pollutants: impurities which persist in the water
environment and do not reduce in concentration unless diluted or removed through
treatment; that is, certain organic and inorganic chemicals, salts, colloidal suspensions
hazardous waterborne pollutants: complex forms of deleterious wastes including
toxic trace metals, certain inorganic and organic compounds
radionuclide pollutants: materials which have been subjected to a radioactive
Water pollution control regulations

Broadly applicable water pollution control regulations are generally promulgated by

national governmental agencies, with more detailed regulations by states, provinces,
municipalities, water districts, conservation districts, sanitation commissions and
others. At the national and state (or province) levels, environmental protection

agencies (EPAs) and ministries of health are usually charged with this responsibility.
In the discussion of regulations below, the format and certain portions follow the
example of the water quality standards currently applicable for the US State of Ohio.
Water quality use designations

The ultimate goal in the control of water pollution would be zero discharge of
pollutants to water bodies; however, complete achievement of this objective is usually
not cost effective. The preferred approach is to set limitations on waste disposal
discharges for the reasonable protection of human health and the environment.
Although these standards may vary widely in different jurisdictions, use designations
for specific bodies of water are commonly the basis, as briefly addressed below.
Water supplies include:

public water supply: waters which with conventional treatment will be suitable for
human consumption
agricultural supply: waters suitable for irrigation and livestock watering without
industrial/commercial supply: waters suitable for industrial and commercial uses
with or without treatment.
Recreational activities include:

bathing waters: waters which during certain seasons are suitable for swimming as
approved for water quality along with protective conditions and facilities
primary contact: waters which during certain seasons are suitable for full body
contact recreation such as swimming, canoeing and underwater diving with minimal
threat to public health as a result of water quality
secondary contact: waters which during certain seasons are suitable for partial
body contact recreation such as, but not limited to, wading, with minimal threat to
public health as a result of water quality.
Public water resources are categorized as water bodies which lie within park systems,
wetland, wildlife areas, wild, scenic and recreational rivers and publicly owned lakes,
and waters of exceptional recreational or ecological significance.
Aquatic life habitats

Typical designations will vary according to climates, but relate to conditions in water
bodies for supporting and maintaining certain aquatic organisms, especially various
species of fish. For example, use designations in a temperate climate as subdivided in
regulations for the State of Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are listed
below without detailed descriptions:


limited warmwater

exceptional warmwater

modified warmwater

seasonal salmonid


limited resource water.

Water pollution control criteria

Natural waters and wastewaters are characterized in terms of their physical, chemical
and biological composition. The principal physical properties and the chemical and
biological constituents of wastewater and their sources are a lengthy list, reported in a
textbook by Metcalf and Eddy (1991). Analytical methods for these determinations
are given in a widely used manual entitled Standard Methods for the Examination of
Water and Waste Water by the American Public Health Association (1995).
Each designated water body should be controlled according to regulations which may
be comprised of both basic and more detailed numerical criteria as briefly discussed
Basic freedom from pollution. To the extent practical and possible, all bodies of water
should attain the basic criteria of the Five Freedoms from Pollution:
1. free from suspended solids or other substances that enter the waters as a result of
human activity and that will settle to form putrid or otherwise objectionable sludge
deposits, or that will adversely affect aquatic life
2. free from floating debris, oil, scum and other floating materials entering the
waters as a result of human activity in amounts sufficient to be unsightly or cause

3. free from materials entering the waters as a result of human activity, producing
colour, odour or other conditions in such degree as to create a nuisance
4. free from substances entering the waters as a result of human activity, in
concentrations that are toxic or harmful to human, animal or aquatic life and/or are
rapidly lethal in the mixing zone
5. free from nutrients entering the waters as a result of human activity, in
concentrations that create nuisance growths of aquatic weeds and algae.
Water quality criteria are numerical limitations and guidelines for the control of
chemical, biological and toxic constituents in bodies of water.
With over 70,000-plus chemical compounds in use today it is impractical to specify
the control of each. However, criteria for chemicals can be established on the basis of
limitations as they first of all relate to three major classes of consumption and
Class 1: Chemical criteria for protection of human health are of first major concern
and should be set according to recommendations from governmental health agencies,
the WHO and recognized health research organizations.
Class 2: Chemical criteria for control of agricultural water supply should be based on
recognized scientific studies and recommendations which will protect against adverse
effects on crops and livestock as a result of crop irrigation and livestock watering.
Class 3: Chemical criteria for protection of aquatic life should be based on recognized
scientific studies regarding the sensitivity of these species to specific chemicals and
also as related to human consumption of fish and sea foods.
Wastewater effluent criteria relate to limitations on pollutant constituents present in
wastewater effluents and are a further method of control. They may be set as related to
the water use designations of bodies of water and as they relate to the above classes
for chemical criteria.
Biological criteria are based on water body habitat conditions which are needed to
support aquatic life.
Organic content of wastewaters and natural waters

The gross content of organic matter is most important in characterizing the pollutional
strength of both wastewater and natural waters. Three laboratory tests are commonly
used for this purpose:
Biochemical oxygen demand (BOD): five-day BOD (BOD5) is the most widely used
parameter; this test measures the dissolved oxygen used by micro-organisms in the
biochemical oxidation of organic matter over this period.
Chemical oxygen demand (COD): this test is to measure the organic matter in
municipal and industrial wastes that contain compounds that are toxic to biological
life; it is a measure of the oxygen equivalent of the organic matter that can be
Total organic carbon (TOC): this test is especially applicable to small concentrations
of organic matter in water; it is a measure of the organic matter that is oxidized to
carbon dioxide.
Antidegradation policy regulations

Antidegradation policy regulations are a further approach for preventing the spread of
water pollution beyond certain prevailing conditions. As an example, the Ohio
Environmental Protection Agency Water Quality Standards antidegradation policy
consists of three tiers of protection:
Tier 1: Existing uses must be maintained and protected. No further water quality
degradation is allowed that would interfere with existing designated uses.
Tier 2: Next, water quality better than that needed to protect uses must be maintained
unless it is shown that a lower water quality is necessary for important economic or
social development, as determined by the EPA Director.
Tier 3: Finally, the quality of water resource waters must be maintained and protected.
Their existing ambient water quality is not to be degraded by any substances
determined to be toxic or to interfere with any designated use. Increased pollutant
loads are allowed to be discharged into water bodies if they do not result in lowering
existing water quality.
Water pollution discharge mixing zones and waste load allocation modelling

Mixing zones are areas in a body of water which allow for treated or untreated
wastewater discharges to attain stabilized conditions, as illustrated in figure 55.10 for
a flowing stream. The discharge is initially in a transitory state which becomes

progressively diluted from the source concentration to the receiving water conditions.
It is not to be considered as a treatment entity and may be delineated with specific
Figure 55.10 Mixing zones

Typically, mixing zones must not:

interfere with migration, survival, reproduction or growth of aquatic species

include spawning or nursery areas

include public water supply intakes

include bathing areas

constitute more than 1/2 the width of a stream

constitute more than 1/2 the cross-sectional area of a stream mouth

extend downstream for a distance more than five times the stream width.

Waste load allocation studies have become important because of the high cost of
nutrient control of wastewater discharges to avoid instream eutrophication (defined
below). These studies generally employ the use of computer models for simulation of
water quality conditions in a stream, particularly with regard to nutrients such as
forms of nitrogen and phosphorous, which affect the dissolved oxygen dynamics.

Traditional water quality models of this type are represented by the US EPA model
QUAL2E, which has been described by Brown and Barnwell (1987). A more recent
model proposed by Taylor (1995) is the Omni Diurnal Model (ODM), which includes
a simulation of the impact of rooted vegetation on instream nutrient and dissolved
oxygen dynamics.
Variance provisions

All water pollution control regulations are limited in perfection and therefore should
include provisions which allow for judgemental variance based on certain conditions
which may prevent immediate or complete compliance.
Risk assessment and management as related to water pollution

The above water pollution control regulations are typical of worldwide governmental
approaches for achieving compliance with water quality standards and wastewater
effluent discharge limits. Generally these regulations have been set on the basis of
health factors and scientific research; where some uncertainty exists as to possible
effects, safety factors often are applied. Implementation of certain of these regulations
may be unreasonable and exceedingly costly for the public at large as well as for
private enterprise. Therefore there is a growing concern for more efficient allocation
of resources in achieving goals for water quality improvement. As previously pointed
out in the discussion of hydrologic waters, pristine purity does not exist even in
naturally occurring waters.
A growing technological approach encourages assessment and management of
ecological risks in the setting of water pollution regulations. The concept is based on
an analysis of the ecological benefits and costs in meeting standards or limits.
Parkhurst (1995) has proposed the application of aquatic ecological risk assessment as
an aid in setting water pollution control limits, particularly as applicable for the
protection of aquatic life. Such risk assessment methods may be applied to estimate
the ecological effects of chemical concentrations for a broad range of surface water
pollution conditions including:

point source pollution

non-point source pollution

existing contaminated sediments in stream channels

hazardous wastes sites as related to water bodies

analysis of existing water pollution control criteria.

The proposed method consists of three tiers; as shown in figure 55.11 which
illustrates the approach.
Figure 55.11 Methods for conducting risk assessment for successive tiers of analysis. Tier
1: Screening level; Tier 2: Quantification of potentially significant risks ; Tier 3: Sitespecific risk quantification

Water pollution in lakes and reservoirs

Lakes and reservoirs provide for the volumetric storage of watershed inflow and may
have long flushing time periods as compared with the rapid inflow and outflow for a
reach in a flowing stream. Therefore they are of special concern with regard to the
retention of certain constituents, especially nutrients including forms of nitrogen and
phosphorous which promote eutrophication. Eutrophication is a natural ageing process
in which the water content becomes organically enriched, leading to the domination of
undesirable aquatic growth, such as algae, water hyacinth and so on. The eutrophic
process tends to decrease aquatic life and has detrimental dissolved oxygen effects.
Both natural and cultural sources of nutrients may promote the process, as illustrated
by Preul (1974) in figure 55.12 , showing a schematic listing of nutrient sources and
sinks for Lake Sunapee, in the US State of New Hampshire.
Figure 55.12 Schematic listing of nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) sources and sinks for
Lake Sunapee, New Hampshire (US)

Lakes and reservoirs, of course, can be sampled and analysed to determine their
trophic status. Analytical studies usually start with a basic nutrient balance such as the
(lake influent nutrients) = (lake effluent nutrients) + (nutrient retention in lake)

This basic balance can be further expanded to include the various sources shown
in figure 55.12 .
Flushing time is an indication of the relative retention aspects of a lake system.
Shallow lakes, such as Lake Erie, have relatively short flushing times and are
associated with advanced eutrophication because shallow lakes often are more
conducive to aquatic plant growth. Deep lakes such as Lake Tahoe and Lake Superior
have very long flushing periods, which are usually associated with lakes with minimal
eutrophication because up to the present time, they have not been overloaded and also
because their extreme depths are not conducive to extensive aquatic plant growth
except in the epilimnion (upper zone). Lakes in this category are generally classified
as oligotrophic, on the basis that they are relatively low in nutrients and support
minimal aquatic growth such as algae.
It is of interest to compare the flushing times of some major US lakes as reported by
Pecor (1973) using the following calculation basis:
lake flushing time (LFT) = (lake storage volume)/(lake outflow)
Some examples are: Lake Wabesa (Michigan), LFT=0.30 years; Houghton Lake
(Michigan), 1.4 years; Lake Erie, 2.6 years; Lake Superior, 191 years; Lake Tahoe,
700 years.
Although the relationship between the process of eutrophication and nutrient content
is complex, phosphorous is typically recognized as the limiting nutrient. Based on
fully mixed conditions, Sawyer (1947) reported that algal blooms tend to occur if
nitrogen values exceed 0.3 mg/l and phosphorous exceeds 0.01 mg/l. In stratified
lakes and reservoirs, low dissolved oxygen levels in the hypoliminion are early signs
of eutrophication. Vollenweider (1968, 1969) has developed critical loading levels of
total phosphorous and total nitrogen for a number of lakes based on nutrient loadings,
mean depths and trophic states. For a comparison of work on this subject, Dillon
(1974) has published a critical review of Vollenweiders nutrient budget model and
other related models. More recent computer models are also available for simulating
nitrogen/phosphorous cycles with temperature variations.
Water pollution in estuaries
An estuary is an intermediate passageway of water between the mouth of a river and a
sea coast. This passageway is comprised of a river mouth channel reach with river
inflow (fresh water) from upstream and outflow discharge on the downstream side
into a constantly changing tailwater level of sea water (salt water). Estuaries are
continuously affected by tidal fluctuations and are among the most complex bodies of

water encountered in water pollution control. The dominant features of an estuary are
variable salinity, a salt wedge or interface between salt and fresh water, and often
large areas of shallow, turbid water overlying mud flats and salt marshes. Nutrients are
largely supplied to an estuary from the inflowing river and combine with the sea water
habitat to provide prolific production of biota and sea life. Especially desired are
seafoods harvested from estuaries.
From a water pollution standpoint, estuaries are individually complex and generally
require special investigations employing extensive field studies and computer
modelling. For a further basic understanding, the reader is referred to Reish 1979, on
marine and estuarine pollution; and to Reid and Wood 1976, on the ecology of inland
waters and estuaries.
Water pollution in marine environments

Oceans may be viewed as the ultimate receiving water or sink, since wastes carried by
rivers finally discharge into this marine environment. Although oceans are vast bodies
of salt water with seemingly unlimited assimilation capacity, pollution tends to blight
coastlines and further affects marine life.
Sources of marine pollutants include many of those encountered in land-based
wastewater environments plus more as related to marine operations. A limited list is
given below:

domestic sewage and sludge, industrial wastes, solid wastes, shipboard wastes

fishery wastes, sediments and nutrients from rivers and land runoff

oil spills, offshore oil exploration and production wastes, dredge operations

heat, radioactive wastes, waste chemicals, pesticides and herbicides.

Each of the above requires special handling and methods of control. The discharge of
domestic sewage and sewage sludges through ocean outfalls is perhaps the major
source of marine pollution.
For current technology on this subject, the reader is referred to the book on marine
pollution and its control by Bishop (1983).
Techniques for reducing pollution in wastewater discharges

Large-scale wastewater treatment is typically carried out by municipalities, sanitary

districts, industries, commercial enterprises and various pollution control

commissions. The purpose here is to describe contemporary methods of municipal

wastewater treatment and then to provide some insights regarding treatment of
industrial wastes and more advanced methods.
In general, all processes of wastewater treatment may be grouped into physical,
chemical or biological types, and one or more of these may be employed to achieve a
desired effluent product. This classification grouping is most appropriate in the
understanding of wastewater treatment approaches and is tabulated in table 55.15 .
Table 55.15 General classification of wastewater treatment operations and processes

Physical Operations

Chemical Processes

Biological Processes

Flow measurement


Aerobic action

Screening/grit removal


Anaerobic action







Chemical oxidation


Chemical reduction




Ion exchange



Reverse osmosis

Contemporary methods of wastewater treatment

The coverage here is limited and is intended to provide a conceptual overview of

current wastewater treatment practices around the world rather than detailed design
data. For the latter, the reader is referred to Metcalf and Eddy 1991.
Municipal wastewaters along with some intermingling of industrial/commercial
wastes are treated in systems commonly employing primary, secondary and tertiary
treatment as follows:
Primary treatment system: Pre-treat Primary settling Disinfection (chlorination)
Secondary treatment system: Pre-treat Primary settling Biological unit
Second settling Disinfection (chlorination) Effluent to stream
Tertiary treatment system: Pre-treat Primary settling Biological unit Second
settling Tertiary unit Disinfection (chlorination) Effluent to stream
Figure 55.13 further shows a schematic diagram of a conventional wastewater
treatment system. Overview descriptions of the above processes follow.
Figure 55.13 Schematic diagram of conventional wastewater treatment

Primary treatment

The basic objective of primary treatment for municipal wastewaters, including

domestic sewage intermingled with some industrial/commercial wastes, is to remove
suspended solids and clarify the wastewater, to make it suitable for biological

treatment. After some pre-treatment handling such as screening, grit removal and
comminution, the main process of primary sedimentation is the settling of the raw
wastewater in large settling tanks for periods up to several hours. This process
removes from 50 to 75% of the total suspended solids, which are drawn off as an
underflow sludge collected for separate treatment. The overflow effluent from the
process then is directed for secondary treatment. In certain cases, chemicals may be
employed to improve the degree of primary treatment.
Secondary treatment

The portion of the organic content of the wastewater which is finely suspended or
dissolved and not removed in the primary process, is treated by secondary treatment.
The generally accepted forms of secondary treatment in common use include trickling
filters, biological contactors such as rotating discs, activated sludge, waste
stabilization ponds, aerated pond systems and land application methods, including
wetland systems. All of these systems will be recognized as employing biological
processes of some form or another. The most common of these processes are briefly
discussed below.
Biological contactor systems. Trickling filters are one of the earliest forms of this
method for secondary treatment and are still widely used with some improved
methods of application. In this treatment, the effluent from the primary tanks is
applied uniformly onto a bed of media, such as rock or synthetic plastic media.
Uniform distribution is accomplished typically by trickling the liquid from perforated
piping rotated over the bed intermittently or continuously according to the desired
process. Depending on the rate of organic and hydraulic loadings, trickling filters can
remove up to 95% of the organic content, usually analysed as biochemical oxygen
demand (BOD). There are numerous other more recent biological contactor systems in
use which can provide treatment removals in the same range; some of these methods
offer special advantages, particularly applicable in certain limiting conditions such as
space, climate and so on. It is to be noted that a following secondary settling tank is
considered to be a necessary part of completing the process. In secondary settling,
some so-called humus sludge is drawn off as an underflow, and the overflow is
discharged as a secondary effluent.
Activated sludge. In the most common form of this biological process, primary treated
effluent flows into an activated sludge unit tank containing a previously existing
biological suspension called activated sludge. This mixture is referred to as mixed
liquor suspended solids (MLSS) and is provided a contact period typically ranging
from several hours up to 24 hours or more, depending on the desired results. During
this period the mixture is highly aerated and agitated to promote aerobic biological
activity. As the process finalizes, a portion of the mixture (MLSS) is drawn off and

returned to the influent for continuation of the biological activation process.

Secondary settling is provided following the activated sludge unit for the purpose of
settling out the activated sludge suspension and discharging a clarified overflow as an
effluent. The process is capable of removing up to about 95% of the influent BOD.
Tertiary treatment

A third level of treatment may be provided where a higher degree of pollutant removal
is required. This form of treatment may typically include sand filtration, stabilization
ponds, land disposal methods, wetlands and other systems which further stabilize the
secondary effluent.
Disinfection of effluents

Disinfection is commonly required to reduce bacteria and pathogens to acceptable

levels. Chlorination, chlorine dioxide, ozone and ultraviolet light are the most
commonly used processes.
Overall wastewater treatment plant efficiency

Wastewaters include a broad range of constituents which generally are classified as

suspended and dissolved solids, inorganic constituents and organic constituents.
The efficiency of a treatment system can be measured in terms of the percentage
removal of these constituents. Common parameters of measurement are:

BOD: biochemical oxygen demand, measured in mg/l

COD: chemical oxygen demand, measured in mg/l

TSS: total suspended solids, measured in mg/l

TDS: total dissolved solids, measured in mg/l

nitrogen forms: including nitrate and ammonia, measured in mg/l (nitrate is of

particular concern as a nutrient in eutrophication)
phosphate: measured in mg/l (also of particular concern as a nutrient in
pH: degree of acidity, measured as a number from 1 (most acid) to 14 (most

coliform bacteria counts: measured as most probable number per 100 ml

(Escherichia and fecal coliform bacteria are most common indicators).
Industrial wastewater treatment
Types of industrial wastes

Industrial (non-domestic) wastes are numerous and vary greatly in composition; they
may be highly acidic or alkaline, and often require a detailed laboratory analysis.
Specialized treatment may be necessary to render them innocuous before discharge.
Toxicity is of great concern in the disposal of industrial wastewaters.
Representative industrial wastes include: pulp and paper, slaughterhouse, brewery,
tannery, food processing, cannery, chemical, petroleum, textile, sugar, laundry, meat
and poultry, hog feeding, rendering and many others. The initial step in treatment
design development is an industrial waste survey, which provides data on variations in
flow and waste characteristics. Undesirable waste characteristics as listed by
Eckenfelder (1989) can be summarized as follows:

soluble organics causing depletion of dissolved oxygen

suspended solids

trace organics

heavy metals, cyanide and toxic organics

colour and turbidity

nitrogen and phosphorus

refractory substances resistant to biodegradation

oil and floating material

volatile materials.

The US EPA has further defined a list of toxic organic and inorganic chemicals with
specific limitations in granting discharge permits. The list includes more than 100
compounds and is too long to reprint here, but may be requested from the EPA.
Treatment methods

The handling of industrial wastes is more specialized than the treatment of domestic
wastes; however, where amenable to biological reduction, they are usually treated
using methods similar to those previously described (secondary/tertiary biological
treatment approaches) for municipal systems.
Waste stabilization ponds are a common method of organic wastewater treatment
where sufficient land area is available. Flow-through ponds are generally classified
according to their bacterial activity as aerobic, facultative or anaerobic. Aerated ponds
are supplied with oxygen by diffused or mechanical aeration systems.
Figure 55.14 and figure 55.15 show sketches of waste stabilization ponds.
Figure 55.14 Two-cell stabilization pond: cross sectional diagram

Figure 55.15 Aerated lagoon types: schematic diagram

Pollution prevention and waste minimization

When industrial waste in-plant operations and processes are analysed at their source,
they often can be controlled so as to prevent significant polluting discharges.
Recirculation techniques are important approaches in pollution prevention
programmes. A case study example is a recycling plan for a leather tannery
wastewater effluent published by Preul (1981), which included chrome recovery/reuse
along with the complete recirculation of all tannery wastewaters with no effluent to
any stream except in emergencies. The flow diagram for this system is shown
in figure 55.16 .
Figure 55.16 Flow diagram for tannery wastewater effluent recycling system

For more recent innovations in this technology, the reader is referred to a publication
on pollution prevention and waste minimization by the Water Environment Federation
Advanced methods of wastewater treatment

A number of advanced methods are available for higher degrees of removal of

pollution constituents as may be required. A general listing includes:
filtration (sand and multimedia)
chemical precipitation
carbon adsorption
algae harvesting
reclamation of effluents
ammonia stripping
reverse osmosis
ion exchange
land application
The most appropriate process for any situation must be determined on the basis of the
quality and quantity of the raw wastewater, the receiving water requirements and, of
course, costs. For further reference, see Metcalf and Eddy 1991, which includes a
chapter on advanced wastewater treatment.

Advanced wastewater treatment case study

The case study of the Dan Region Sewage Reclamation Project discussed elsewhere in
this chapter provides an excellent example of innovative methods for wastewater
treatment and reclamation.
Thermal pollution

Thermal pollution is a form of industrial waste, defined as deleterious increases or

reductions in normal water temperatures of receiving waters caused by the disposal of
heat from human-made facilities. The industries producing major waste heat are fossil
fuel (oil, gas and coal) and nuclear power generating plants, steel mills, petroleum
refineries, chemical plants, pulp and paper mills, distilleries and laundries. Of
particular concern is the electric power generating industry which supplies energy for
many countries (e.g., about 80% in the US).
Impact of waste heat on receiving waters
Influence on waste assimilation capacity

Heat increases biological oxidation.

Heat decreases oxygen saturation content of water and decreases rate of natural

The net effect of heat is generally detrimental during warm months of year.

Winter effect may be beneficial in colder climates, where ice conditions are
broken up and surface aeration is provided for fish and aquatic life.
Influence on aquatic life

Many species have temperature tolerance limits and need protection, particularly in
heat affected reaches of a stream or body of water. For example, cold water streams
usually have the highest type of sport fish such as trout and salmon, whereas warm
waters generally support coarse fish populations, with certain species such as pike and
bass fish in intermediate temperature waters.
Thermal analysis in receiving waters

Figure 55.17 illustrates the various forms of natural heat exchange at the boundaries
of a receiving water. When heat is discharged to a receiving water such as a river, it is
important to analyse the river capacity for thermal additions. The temperature profile
of a river can be calculated by solving a heat balance similar to that used in

calculating dissolved oxygen sag curves. The principal factors of the heat balance are
illustrated in figure 55.18 for a river reach between points A and B. Each factor
requires an individual calculation dependent on certain heat variables. As with a
dissolved oxygen balance, the temperature balance is simply a summation of
temperature assets and liabilities for a given section. Other more sophisticated
analytical approaches are available in the literature on this subject. The results from
the heat balance calculations can be used in establishing heat discharge limitations and
possibly certain use constraints for a body of water.
Figure 55.17 Heat exchange at the boundaries of a receiving water cross section

Figure 55.18 River capacity for thermal additions

Thermal pollution control

The main approaches for the control of thermal pollution are:

improved power plant operation efficiencies

cooling towers

isolated cooling ponds

consideration of alternative methods of power generation such as hydro-power.

Where physical conditions are favourable within certain environmental limits, hydroelectric power should be considered as an alternative to fossil-fuel or nuclear power
generation. In hydro-electric power generation, there is no disposal of heat and there
is no discharge of waste waters causing water pollution.
Groundwater Pollution Control
Importance of groundwater

Since the worlds water supplies are widely extracted from aquifers, it is most
important that these sources of supply be protected. It is estimated that more than 95%

of the earths available fresh water supply is underground; in the United States
approximately 50% of the drinking water comes from wells, according to the 1984 US
Geological Survey. Because underground water pollution and movement are of subtle
and unseen nature, less attention sometimes is given to the analysis and control of this
form of water degradation than to surface water pollution, which is far more obvious.
Sources of underground pollution

Figure 55.19 shows the hydrologic cycle with superimposed sources of groundwater
contamination. A complete listing of the potential sources of underground pollution is
extensive; however, for illustration the most obvious sources include:

industrial waste discharges

polluted streams in contact with aquifers

mining operations

solid and hazardous waste disposal

underground storage tanks such as for petroleum

irrigation systems

artificial recharge

sea water encroachment


polluted ponds with permeable bottoms

disposal wells

septic tank tile fields and leaching pits

improper well drilling

agricultural operations

roadway de-icing salts.

Figure 55.19 Hydrologic cycle and sources of groundwater contamination

Specific pollutants in underground contamination are further categorized as:

undesirable chemical constituents (typical, not complete list) - organic and
inorganic (e.g., chloride, sulphate, iron, manganese, sodium, potassium)

total hardness and total dissolved solids

toxic constituents (typical, not complete list) - nitrate, arsenic, chromium, lead,
cyanide, copper, phenols, dissolved mercury

undesirable physical characteristics - taste, colour and odour

pesticides and herbicides - chlorinated hydrocarbons and others

radioactive materials - various forms of radioactivity

biological - bacteria, viruses, parasites and so on

acid (low pH) or caustic (high pH).

Of the above, nitrates are of special concern in both ground waters and surface waters.
In groundwater supplies, nitrates can cause the disease methaemoglobinaemia (infant
cyanosis). They further cause detrimental eutrophication effects in surface waters and
occur in a wide range of water resources, as reported by Preul (1991). Preul (1964,
1967, 1972) and Preul and Schroepfer (1968) have also reported on the underground
movement of nitrogen and other pollutants.
Pollution travel in underground domain

Groundwater movement is exceedingly slow and subtle as compared with the travel of
surface waters in the hydrologic cycle. For a simple understanding of the travel of
ordinary groundwater under ideal steady flow conditions, Darcys Law is the basic
approach for the evaluation of groundwater movement at low Reynolds numbers (R):
V = K(dh/dl)
V = velocity of groundwater in aquifer, m/day
K = coefficient of permeability of aquifer
(dh/dl) = hydraulic gradient which represents the driving force for movement.
In pollutant travel underground, ordinary groundwater (H 2O) is generally the carrying
fluid and can be calculated to move at a rate according to the parameters in Darcys
Law. However, the rate of travel or velocity of a pollutant, such as an organic or
inorganic chemical, may be different due to advection and hydrodynamic dispersion
processes. Certain ions move slower or faster than the general rate of groundwater
flow as a result of reactions within the aquifer media, so that they can be categorized
as reacting or non-reacting. Reactions are generally of the following forms:
physical reactions between the pollutant and the aquifer and/or the transporting
chemical reactions between the pollutant and the aquifer and/or the transporting

biological actions on the pollutant.

The following are typical of reacting and non-reacting underground pollutants:

reacting pollutants - chromium, ammonium ion, calcium, sodium, iron and so on;
cations in general; biological constituents; radioactive constituents
non-reacting pollutants - chloride, nitrate, sulphate and so on; certain anions;
certain pesticide and herbicide chemicals.
At first, it might seem that reacting pollutants are the worst type, but this may not
always be the case because the reactions detain or retard pollutant travel
concentrations whereas non-reacting pollutant travel may be largely uninhibited.
Certain soft domestic and agricultural products are now available which
biologically degrade after a period of time and therefore avoid the possibility of
groundwater contamination.
Aquifer remediation

Prevention of underground pollution is obviously the best approach; however,

uncontrolled existence of polluted groundwater conditions usually is made known
after its occurrence, such as by complaints from water well users in the area.
Unfortunately, by the time the problem is recognized, severe damage may have
occurred and remediation is necessary. Remediation may require extensive hydrogeological field investigations with laboratory analyses of water samples in order to
establish the extent of pollutant concentrations and travel plumes. Often existing wells
can be used in initial sampling, but severe cases may require extensive borings and
water samplings. These data can then be analysed to establish current conditions and
to make future condition predictions. The analysis of groundwater contamination
travel is a specialized field often requiring the use of computer models to better
understand the groundwater dynamics and to make predictions under various
constraints. A number of two- and three-dimensional computer models are available in
the literature for this purpose. For more detailed analytical approaches, the reader is
referred to the book by Freeze and Cherry (1987).
Pollution prevention

The preferred approach for the protection of groundwater resources is pollution

prevention. Although drinking water standards generally apply to the use of
groundwater supplies, the raw water supplies require protection from contamination.
Governmental entities such as ministries of health, natural resources agencies, and
environmental protection agencies are generally responsible for such activities.

Groundwater pollution control efforts are largely directed at protection of aquifers and
the prevention of pollution.
Pollution prevention requires land-use controls in the form of zoning and certain
regulations. Laws may apply to the prevention of specific functions as particularly
applicable to point sources or actions which potentially may cause pollution. Control
by land-use zoning is a groundwater protection tool which is most effective at the
municipal or county level of government. Aquifer and wellhead protection
programmes as discussed below are leading examples of pollution prevention.
An aquifer protection programme requires establishing the boundaries of the aquifer
and its recharge areas. Aquifers may be of an unconfined or confined type, and
therefore need to be analysed by a hydrologist to make this determination. Most major
aquifers are generally well known in developed countries, but other areas may require
field investigations and hydrogeologic analysis. The key element of the programme in
the protection of the aquifer from water quality degradation is control of land use over
the aquifer and its recharge areas.
Wellhead protection is a more definitive and limited approach which applies to the
recharge area contributing to a particular well. The US federal government by
amendments passed in 1986 to the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) (1984) now
requires that specific wellhead protection areas be established for public supply wells.
The wellhead protection area (WHPA) is defined in the SDWA as the surface and
subsurface area surrounding a water well or well field, supplying a public water
supply system, through which contaminants are reasonably likely to move toward and
reach such water well or well field. The main objective in the WHPA programme, as
outlined by the US EPA (1987), is the delineation of well protection areas based on
selected criteria, well operation and hydrogeologic considerations.


Alexander Donagi
Conception and Design
The Dan Region Reclamation Project of municipal wastewater is the biggest project
of its kind in the world. It consists of facilities for treatment and groundwater recharge
of municipal wastewater from the Dan Region Metropolitan Area - an eight-city
conglomerate centred around Tel Aviv, Israel, with a combined population of about
1.5 million inhabitants. The project was created for the purpose of collection,

treatment and disposal of municipal wastewater. The reclaimed effluent, after a

relatively long detention period in the underground aquifer, is pumped for unrestricted
agricultural use, irrigating the arid Negev (the southern part of Israel). A general
scheme of the project is given in figure 55.20 . The project was established in the
1960s, and has been growing continuously. At present, the system collects and treats
about 110 106 m3 per year. Within a few years, at its final stage, the system will
handle 150 to 170 106 m3 per year.
Figure 55.20 Dan Region Sewage Reclamation Plant: layout

Sewage treatment plants are known to create a multitude of environmental and

occupational health problems. The Dan Region project is a unique system of national
importance that combines national benefit together with considerable saving of water
resources, high treatment efficiency and production of inexpensive water, without
creating excessive occupational hazards.

Throughout the design, installation and routine operation of the system, careful
consideration has been given to water sanitation and occupational hygiene concerns.
All necessary precautions have been taken to ensure that the reclaimed wastewater
will be practically as safe as regular drinking water, in the event that people
accidentally drink or swallow it. Similarly, appropriate attention has been given to the
issue of reducing to the minimum any potential exposure to accidents or other
biological, chemical or physical hazards that may affect either the workers at the
wastewater treatment plant proper or other workers engaged in the disposal and
agricultural use of the reclaimed water.
At Stage One of the project, the wastewater was biologically treated by a system of
facultative oxidation ponds with recirculation and additional chemical treatment by a
lime-magnesium process, followed by detention of the high-pH effluent in polishing
ponds. The partially treated effluent was recharged to the regional groundwater
aquifer by means of the Soreq spreading basins.
At Stage Two, the wastewater conveyed to the treatment plant undergoes mechanicalbiological treatment by means of an activated-sludge process with nitrificationdenitrification. The secondary effluent is recharged to the groundwater by means of
the spreading basins Yavneh 1 and Yavneh 2.
The complete system consists of a number of different elements complementing each
a wastewater treatment plant system, comprised of an activated-sludge plant (the
biomechanical plant), which treats most of the wastes, and of a system of oxidation
and polishing ponds used mostly for treatment of excess sewage flows
a groundwater recharge system for the treated effluent, which consists of
spreading basins, at two different sites (Yavneh and Soreq), that are intermittently
flooded; the absorbed effluent passes through the soils unsaturated zone and through
a portion of the aquifer, and creates a special zone that is dedicated to complementary
effluent treatment and seasonal storage, which is called SAT (soil-aquifer-treatment)
networks of observation wells (53 wells all together) which surround the recharge
basins and allow the monitoring of the efficiency of the treatment process
networks of recovery wells (a total of 74 active wells in 1993) which surround the
recharge sites
a special and separate reclaimed water conveyance main for unrestricted irrigation
of agricultural areas in the Negev; this main is called The Third Negev Line, and it

complements the water supply system to the Negev, which includes another two major
fresh water supply main lines
a setup for chlorination of the effluent, which consists, at present, of three
chlorination sites (two more to be added in the future)
six operational reservoirs along the conveyance system, which regulate the
amounts of water pumped and consumed along the system
an effluent distribution system, composed of 13 major pressure zones, along the
effluent main, that supply the treated water to the consumers
a comprehensive monitoring system which supervises and controls the complete
operation of the project.
Description of the Reclamation System
The general scheme of the reclamation system is presented in figure 55.20 and the
flow diagram in figure 55.21 . The system consists of the following segments:
wastewater treatment plant, water recharge fields, recovery wells, conveyance and
distribution system, chlorination setup and a comprehensive monitoring system.
Figure 55.21 Flow diagram of Dan Region Project

The wastewater treatment plant

The wastewater treatment plant of the Dan Region Metropolitan Area receives the
domestic wastes of the eight cities in the region, and also handles part of their
industrial wastes. The plant is located within the Rishon-Lezion sand dunes and is
based mostly on secondary treatment of the wastes by the activated-sludge method.
Some of the wastes, mostly during peak-flow discharges, are treated in another, older
system of oxidation ponds occupying an area of 300 acres. The two systems together
can handle, at present, about 110 106 m3 per year.
The recharge fields

The treatment plant effluents are pumped into three different sites located within the
regional sand dunes, where they are spread on the sand and percolate downward into
the underground aquifer for temporary storage and for additional time-dependent
treatment. Two of the spreading basins are used for recharge of the mechanicalbiological treatment-plant effluent. These are Yavneh 1 (60 acres, located 7 km to the
south of the plant) and Yavneh 2 (45 acres, 10 km south of the plant); the third basin is
used for recharge of a mixture of the oxidation ponds effluent and a certain fraction
from the biomechanical treatment plant that is required in order to improve the quality
of the effluent to the necessary level. This is the Soreq site, which has an area of about
60 acres and is located to the east of the ponds.
The recovery wells

Around the recharge sites there are networks of observation wells through which the
recharged water is re-pumped. Not all of the 74 wells in operation in 1993 were active
during the whole project. In 1993 a total of about 95 million cubic metres of water
were recovered from the systems wells and pumped into the Third Negev Line.
The conveyance and distribution systems

The water pumped from the various recovery wells is collected into the conveyance
and distribution system of the Third Line. The conveyance system is composed of
three sections, having a combined length of 87 km and a diameter ranging from 48 to
70 inches. Along the conveyance system six different operational reservoirs,
floating on the main line, were constructed, in order to regulate the water flow of
the system. The operational volume of these reservoirs ranges from 10,000 m 3 to
100,000 m3.
The water flowing in the Third Line system was supplied to the customers in 1993
through a system of 13 major pressure zones. Numerous water consumers, mostly
farms, are connected to these pressure zones.

The chlorination system

The purpose of the chlorination that is carried out in the Third Line is breakage of the
human connection, which means elimination of any possibility for existence of
micro-organisms of human origin in Third Line water. Throughout the course of
monitoring it was found that there is a considerable increase of fecal micro-organisms
during the stay of the reclaimed water in the water reservoirs. Therefore it was
decided to add more chlorination points along the line, and by 1993 three separate
chlorination points were routinely operating. Two more chlorination points are to be
added to the system in the near future. The residual chlorine ranges between 0.4 and
1.0 mg/l of free chlorine. This method, whereby low concentrations of free chlorine
are maintained at various points along the system rather than a single massive dose at
the beginning of the line, secures the breakage of the human connection, and at the
same time enables fish to live in the reservoirs. In addition, this chlorination method
will disinfect the water in the downstream sections of the conveyance and distribution
system, in the event that pollutants entered the system at a point downstream from the
initial chlorination point.
The monitoring system

Operation of the reclamation system of the Third Negev Line is dependent upon
routine functioning of a monitoring setup which is supervised and controlled by a
professional and independent scientific entity. This body is the Research and
Development Institute of the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, in Haifa, Israel.
The establishment of an independent monitoring system has been a mandatory
requirement of the Israeli Ministry of Health, the local legal authority according to the
Israeli Public Health Ordinance. The need for establishing this monitoring setup stems
from the facts that:

This wastewater reclamation project is the biggest one in the world.

2. It comprises some non-routine elements that have not as yet been experimented

The reclaimed water is to be used for unlimited irrigation of agricultural crops.

The major role of the monitoring system is therefore to secure the chemical and
sanitary quality of the water supplied by the system and to issue warnings regarding
any change in the water quality. In addition, the monitoring setup is conducting a
follow-up of the complete Dan Region reclamation project, also investigating certain
aspects, such as the routine operation of the plant and the chemico-biological quality

of its water. This is necessary in order to determine the adaptability of the Third Line
water for unlimited irrigation, not only from the sanitary aspect but also from the
agricultural viewpoint.
The preliminary monitoring layout was designed and prepared by the Mekoroth Water
Co., the major Israeli water supplier and the operator of the Dan Region project. A
specially appointed steering committee has been reviewing the monitoring programme
on a periodic basis, and has been modifying it according to the accumulated
experience gained through the routine operation. The monitoring programme dealt
with the various sampling points along the Third Line system, the various investigated
parameters and the sampling frequency. The preliminary programme referred to
various segments of the system, namely the recovery wells, conveyance line,
reservoirs, a limited number of consumer connections, as well as the presence of
potable water wells in the vicinity of the plant. The list of parameters included within
the monitoring schedule of the Third Line is given in table 55.16 .
Table 55.16 List of investigated parameters









No./100 ml


Alkalinity as CaCO3











Biochemical oxygen demand















Chlorine demand












Colour (platinum cobalt)


Chemical oxygen demand









Dissolved oxygen as O2



Dissolved organic carbon



Dissolved solids at 105 C



Dissolved solids at 550 C



Electrical conductivity




No./100 ml





Faecal coliforms

No./100 ml





Hardness as CaCO3



Bicarbonate as HCO3-


























Ammonia as NH4+






Kjeldahl nitrogen total



Nitrite as NO2-



Nitrate as NO3-



Odour-threshold odour number


Oil and grease









pH measured at field


Phosphate as PO4-2



Total phosphorus as P



Residual free chlorine



Sodium adsorption ratio





Silica as H2SiO3












Suspended solids at 100 C



Suspended solids at 550 C




No./100 ml



Total coliforms

No./100 ml


Total bacteria

No./100 ml


Total solids at 105 C



Total solids at 550 C






UV (absorb. at 254 nm)(/cm x 10)




Recovery wells monitoring

The sampling programme of the recovery wells is based upon a bi-monthly or trimonthly measurement of a few indicator-parameters (table 55.17). When the
chlorides concentration at the sampled well exceeds by more than 15% the initial
chlorides level of the well, it is interpreted as a significant increase of the share of
the recovered effluent within the underground aquifer water, and the well is
transferred into the next category of sampling. Here, 23 characteristic-parameters
are determined, once every three months. In some of the wells, once a year, a
complete water investigation, including 54 various parameters, is carried out.

Table 55.17 The various parameters investigated at the recovery wells

Group A

Group B

Group C

Indicator parameters

Characteristic Parameters

Complete-Test Parameters

1. Chlorides

Group A and:

Groups A+B and:

2. Electrical

6. Temperature

24. Suspended solids

7. pH

25. Enteric viruses

8. Turbidity

26. Total bacterial count

9. Dissolved solids

27. Coliform

10. Dissolved organic


28. Faecal coli

3. Detergents
4. UV absorption
5. Dissolved oxygen
29. Faecal streptococcus
11. Alkalinity
30. Zinc
12. Hardness
31. Aluminium
13. Calcium
32. Arsenic
14. Magnesium
33. Iron
15. Sodium
34. Barium
16. Potassium
35. Silver
17. Nitrates
36. Mercury
18. Nitrites
37. Chromium
19. Ammonia
38. Lithium
20. Kjeldahl total nitrogen
39. Molybdenum
21. Total phosphorus

22. Sulphate

40. Manganese

23. Boron

41. Copper
42. Nickel
43. Selenium
44. Strontium
45. Lead
46. Fluoride
47. Cyanides
48. Cadmium
49. Cobalt
50. Phenols
51. Mineral oil
52. TOC
53. Odour
54. Colour

Conveyance system monitoring

The conveyance system, the length of which is 87 km, is monitored at seven central
points along the wastewater line. At these points 16 different parameters are sampled
once per month. These are: PHFD, DO, T, EC, SS10, SS55, UV, TURB, NO3+, PTOT,
ALKM, DOC, TOTB, TCOL, FCOL and ENTR. Parameters which are not expected
to change along the system are measured at two sampling points only - at the
beginning and at the end of the conveyance line. These are: Cl, K, Na, Ca, Mg,
HARD, B, DS, SO42, NH4+, NO2 and MBAS. At those two sampling points, once a
year, various heavy metals are sampled (Zn, Sr, Sn, Se, Pb, Ni, Mo, Mn, Li, Hg, Fe,
Cu, Cr, Co, Cd, Ba, As, Al, Ag).

Reservoirs monitoring

The monitoring setup of the Third Line reservoirs is based mostly on examination of a
limited number of parameters which serve as indicators of biological development in
the reservoirs, and for pinpointing the entry of external pollutants. Five reservoirs are
sampled, once per month, for: PHFD, T, DO, Total SS, Volatile SS, DOC, CLRL,
RSCL, TCOL, FCOL, STRP and ALG. At these five reservoirs Si is also sampled,
once per two months. All these parameters are also sampled at another reservoir,
Zohar B, at a frequency of six times per year.
The Dan Region Reclamation Project supplies high-quality reclaimed water for
unrestricted irrigation of the Israeli Negev.
Stage One of this project is in partial operation since 1970 and in full operation since
1977. From 1970 to 1993, a total raw sewage amount of 373 million cubic metres
(MCM) was conveyed to the facultative oxidation ponds, and a total water amount of
243 MCM was pumped from the aquifer in the period 19741993 and supplied to the
South of the country. Part of the water was lost, mostly due to evaporation and
seepage from the ponds. In 1993 these losses amounted to about 6.9% of the raw
sewage conveyed to the Stage One plant (Kanarek 1994).
The mechanical-biological treatment plant, Stage Two of the project, has been in
operation since 1987. During the 1987-1993 period of operation a total raw sewage
amount of 478 MCM was conveyed to the mechanical-biological treatment plant. In
1993 about 103 MCM of water (95 MCM reclaimed water plus 8 MCM potable
water) were conveyed through the system, and used for unlimited irrigation of the
The recovery-wells water represents the underground aquifer water quality. The
aquifer water quality is changing all the time as a result of the percolation of effluent
into it. The aquifer water quality approaches that of the effluent for those parameters
that are not influenced by the Soil-Aquifer Treatment (SAT) processes, while
parameters that are affected by the passage through the soil layers (e.g., turbidity,
suspended solids, ammonia, dissolved organic carbon and so on) show considerably
lower values. Noteworthy is the chloride content of the aquifer water, which increased
within a recent four-year period by 15 to 26%, as evidenced by the changing water
quality in the recovery wells. This change indicates the continuous replacement of
aquifer water by effluent having a considerably higher chloride content.

The quality of the water in the six reservoirs of the Third Line system is influenced by
biological and chemical changes that occur within the open reservoirs. The oxygen
content is increased, as a result of photosynthesis of algae and due to dissolution of
atmospheric oxygen. Concentrations of various types of bacteria are also increased as
a result of random pollution by various water fauna residing near the reservoirs.
The quality of the water supplied to the customers along the system is dependent upon
the quality of water from the recovery wells and the reservoirs. Mandatory
chlorination of the systems water constitutes an additional safeguard against
erroneous use of the water as potable water. Comparison of the Third Line water data
with the requirements of the Israeli Ministry of Health regarding quality of wastewater
to be used for unlimited agricultural use shows that most of the time the water quality
fully satisfies the requirements.
In conclusion it might be said that the Third Line wastewater recovery and utilization
system has been a successful environmental and national Israeli project. It has solved
the problem of sanitary disposal of the Dan Region sewage and at the same time it has
increased the national water balance by a factor of about 5%. In an arid country such
as Israel, where water supply, especially for agricultural use, is quite limited, this is a
real contribution.
The costs of the recharge operation and maintenance of the reclaimed water, in 1993,
was about 3 US cents per m3 (0.093 NIS/m3).
The system has been operating since the late 1960s under strict surveillance of the
Israeli Ministry of Health and of Mekoroths occupational safety and hygiene
department. There have been no reports of any occupational disease resulting from the
operation of this intricate and comprehensive system.


Lucien Y. Maystre
Environmental awareness is leading to a rapid transformation of waste management
practices. Interpretation of this change is necessary before examining in more detail
the methods that are applied to waste management and to the handling of residues.
Modern principles of waste management are based on the paradigm of a geared
connection between the biosphere and the anthroposphere. A global model (figure
55.22) relating these two spheres is based on the assumption that all materials drawn
out of the environment end up as waste either directly (from the production sector) or

indirectly (from the recycling sector), bearing in mind that all consumption waste
flows back to this recycling sector either for recycling and/or for disposal.
Figure 55.22 A global model of the principles of waste management

From this perspective, recycling must be defined broadly: from the recycling of whole
objects (returnables), to the recycling of objects for some of their spare parts (e.g.,
cars, computers), to the production of new materials (e.g., paper and cardboard, tin
cans) or the production of similar objects (recycling, downcycling and so on). Over
the long term, this model can be visualized as a steady-state system wherein goods
end up as waste after a few days or often a few years.
Deductions from the Model
Some major deductions can be made from this model, provided the various flows are
clearly defined. For purposes of this model:
Po=the annual input of materials drawn from the environment (bio-, hydro- or
lithospheres). In a steady state, this input is equal to the annual final disposal of waste.

P=the annual production of goods from Po.

C=the annual flow of goods in the anthroposphere.

R=the annual flow of waste converted to goods through recycling. (In a steady
state: C=R+ P)

p=the effectiveness of production, measured as the ratio of P/P o.

If r=the effectiveness of recycling, measured as the ratio of R/C, then the

relationship is: C/Po=p(1-r).

If C/Po=C*; then C* is the ratio of goods to the materials drawn out of nature.

In other words, C* is a measure of the meshing of the connection between

environment and anthroposphere. It is related to the efficiency of the production and
of the recycling sectors. The relationship between C*, p and r, which is a utility
function, can be charted as in figure 55.23 , which shows the explicit trade-off
between p and r, for a selected value of C*.
Figure 55.23 A utility function illustrating production recycling trade-offs

In the past, industry has developed along the line of an increase of the efficiency of
production, p. Currently, in the late 1990s, the price of waste disposal through
dispersion into the atmosphere, into bodies of water or into soils (uncontrolled
tipping), or the burial of waste in confined deposit sites has increased very rapidly, as
a result of increasingly stringent environmental protection standards. Under these
conditions, it has become economically attractive to increase the effectiveness of
recycling (in other words, to increase r). This trend will persist through the coming
One important condition has to be met in order to improve the effectiveness of
recycling: the waste to be recycled (in other words the raw materials of the second
generation) must be as pure as possible (i.e., free of unwanted elements which
would preclude the recycling). This will be achieved only through the implementation
of a generalized policy of non-mixing of domestic, commercial and industrial waste
at the source. This is often incorrectly termed sorting at the source. To sort is to
separate; but the idea is precisely not to have to separate by storing the various
categories of waste in separate containers or places until they are collected. The
paradigm of modern waste management is non-mixing of waste at the source so as to
enable an increase in the efficiency of recycling and thus to achieve a better ratio of
goods per material drawn out of the environment.
Waste Management Practices
Waste may be grouped into three major categories, depending on its production:
1. from the primary sector of production (mining, forestry, agriculture, animal
breeding, fishery)
2. from the production and transformation industry (foods, equipment, products of
all types)
3. from the consumption sector (households, enterprises, transportation, trade,
construction, services, etc.).
Waste can be also classified by legislative decree:
municipal waste and mixed waste from enterprises which may be aggregated as
municipal waste, since both consist of the same categories of waste and are of small
size (vegetables, paper, metals, glass, plastics and so on), although in differing

bulky urban waste (furniture, equipment, vehicles, construction and demolition

waste other than inert material)

waste subject to special legislation (e.g., hazardous, infectious, radioactive).

Management of municipal and ordinary commercial waste:

Collected by trucks, these wastes can be transported (directly or by road-to-road, roadto-rail or road-to-waterway transfer stations and long-distance transportation means)
to a landfill, or to a treatment plant for material recovery (mechanical sorting,
composting, biomethanization), or for energy recovery (grid or kiln incinerator,
Treatment plants produce proportionally small quantities of residues which may be
more hazardous for the environment than the original waste. For example, incinerators
produce fly ashes with very high heavy metal and complex chemical content. These
residues are often classified by legislation as hazardous waste and require appropriate
management. Treatment plants differ from landfills because they are open systems
with inputs and outputs, whereas landfills are essentially sinks (if one neglects the
small quantity of leachate which deserves further treatment and the production of
biogas, which may be an exploited source of energy on very large landfills).
Industrial and domestic equipment:

The present trend, which also has commercial contributions, is for the producers of
the waste sectors (e.g., cars, computers, machines) to be responsible for the recycling.
Residues are then either hazardous waste or are similar to ordinary waste from
Construction and demolition waste:

The increasing prices of landfills is an incentive for a better sorting of such waste.
Separation of the hazardous and burnable waste from the large quantity of inert
materials allows the latter to be disposed of at a far lower rate than mixed waste.
Special waste:

Chemically hazardous waste must be treated through neutralization, mineralization,

insolubilization or be made inert before it can be deposited in special landfills.
Infectious waste is best burnt in special incinerators. Radioactive waste is subject to
very strict legislation.
Management of Residues

Production and consumption waste which cannot be recycled, down-cycled, reused or

incinerated to produce energy must eventually be disposed of. The toxicity for the
environment of these residues should be reduced according to the principle of best
available technology at an acceptable price. After this treatment, the residues should
be deposited in sites where they will not contaminate the water and the ecosystem and
spread into the atmosphere, into the sea or into lakes and streams.
Deposits of waste are usually dated by the combination of multilayer isolation (using
clay, geotextiles, plastic foils and so on), the diversion of all exogenous water, and
waterproof cover layers. Permanent deposits need to be monitored for decades.
Restrictions on land use of a deposit site must also be controlled for long periods of
time. Controlled drainage systems for leachates or gases are necessary in most cases.
More biochemically stable and chemically inert residues from waste treatment require
less stringent conditions for their final disposal, making it less difficult to find a
deposit site for them within the region of production of the waste. Export of wastes or
their residues, which always awakens NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) reactions,
might thus be avoided.


Niels Jorn Hahn and Poul S. Lauridsen
Solid wastes are traditionally described as residual products, which represent a cost
when one has to resort to disposal.
Management of waste encompasses a complex set of potential impacts on human
health and safety, and the environment. The impacts, although the type of hazards may
be similar, should be distinguished for three distinct types of operation:

handling and storage at the waste producer

collection and transportation

sorting, processing and disposal.

One should bear in mind that health and safety hazards will arise where the waste is
produced in the first place - in the factory or with the consumer. Hence, waste storage
at the waste generator - and especially when waste is separated at source - may cause
harmful impact on the nearby surroundings. This article will focus on a framework for
understanding solid waste management practices and situating the occupational health

and safety risks associated with the waste collection, transportation, processing and
disposal industries.
Why Solid Waste Management?
Solid waste management becomes necessary and relevant when the structure of the
society changes from agricultural with low-density and widespread population to
urban, high-density population. Furthermore, industrialization has introduced a large
number of products which nature cannot, or can only very slowly, decompose or
digest. Hence, certain industrial products contain substances which, due to low
degradability or even toxic characteristics, may build up in nature to levels
representing a threat to humanitys future use of the natural resources - that is,
drinking water, agricultural soil, air and so on.
The objective of solid waste management is to prevent pollution of the natural
A solid waste management system should be based on technical studies and overall
planning procedures including:

studies and estimates on waste composition and amounts

studies on collection techniques

studies on processing and disposal facilities

studies on prevention of pollution of the natural environment

studies on occupational health and safety standards

feasibility studies.

The studies must include protection of the natural environment and occupational
health and safety aspects, taking the possibilities of sustainable development into
consideration. As it seldom is possible to solve all problems at one time, it is
important at the planning stage to note that it is helpful to set up a list of priorities.
The first step in solving environmental and occupational hazards is to recognize the
existence of the hazards.
Principles of Waste Management
Waste management involves a complex and wide range of occupational health and
safety relations. Waste management represents a reverse production process; the

product is removal of surplus materials. The original aim was simply to collect the
materials, reuse the valuable part of the materials and dispose of what remained at the
nearest sites not used for agriculture purposes, buildings and so on. This is still the
case in many countries.
Sources of waste can be described by the different functions in a modern society
(see table 55.18).
Table 55.18 Sources of waste


Waste description


Product residues
Default products


Default products


Transport packaging
Default products
Organics (from food processing)
Food waste


Transport packaging
Retail packaging (paper, glass, metal, plastics, etc.)
Kitchen waste (organics)
Hazardous waste (chemicals, oil)
Bulky waste (used furniture) etc.
Garden waste

Construction and demolition

Concrete, bricks, iron, soil, etc.

Infrastructure activities

Park waste
Street cleaning waste
Clinkers, ashes and flue gas from energy production

Sewage sludge
Hospital waste

Waste processing

Rejects from sorting facilities

Clinkers, ashes and flue gas cleaning products from

Each type of waste is characterized by its origin or what type of product it was before
it became waste. Hence, basically its health and safety hazards should be laid down
upon the restriction of handling the product by the waste producer. In any case,
storage of the waste may create new and stronger elements of hazards (chemical
and/or biological activity in the storage period).
Solid waste management can be distinguished by the following stages:
separation at source into specific waste fraction depending on material

temporary storage at the waste producer in bins, sacks, containers or in bulk

collection and transportation by vehicle:

- manual, horse team, motorized and so on
- open platform, closed truck body, compacting unit and so on

transfer station: compaction and reloading to larger transport units

recycling and/or waste processing facilities

waste processing:
- manual or mechanical sorting out into different material fractions for recycling
- processing of presorted waste fractions to secondary raw materials
- processing for new (raw) materials
- incineration for volume reduction and/or energy recovery

- anaerobic digestion of organics for production of soil conditioner, fertilizer and

energy (biogas)
- composting of organics for production of soil conditioner and fertilizer

waste disposal:

- landfill, which should be designed and located to prevent migration of polluted

water (landfill leachate), especially into drinking water resources (groundwater
resources, wells and rivers).
Recycling of waste can take place at any stage of the waste system, and at each stage
of the waste system, special occupational health and safety hazards may arise.
In low-income societies and non-industrial countries, recycling of solid waste is a
basic income for the waste collectors. Typically, no questions are put on the health and
safety hazards in these areas.
In the intensely industrialized countries, there is a clear trend for putting increased
focus on recycling of the huge amounts of waste produced. Important reasons go
beyond the direct market value of the waste, and include the lack of proper disposal
facilities and the growing public awareness of the imbalance between consumption
and protection of the natural environment. Thus, waste collection and scavenging have
been renamed recycling to upgrade the activity in the mind of the public, resulting in a
steeply growing awareness of the working conditions in the waste business.
Today, the occupational health and safety authorities in the industrialized countries are
focusing on working conditions which, a few years ago, passed off unnoticed with
unspoken acceptance, such as:
improper heavy lifting and excessive amount of materials handled per working

inappropriate exposure to dust of unknown composition

unnoticed impact by micro-organisms (bacteria, fungi) and endotoxins

unnoticed exposure to toxic chemicals.

Recycling or salvaging is the word covering both reuse (use for the same purpose) and
reclamation/recovery of materials or energy.

The reasons for implementing recycling may change depending on national and local
conditions, and the key ideas in the arguments for recycling may be:
detoxification of hazardous waste when high environmental standards are set by
the authorities

resource recovery in low income areas

reduction of volume in areas where landfilling is predominant

energy recovery in areas where conversion of waste to energy can replace fossil
fuel (coal, natural gas, crude oil and so on) for energy production.
As previously mentioned, recycling can occur at any stage in the waste system, but
recycling can be designed to prevent waste from being born. That is the case when
products are designed for recycling and a system for repurchasing after end-use, for
instance by putting a deposit on beverage containers (glass bottles and so on).
Hence, recycling may go further than mere implementation of reclamation or recovery
of materials from the waste stream.
Recycling of materials implies, in most situations, separation or sorting of the waste
materials into fractions with a minimum degree of fineness as a prerequisite to the use
of the waste as a substitute for virgin or primary raw materials.
The sorting may be performed by waste producers (source separation), or after
collection, meaning separation at a central sorting plant.
Source Separation
Source separation will, by todays technology, result in fractions of waste which are
designed for processing. A certain degree of source separation is inevitable, as some
mixtures of waste fractions can be separated into usable material fractions again only
by great (economic) effort. The design of source separation must always take the final
type of recycling into consideration.
The goal of the source sorting system should be to avoid a mixing or pollution of the
different waste fractions, which could be an obstacle to easy recycling.
The collection of source-sorted waste fractions will often result in more distinct
occupational health and safety hazards than does collection in bulk. This is due to
concentration of specific waste fractions - for instance, toxic substances. Sorting out

of easily degradable organics may result in producing high levels of exposure to

hazardous fungi, bacteria, endotoxins and so on, when the materials are handled or
Central Sorting
Central sorting may be done by mechanical or manual methods.
It is the general opinion that mechanical sorting without prior source separation by
todays known technology should be used only for production of refuse derived fuel
(RDF). Prerequisites for acceptable working conditions are total casing of the
mechanical equipment and use of personal space suits when service and
maintenance have to be carried out.
Mechanical central sorting with prior source separation has, with todays technology,
not been successful due to difficulties in reaching proper sorting efficiency. When the
characteristics of the sorted out waste fractions become more clearly defined, and
when these characteristics become valid on a national or international basis, then it
can be expected that new proper and efficient techniques will be developed. The
success of these new techniques will be closely linked to prudent consideration to
obtaining acceptable working conditions.
Manual central sorting should imply prior source separation to avoid occupational
health and safety hazards (dust, bacteria, toxic substances and so on). The manual
sorting should be limited to only a limited number of waste fraction qualities to
avoid foreseeable sorting mistakes at the source, and to facilitate easy control facilities
at the plants reception area. As the waste fractions become more clearly defined, it
will be possible to develop more and more devices for automatic sorting procedures to
minimize direct human exposure to noxious substances.
Why Recycling?
It is important to note that recycling is not a waste processing method that should be
seen independently of other waste management practices. In order to supplement
recycling, it is necessary to have access to a properly managed landfill and perhaps to
more traditional waste processing facilities such as incineration plants and composting
Recycling should be evaluated in connection with

local supply of raw materials and energy

what is substituted - renewable (i.e., paper/tree) resources or non-renewable (i.e.,

oil) resources.
As long as oil and coal are used as energy resources, for example, incineration of
waste and refuse-derived fuel with energy recovery will constitute a viable waste
management option based on energy recovery. Minimization of waste quantities by
this method, however, must end in final deposits subject to extremely strict
environmental standards, which may be very expensive.


Thomas Tseng, Victor Shantora and Ian R. Smith
The Challenge
The Great Lakes are a shared resource between Canada and the United States
(see figure 55.24). The five large lakes contain over 18% of the worlds surface water.
The basin is home to one in every three Canadians (approximately 8.5 million ) and
one in every nine Americans (27.5 million). The basin is the industrial heartland of
both countries - one-fifth of the US industrial base and one-half of Canadas.
Economic activities around the Great Lakes basin generate an estimated 1 trillion
dollars of wealth each year. Over time, increasing population and industrial activities
created a variety of stresses on the lakes until the need for concerted action to protect
the Great Lakes by the two countries was recognized in mid-century.
Figure 55.24 Great Lakes drainage basin: St. Lawrence River

The Response
Since the 1950s, both countries have put in place domestic and bilateral programmes
to address gross pollution problems and also to respond to more subtle water quality
concerns. As a result of these actions, Great Lakes waters are visibly cleaner than they
were at mid-century, loadings of heavy metals and organic chemicals have decreased
and contaminant levels in fish and aquatic birds have gone down significantly. The
successes of CanadaUnited States actions to restore and protect the Great Lakes

provide a model for bilateral cooperation on resource management, but challenges

The Case Study in Perspective
The threats posed by persistent toxic substances, however, are long term in nature and
their management requires a multimedia, comprehensive at-source approach. To
achieve a long-term goal of virtual elimination of persistent toxic substances from the
Great Lakes, environmental authorities, industries and other stakeholders in the basin
were challenged to develop new approaches and programmes. The purpose of this
case study report is to provide a brief summary of Canadian pollution control
programmes and the progress achieved by 1995, and to outline initiatives for
managing persistent toxics in the Great Lakes. Similar US initiatives and programmes
are not discussed herein. Interested readers should contact the Great Lakes National
Program Office of the US Environmental Protection Agency in Chicago for
information on federal and state programmes for protecting the Great Lakes.
A significant problem acknowledged to be affecting Lake Erie in the 1960s was
nutrient enrichment or eutrophication. The identified need for bilateral actions
prompted Canada and the United States to sign the first Great Lakes Water Quality
Agreement (GLWQA) in 1972. The Agreement outlined abatement goals for reducing
phosphorus loadings primarily from laundry detergents and municipal sewage
effluent. In response to this commitment Canada and Ontario enacted legislation and
programmes for controlling point sources. Between 1972 and 1987, Canada and
Ontario invested more than 2 billion dollars in sewage treatment plant construction
and upgrading in the Great Lakes basin.
The 1972 GLWQA also identified the need to reduce releases of toxic chemicals into
the lakes from industries and other sources such as spills. In Canada, the promulgation
of federal effluent (end of pipe) regulations in the 1970s for conventional pollutants
from major industrial sectors (pulp and paper, metal mining, petroleum refining and so
on) provided a national baseline standard, while Ontario established similar effluent
guidelines tailored for local needs including the Great Lakes. Actions by industries
and municipalities to meet these federal and Ontario effluent requirements produced
impressive results; for example, phosphorus loadings from point sources to Lake Erie
were reduced by 70% between 1975 and 1989, and discharges of conventional
pollutants from the seven Ontario petroleum refineries were cut by 90% since the
early 1970s. Figure 55.25 shows similar loading reduction trends for the pulp and
paper and the iron and steel sectors.

Figure 55.25 Progress on industrial abatement

By the mid-1970s evidence of elevated concentrations of toxic chemicals in Great

Lakes fish and wildlife, reproductive abnormalities in some fish-eating birds and
population decline in a number of species implicated persistent bioaccumulative toxic
substances, which became the new focus for the binational protection effort. Canada
and the United States signed a second Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement in 1978,
in which the two countries pledged to restore and maintain the chemical, physical
and biological integrity of the waters of the Great Lakes Ecosystem. A key challenge
was the policy that the discharge of toxic substances in toxic amounts be prohibited
and the discharge of any or all persistent toxic substances be virtually eliminated.
The call for virtual elimination was necessary, as persistent toxic chemicals may
concentrate and accumulate in the food chain, causing severe and irreversible
damages to the ecosystem, whereas chemicals which are not persistent needed to be
kept below levels which cause immediate harm.
In addition to tighter controls on point sources, Canada and Ontario developed and/or
strengthened controls on pesticides, commercial chemicals, hazardous wastes and
non-point sources of pollution such as dump sites and incinerators. Government
initiatives became more multimedia oriented, and the concept of cradle to grave or
responsible care for chemicals became the new environmental management
philosophy for government and industries alike. A number of persistent toxic
pesticides were banned under the federal Pest Control Products Act (DDT, Aldrin,
Mirex, Toxaphene, Chlordane) and the Environmental Contaminants Act was used to
(1) prohibit commercial, manufacturing and processing uses of persistent toxics (CFC,
PPB, PCB, PPT, Mirex, lead) and (2) to limit chemical releases from specific
industrial operations (mercury, vinyl chloride, asbestos).
By the early 1980s, results from these programmes and measures and similar
American efforts started producing evidence of a rebound. Contaminant levels in
Great Lakes sediments, fish and wildlife were on the decline, and noted environmental
improvements included the return of bald eagles to the Canadian shore of Lake Erie, a
200-fold increase in cormorant population, a resurgence in osprey on Georgian Bay
and the re-establishment in the Toronto Harbour area of common terns - all have been
affected by levels of persistent toxic substances in the past, and their recovery
illustrates the success of this approach to date.
The trend toward reduced concentrations for some of the persistent toxic substances in
fish, wildlife and sediments levelled off by the mid-1980s (see Mirex in herring gull
eggs in figure 55.26). It was concluded by scientists that:
1. While the water pollution and contaminants control programmes in place were
helpful, they were not enough to bring about further reductions in contaminant

2. Additional measures were required for non-point sources of persistent toxics

including contaminated sediments, long range atmospheric input of pollutants,
abandoned dump sites and so on.
3. Some pollutants can persist in the ecosystem at minute concentrations and can
bioaccumulate in the food chain for a long time.
4. The most efficient and effective approach for dealing with persistent toxics is to
prevent or eliminate their generation at source rather than virtually eliminate their
Figure 55.26 Mirex in herring gull eggs

It was generally agreed that achieving virtual elimination in the environment through
the application of zero-discharge philosophy to sources and the ecosystem approach to
Great Lakes water quality management needed to be further strengthened and
To reaffirm their commitment to the virtual elimination goal for persistent toxic
substances, Canada and the United States amended the 1978 Agreement through a
protocol in November 1987 (United States and Canada 1987). The protocol
designated areas of concern where beneficial uses have been impaired around the
Great Lakes, and required the development and implementation of remedial action
plans (RAPs) for both point and non-point sources in the designated areas. The

protocol also stipulated lakewide management plans (LAMPs) to be used as the main
framework for resolving whole-lake impairment of beneficial uses and for
coordinating control of persistent toxic substances impacting each of the Great Lakes.
Furthermore, the protocol included new annexes for establishing programmes and
measures for airborne sources, contaminated sediments and dump sites, spills and
control of exotic species.
Following the signing of the 1987 protocol, the goal of virtual elimination was
strongly promoted by environmental interest groups on both sides of the Great Lakes
as concerns about the threat of persistent toxics increased. The International Joint
Commission (IJC), the binational advisory body created under the 1909 Boundary
Waters Treaty, also strongly advocated the virtual elimination approach. An IJC
binational task force recommended a strategy for Virtual Elimination in 1993
(see figure 55.27). By the mid-1990s, the IJC and the parties are attempting to define a
process for implementing this strategy, including considerations for socioeconomic
Figure 55.27 Decision-making process for virtual elimination of persistent toxic substances
from the Great Lakes

The governments of Canada and Ontario responded in a number of ways to control or

reduce the release of persistent toxics. The important programmes and initiatives are
briefly summarized below.
Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA)

In 1989, Environment Canada consolidated and streamlined its legal mandates into a
single statute. CEPA provides the federal government with comprehensive powers
(e.g., information gathering, regulations making, enforcement) over the entire life
cycle of chemicals. Under CEPA, the New Substances Notification Regulations
establish screening procedures for new chemicals so that persistent toxics that cannot
be adequately controlled will be prohibited from being imported, manufactured or
used in Canada. The first phase of the Priority Substances List (PSL I) assessment
programme was completed in 1994; 25 of the 44 substances assessed were found to be
toxic under the definition of CEPA, and the development of management strategies for
these toxic chemicals was initiated under a Strategic Options Process (SOP); an
additional 56 priority substances will be nominated and assessed in phase II of the
PSL programme by the year 2000. The National Pollutant Release Inventory (NPRI)
was implemented in 1994 to mandate industrial and other facilities that meet the
reporting criteria to annually report their releases to air, water and land, and their
transfers in waste, of 178 specified substances. The inventory, modelled on the Toxic
Release Inventory (TRI) in the United States, provides an important database for
prioritizing pollution prevention and abatement programmes.
Canada-Ontario Agreement (COA)

In 1994, Canada and Ontario set out a strategic framework for coordinated action to
restore, protect and conserve the Great Lakes ecosystem with a key focus on reducing
the use, generation or release of 13 Tier I persistent toxic substances by the year 2000
(Canada and Ontario 1994). COA also targets an additional list of 26 priority toxics
(Tier II) for significant reductions. Specifically for Tier I substances, COA will: (1)
confirm zero discharge of five banned pesticides (Aldrin, DDT, Chlordane, Mirex,
Toxaphene); (2) seek to decommission 90% of high-level PCBs, destroy 50% now in
storage and accelerate destruction of low-level PCBs in storage; and (3) seek 90%
reduction in the release of the remaining seven Tier I substances (benzo(a)pyrene,
hexachlorobenzene, alkyl-lead, octachlorostyrene, PCDD (dioxins) PCDF (furans)
and mercury).
The COA approach is to seek quantitative reductions wherever feasible, and sources
are challenged to apply pollution prevention and other means to meet the COA targets.
Fourteen projects have already been launched by federal Ontario staff to achieve
reduction/elimination of Tiers I and II substances.

Toxic Substances Management Policy

In recognition of the need for a preventive and precautionary approach, Environment

Canada announced in June 1995 a national Toxic Substances Management Policy as
the framework for efficient management of toxic substances in Canada (Environment
Canada 1995a). The policy adopts a two-track approach (see figure 55.28) that
recognizes management actions must be tailored to the characteristics of chemicals;
that is:
to virtually eliminate from the environment substances that are predominantly
anthropogenic, persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (Track I)
to implement full life cycle (cradle-to-grave) management of all other substances
of concern (Track II).
Figure 55.28 Selection of management objectives under the Toxic Substances Management

A set of scientifically based criteria (Environment Canada 1995b) (see table 55.19)
will be used to categorize substances of concern into the two tracks. If a substance
identified for either track is not adequately controlled under existing programmes,
additional measures will be identified under the multi-stakeholder Strategic Options
Process. The policy is consistent with the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement and
will direct and frame a number of domestic programmes by defining their ultimate
environmental objective, but the means and pace of achieving the ultimate objective

will vary by chemical and source. Further, Canadas position on persistent toxics will
also be framed by this policy in international discussions.
Table 55.19 Criteria for the selection of substances for Track 1 toxic substances
management policy





2 days
182 days
182 days




BCP 5,000
log Kow 5.0

CEPA-toxic Concentration in
environment largely
resulting from human
CEPA-toxic activity

Chlorine Action Plan

A comprehensive approach to managing chlorinated substances within the context of

the Toxic Substances Management Policy was announced in October 1994 by
Environment Canada (Environment Canada 1994). The approach will be to prune the
chlorine-use tree with a five-part action plan that will (1) target action on critical uses
and products, (2) improve scientific understanding of chlorine and its impact on health
and the environment, (3) detail socioeconomic implications, (4) improve public access
to information and (5) promote international actions on chlorinated substances.
Chlorine use has already decreased in Canada in recent years, for example by 45% in
the pulp and paper sector since 1988. Implementation of the Chlorine Action Plan will
accelerate this reduction trend.
Great Lakes Pollution Prevention Initiative

A strong pollution prevention programme has been put in place for the Great Lakes
basin. Since March 1991, Environment Canada and the Ontario Ministry of the
Environment and Energy have been working together with industries and other
stakeholders to develop and implement pollution prevention projects, in contrast to
waste treatment or reducing pollution after its generation. In 1995/96, more than 50

projects will cover commercial chemicals, hazardous waste management, federal

facilities, industries, municipalities and the Lake Superior basin. Figure 55.29
provides an overview of these projects, which fall into two main categories:
programme integration or voluntary agreements. The figure also shows programme
linkages with other programmes discussed earlier (NPRI, RAP, LAMP) and a number
of institutions that work with Environment Canada closely on green technologies and
clean processes, as well as on training, information and communications. Pollution
prevention projects can produce impressive results, as evidenced by the Automotive
Manufacturers, who have undertaken 15 pilot projects recently, thereby reducing or
eliminating 2.24 million kilograms of targeted substances from the manufacture of
automobiles at the Ontario facilities of Chrysler, Ford and General Motors.
Figure 55.29 Great Lakes pollution prevention

Accelerated Reduction/Elimination of Toxics (ARET)

ARET is a cooperative multi-stakeholder initiative launched in 1994 that seeks the

eventual elimination of 14 priority toxics with an interim target (by the year 2000) of a
90% reduction/elimination and reduced emission (50%) of 87 less harmful toxic
substances (ARET Secretariat 1995). As of 1995, more than 200 companies and
government agencies are participating in this voluntary initiative. Together, they
reduced emissions by 10,300 tonnes in comparison with the 1988 base year and are
committed to an additional 8,500 tonnes reduction by the year 2000.
Binational and international strategies

In addition to the above domestic initiatives, Canada and the United States are
currently developing a binational strategy to coordinate agency action and to establish
shared goals for persistent toxics in the Great Lakes basin. Goals and objectives
similar to the Canada-Ontario Agreement for the Tiers I and II substances and a
similar US list will be adopted. Joint projects will be developed and implemented to
facilitate information exchange and agency action on priority chemicals such as PCBs
and mercury. By taking an aggressive approach to virtual elimination as outlined
above, Canada will be able to assume a leadership role in promoting international
action on persistent toxics. Canada hosted a United Nations conference in June 1995
in Vancouver to focus global dialogue on persistent organic pollutants (POP) and to
explore pollution prevention approaches to reducing their emissions around the world.
Canada also co-chairs the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe
(UNECE) workgroup to develop a protocol for persistent organic pollutants under the
Convention on Long Range Transboundary Air Pollution.
An ExampleDioxins and Furans
For more than a decade, polychlorinated dibenzo-dioxins and furans have been
recognized as a group of persistent toxics of concern to the Canadian environment and
the Great Lakes. Table 55.20 summarizes federal actions and the reductions in
releases achieved to date, illustrating the mix of programmes and initiatives which has

resulted in significant reductions of these toxics. In spite of these impressive results,

dioxins and furans will remain priorities under the Toxic Substances Management
Policy, the Chlorine Action Plan, the Canada Ontario Agreement and the binational
strategy outlined above, because virtual elimination requires further reductions.
Table 55.20 Summary of reductions in releases of dioxin and furan in Canada

Sources of Emissions



Canadian Government

Bleached kraft pulpmill




CEPA defoamer, wood chip

and dioxin/furan regulations




Banned from use under PCPA




Dioxin content and use

heavily restricted under

- wood preservation



Regulations under PCPA

- wood protectant



Banned from use under PCPA




CCME PCB Action Plan



CCME operating/ emissions



- municipal solid waste


- hazardous + biomedical 80%



CCME operating/ emissions


CCME: Canadian Council of Environmental Ministers;

CEPA: Canadian Environmental Protection Act;
PCPA: Pest Control Products Act.
There has been a significant improvement in the water quality of the Great Lakes as a
result of pollution control actions taken by governments and stakeholders in Canada
and the United States since the early 1970s. This case study report provides a
summary of the Canadian effort and successes in dealing with gross pollution and
conventional pollutants. It also outlines the evolution of a new approach (the Toxic
Substances Management Policy, the Chlorine Action Plan, pollution prevention,
voluntary action, stakeholder consultations and so on) for dealing with the much more
difficult problems with persistent toxic substances in the Great Lakes. Comprehensive
programmes (COA, NPRI, SOP, PSL and so on) that are being put in place with the
aim of achieving the virtual elimination goal are briefly described. Details of the
Canadian approach are contained in the listed references.


David Bennett
Prevention, Control and Remediation
Conventionally, there are three ways of addressing pollution: prevention, control and
remediation. These form a hierarchy, in which the first priority or option is prevention,
followed by control measures, with remediation as a poor third. Pollution abatement
can refer to any means that lessens pollution, or a mitigation of pollution; in practice,
it usually means control. Though the hierarchy of the three ideas is in terms of
preference or priority, this is not always so in practice: there may be regulatory
pressures to choose one path rather than another; one strategy may be less expensive

than another, or remediation may be the most urgent - for example, in the event of a
major spill or the hazardous dissemination of pollutants from a contaminated site.
Pollution prevention

Pollution prevention can be defined as a strategy or strategies which avoid the

creation of pollutants in the first place. In Barry Commoners phrase, If its not there,
it cant pollute. Thus, if a chemical whose use results in pollution is eliminated, there
will be zero discharge (or zero emission) of the pollutant. Zero discharge is more
convincing if the chemical is not replaced by another chemical - an alternative or
substitute - which results in a different pollutant.
One central strategy of pollution prevention is the banning, elimination or the phasing
out (sunsetting) of specified chemicals or classes of chemical. (Alternatively, userestrictions may be specified.) Such strategies are laid down in the form of laws or
regulations by national governments, less often by international instruments
(conventions or treaties) or by sub-national governments.
A second strategy is pollution reduction, again in the context of prevention rather than
control. If the use of a chemical which results in pollution is reduced, then the result
will almost always be less pollution. Pollution reduction strategies are exemplified in
North America by toxics use reduction (TUR) programmes and in Europe by clean
technology programmes.
Unlike bans and phase-outs, which usually apply to all (relevant) workplaces within a
political jurisdiction, pollution reduction programmes apply to specific workplaces or
classes of workplace. These are usually industrial manufacturing (including chemical
manufacturing) workplaces over a certain size, in the first instance, though the
principles of pollution reduction can be applied generally - for example, to mines,
power plants, construction sites, offices, agriculture (in regard to chemical fertilizers
and pesticides) and municipalities. At least two US states (Michigan and Vermont)
have legislated TUR programmes for individual households which are also
Pollution reduction can result in the elimination of specific chemicals, thus achieving
the same aims as bans and phase-outs. Again, this would result in zero discharge of
the pollutant concerned, but requirements to eliminate specific chemicals are not part
of pollution reduction programmes; what is prescribed is a general programme with a
flexible range of specified methods. A requirement to eliminate a specific chemical is
an example of a specification standard. A requirement to institute a general
programme is a performance standard because it allows flexibility in the mode of
implementation, though a specific mandatory target (outcome) for a general

programme would (confusingly) count as a specification standard. When they have to

choose, businesses usually prefer performance to specification standards.
Pollution control

Pollution control measures cannot eliminate pollution; all they can do is to mitigate its
effects on the environment. Control measures are instituted at the end of the (waste)
pipe. The usefulness of control measures will depend on the pollutant and the
industrial circumstance. The main methods of pollution control, in no particular order,

the capture and subsequent storage of pollutants

filtration, whereby airborne or waterborne pollutants are removed from the waste
stream by physical methods such as meshes, filters and other permeable barriers (such
as coke)
precipitation, whereby the pollutant is chemically precipitated and then captured
in its transformed state or captured by physical methods such as an electrostatic
destruction - for example, incineration, or neutralization, whereby pollutants are
transformed chemically or biologically into substances which are less harmful
dilution, whereby the pollutant is diluted or flushed in order to lessen its effects on
any one organism or on an ecosystem; or concentration to lessen the effect of disposal

evaporation or dissolution - for example, dissolving a gas in water

utilization - for example, transforming a pollutant into a potentially useful (though

not necessarily less toxic) product (such as sulphur dioxide into sulphuric acid or
using solid waste as hard core or road bed)
out-of-process recycling (where the recycling is not an integral part of the
production process)
media-shift, whereby a waste-stream is diverted from one medium, such as air,
soil or water, to another, on the rationale that the medium-shift makes the pollutant
less harmful
state-changesa change to the solid, liquid or gaseous state on the rationale that
the new state is less harmful.

Pollution remediation

Remediation is needed to the extent that pollution prevention and control fail. It is
also very expensive, with the costs not always accruing to the polluter. The modes of
remediation are:
The clean-up of contaminated sites

Clean-up has a common sense meaning, as when an employer is required to clean up

his act, which can mean a large number of different things. Within environmental
protection, clean-up is a technical term meaning a branch or a mode of remediation.
Even within this restricted use of the term, clean-up can mean (1) the removal of
pollutants from a contaminated site or (2) the rehabilitation of a site so that it is
restored to its full use-potential. Again, clean-up sometimes refers to nothing more
than the containment of pollutants within a site, area or body of waterfor example,
by capping, sealing or the construction of an impermeable floor.
To be successful, clean-up has to be 100% effective, with full protection for workers,
bystanders and the general public. A further consideration is whether the clean-up
materials, methods and technology do not create further hazards. Though it is
desirable to use engineering controls to protect clean-up workers, there will almost
always be a need for appropriate personal protective equipment. Normally, workers
engaged in remediation are classified as hazardous-waste workers, though aspects of
such work are undertaken by fire fighters and municipal workers, among others.
A large number of physical, chemical, biological and biotechnological agents and
methods are used in the clean-up of contaminated sites.
Hazardous-waste treatment

Most treatment of hazardous (or toxic) waste now takes place in purpose-built
facilities by hazardous-waste workers. From an environmental point of view, the test
of effectiveness of a hazardous-waste facility is that it produces no outputs which are
not inert or virtually inert, such as silica, insoluble inorganic compounds, insoluble
and non-corrosive slags, gaseous nitrogen or carbon dioxide - though carbon dioxide
is a greenhouse gas which causes climate change and is, thus, a further
environmental detriment.
A further test is that the facility be energy efficient - that is, energy is not wasted - and
as energy non-intensive as possible (i.e., the ratio of energy use to the volume of
waste treated be as low as possible). A general rule of thumb (it is fortunately not a
universal law) is that the more effective the pollution (or waste) abatement strategy,

the more energy is consumed, which by sustainable development criteria is another

Even when the workers are properly protected, it is easy to see the drawbacks of
hazardous-waste treatment as a mode of addressing pollution. Pollution prevention
methods can be applied to the operation of the treatment process but they cannot be
applied to the principal input - the waste to be treated. Hazardous-waste treatment
facilities will usually require at least as much energy to treat the waste as was
expended in its creation, and there will always be further waste as an output, however
inert or non-toxic.
Spills and leaks

The same considerations will apply to chemical spills and leaks as to the clean-up of
contaminated sites, with the further hazards caused by the urgency of the clean-up.
Workers cleaning up spills and leaks are almost always emergency workers.
Depending on the scale and the nature of the pollutant, leaks and spills can become
major industrial accidents.
The Modes of Pollution Prevention
Definition and philosophy

The definition of pollution prevention may seem to be a trivial matter, but it is

important because advocates of pollution prevention want, as a principle of policy, to
see a single-minded and aggressive prevention strategy at the expense of control
methods, and to avoid remediation. The more strictly pollution prevention is defined,
they say, the more likely it is to succeed as a practical strategy. Conversely, the more
widely employers are allowed to define the term, the more likely their activities are to
result in a mix of the same old (failed) strategies. Employers sometimes reply that
even toxic waste can have a market value, and control methods have their place, so
pollution is really only potential pollution. Besides, zero discharge is impossible and
leads only to false expectations and misguided strategies. Proponents of pollution
prevention respond that unless we have zero discharge as an aim or practical ideal,
pollution prevention will not succeed and environmental protection will not improve.
Most of the strict definitions of pollution prevention have, as a sole or central element,
the avoidance of the use of chemicals which result in pollutants so that pollution is not
created in the first place. Some of the most important definitional controversies
concern recycling, which is dealt with in the context of pollution prevention below.

One possible objective of pollution prevention is zero discharge of pollutants. This is

sometimes referred to as virtual elimination, since even zero discharge cannot solve
the problem of contaminants already in the environment. Zero discharge of pollutants
is possible using pollution prevention methods (while control methods cannot achieve
zero in theory and are even less effective in practice, usually owing to lax
enforcement). For instance, we can envisage automobile production in which there is
zero discharge of pollutants from the plant; other waste is recycled and the product
(the car) consists of parts which are reusable or recyclable. Certainly, zero discharge
of specific pollutants has been achieved - for example, by modifying the production
process in wood pulp mills so that no dioxins or furans are discharged in the effluent.
The aim of zero discharge has also been written into environmental laws and into the
policies of bodies commissioned to abate pollution.
In practice, zero discharge often gives way to target reductions - for example, a 50%
reduction in pollution emissions by such-and-such a year. These targets or interim
targets are usually in the form of challenges or aims by which to measure the
success of the pollution prevention programme. They are rarely the product of a
feasibility analysis or calculation, and there are invariably no penalties attached to
failure to attain the target. Nor are they measured with any precision.
Reductions would have to be measured (as opposed to estimated) by variations on the
Pollution (P) = Toxicity of the pollutant (T) Volume (V) of the discharges
P = T V E (exposure potential).
This is very difficult in theory and expensive in practice, though it could be done in
principle by utilizing hazard assessment techniques (see below). The whole issue
suggests that resources would be better allocated elsewhere - for example, in ensuring
that proper pollution prevention plans are produced.
In regard to chemical pesticides, the objective of use-reduction can be achieved by the
methods of integrated pest management (IPM), though this term, too, is capable of a
wide or a strict definition.

The main methods of pollution prevention are:

The elimination or phasing out of specific hazardous chemicals

Input substitution - replacing a toxic or hazardous substance with a non-toxic or

less hazardous substance or with a non-toxic process. Examples are the substitution of
water-based for synthetic organic dyes in the printing industry; water - or citrus-based
solvents for organic solvents; and, in some applications, the substitution of vegetable
for mineral oils. Examples of non-chemical substitution include the substitution of
pellet blasting technology for the use of fluid chemical paint strippers; the use of highpressure hot water systems instead of caustic cleaning; and the substitution of kilndrying for the use of pentachlophenols (PCPs) in the lumber industry. In all cases, it is
necessary to perform a substitution analysis to ensure that substitutes are genuinely
less hazardous than what they replace. This is at least a matter of organized common
sense, and at best the application of hazard assessment techniques (see below) to the
chemical and its proposed substitute.
Product reformulation - substituting for an existing end-product an end-product
which is non-toxic or less toxic upon use, release or disposal Whereas input
substitution refers to the raw materials and adjuncts at the front end of the
production process, product reformulation approaches the issue from the final product
end of the production cycle.
General programmes to produce products which are more environmentally benign are
examples of economic conversion. Examples of particular measures in the area of
product reformulation include the production of rechargeable batteries instead of
throw-away types and the use of water-based product coatings instead of those based
on organic solvents and the like. Again, substitution analysis will be necessary to
ensure that the net environmental benefit is greater for the reformulated products that
it is for the originals.
Production unit redesign modernization or modification, which results in less
chemical use or in the use of less toxic substances.
Improved operation and maintenance of the production unit and production
methods, including better housekeeping, more efficient production quality control,
and process inspections. Examples are spill prevention measures; the use of spillproof containers; leak prevention; and floating lids for solvent tanks.
Using less and reusing more. For instance, some degreasing operations take place
too frequently on a single item. In other cases, chemicals can be used more sparingly
in each operation. De-icing fluids can sometimes be reused, a case of extended use.

Closed-loop methods and in-process recycling. Strictly speaking, a closed-loop

process is one in which there are no emissions into the workplace or into the outside
environment, not even waste water into surface water or carbon dioxide into the
atmosphere. There are only inputs, finished products, and inert or non-toxic wastes. In
practice, closed-loop methods eliminate some, but not all, hazardous releases. To the
extent that this is achieved, it will count as a case of in-process recycling (see below).

Any definition of pollution prevention is likely to result in a number of grey areas in

which it is not easy to distinguish prevention measures from emission controls. For
instance, to qualify as a prevention method, a phase of a production process may have
to be an integral part of the production unit, but how far away the phase has to be
from the periphery of the production process in order to qualify as a prevention
measure is not always clear. Some processes may be so remote from the heart of an
operation that they look more like an add on process and, thus, more like an end of
pipe control measure than a prevention method. Again, there are unclear cases like a
waste pipe that provides the feedstock for a neighbouring plant: taken together, the
two plants provide a kind of closed loop; but the upstream plant still produces
effluent and, thus, fails the prevention test.
Similarly with recycling. Conventionally, there are three types of recycling:
in-process recycling - for example, when dry-cleaning solvent is filtered, cleaned
and dried, then reused within a single process
out-of-process but on-site, as when pesticide production waste is cleaned and then
reused as the so-called inert base in a new production run

out-of-process and off-site.

Of these, the third is usually ruled out as not qualifying as pollution prevention: the
more remote the recycling site, the less of a guarantee that the recycled product is
actually reused. There are also hazards in the transporting of waste to be recycled, and
the financial uncertainty that the waste will have a continuous market value. Similar,
though less acute, considerations apply to out-of-process but on-site recycling: there is
always a possibility that the waste will not actually be recycled or, if recycled, not
actually reused.
In the initial pollution prevention strategies of the 1980s, on-site but out-of-process
recycling was ruled out as not being a genuine pollution prevention measure. There
was a fear that an effective pollution prevention programme would be compromised

or diluted by too great an emphasis on recycling. In the mid-1990s, some policymakers are prepared to entertain on-site, out-of-process recycling as a legitimate
pollution prevention method. One reason is that there are genuine grey areas
between prevention and control. Another reason is that some on-site recycling really
does do what it is supposed to do, even though it may not technically qualify as
pollution prevention. A third reason is business pressure: employers see no reason
why techniques should be ruled out it they serve the purposes of a pollution
prevention programme.
Pollution prevention planning

Planning is an essential part of pollution prevention methodology, not least because

the gains in both industrial efficiency and environmental protection are likely to be in
the longer term (not immediate), reflecting the sort of planning that goes into product
design and marketing. The production of periodic pollution prevention plans is the
most usual way of realizing pollution prevention planning. There is no single model
for such plans. One proposal envisages:

aims and objectives

chemical inventories and estimates of discharges into the environment

pollution prevention methods used and methods proposed

responsibilities and action in the event of the plan not being fulfilled or realized.

Another proposal envisages:

a review of production processes

identification of pollution prevention opportunities

a ranking of the opportunities and a schedule for the implementation of the

selected options

measures of the success of the plan after the implementation period.

The status of such plans varies widely. Some are voluntary, though they can be spelled
out in law as a (voluntary) code of practice. Others are mandatory in that they are
required (1) to be kept on-site for inspection or (2) submitted to a regulatory authority
on completion or (3) submitted to a regulatory authority for some form of scrutiny or
approval. There are also variations, such as requiring a plan in the event that a
voluntary plan is, in some way, inadequate or ineffective.

The degree to which mandatory plans are prescriptive also varies - for example, in
regard to penalties and sanctions. Few authorities have the power to require specific
changes in the content of pollution prevention plans; almost all have the power to
require changes in the plan in the event that the formal requirements have not been
met - for example, if some plan headings have not been addressed. There are virtually
no examples of penalties or sanctions in the event that the substantive requirements of
a plan have not been met. In other words, legal requirements for pollution prevention
planning are far from traditional.
Issues surrounding the production of pollution prevention plans concern the degree of
confidentiality of the plans: in some cases, only a summary becomes public, while in
other cases, plans are released only when the producer fails in some way to comply
with the law. In almost no cases do the requirements for pollution prevention planning
override existing provisions regarding the trade secrecy or the business confidentiality
of inputs, processes or the ingredients of products. In a few cases, community
environmental groups have access to the planning process, but there are virtually no
cases of this being required by law, nor are the legal rights of workers to participate in
the production of plans widespread.

In the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Ontario, pollution prevention

measures are voluntary; their effectiveness depends on moral suasion on the part
of governments and environmentalists. In the United States, about half (26) of the
states have some form of legislation, while in Europe, several northern countries have
legislated clean technology programmes. There is quite a wide variety in both the
content and the effectiveness of such legislation. Some laws define pollution
prevention strictly; others define it widely or loosely and cover a wide variety of
environmental protection activities concerning pollution and waste, not just pollution
prevention. The New Jersey law is highly prescriptive; those of the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts and the States of Minnesota and Oregon involve a high degree of
government scrutiny and assistance; that of Alaska is little more than a statement of
the governments intentions.
Health, safety and employment

Pollution prevention is of central concern to occupational health: if the use of toxic

substances decreases, there will almost always be a corresponding decrease in worker
exposure to toxic substances and, thus, in industrial diseases. This is a prime case of
prevention at the source of the hazard and, in many cases, the elimination of hazards
by engineering controls (i.e., methods), the first and best line of defence against
chemical hazards. However, such preventive measures are different from one

traditional strategy, which is the total isolation or the total enclosure of a chemical
process. While total enclosure is highly useful and highly desirable, it does not count
as a pollution prevention method since it controls, rather that reduces intrinsically, an
existing hazard.
The pollutants which pose hazards to workers, communities and the physical
environment alike, have usually been addressed primarily because of their impact on
human communities (environmental health). Though the greatest exposures are often
received by workers within a workplace (workplace pollution), this has not, so far,
been the prime focus of pollution prevention measures. The Massachusetts legislation,
for instance, aims to reduce the risks to the health of workers, consumers and the
environment without shifting the risks between workers, consumers and parts of the
environment (New Jersey is similar). But there was no attempt to focus on workplace
pollution as a major detriment, nor was there a requirement to accord a primacy to the
chief human exposures to hazards - often the workers. Nor is there any requirement to
train workers in the discipline of pollution prevention.
There are several reasons for this. The first is that pollution prevention is a new
discipline in the context of a general, traditional failure to see environmental
protection as a function of processes utilized and adopted within workplaces. A
second reason is that worker-management co-determination in the area of
environmental protection is not well advanced. Workers in many countries have legal
rights, for instance, to joint workplace health and safety committees; to refuse unsafe
or unhealthy work; to health and safety information; and to training in health and
safety issues and procedures. But there are few legal rights in the parallel and often
overlapping area of environmental protection, such as the right to joint unionmanagement environment committees; the right of employees to blow the whistle
(go public) on an employers anti-environmental practices; the right to refuse to
pollute or to degrade the outside environment; the right to environmental information;
and the right to participate in workplace environmental audits (see below).
The impacts of pollution prevention planning on employment are hard to gauge. The
explicit aim of pollution prevention initiatives is often to increase industrial efficiency
and environmental protection at the same time and by the same set of measures. When
this happens, the usual effect is to decrease overall employment within any given
workplace (because of technological innovation) but to increase the skills required
and then to increase job security (because there is planning for a longer-term future).
To the extent that the use of raw materials and adjuncts is reduced, there will be
decreased chemical manufacturing employment, though this is likely to be offset by
the implied transition of feedstock to speciality chemicals and by the development of
alternatives and substitutes.

There is one aspect of employment which pollution prevention planning cannot

address. Pollution emissions from a single facility may decrease but to the extent that
there is an industrial strategy to create wealth and value-added employment, an
increase in the number of production facilities (however clean) will tend to nullify
the environmental protection gains already achieved. The most notorious failing in
environmental protection measures - that pollution emission reductions and controls
are nullified by an increase in the number of sources - applies, unfortunately, to
pollution prevention as well as to any other form of intervention. Ecosystems,
according to one respected theory, have a carrying capacity, and that limit can be
reached equally by a small number of highly polluting or dirty sources or by a
correspondingly large number of clean ones.
Workplace environmental audits

Pollution prevention planning can form part of or be accommodated in a workplace

environmental audit. Though there are many versions of such audits, they are likely to
be in the form of a site audit or production audit, in which the whole production
cycle is subjected to both an environmental and a financial analysis.
There are roughly three areas of sustainable development and environmental
protection which can be covered in a workplace audit:
the conservation of natural resource inputs - for example, minerals, water and
wood products
energy use, which may also include consideration of energy sources, energy
efficiency, energy intensiveness and energy conservation

pollution prevention, control and remediation.

To the extent that pollution prevention is successful, there will be a corresponding

decrease in the importance of control and remediation measures; pollution prevention
measures can form a major part of a workplace environmental audit.
Traditionally, businesses were able to externalize environmental detriments through
such means as the profligate use of water or unloading their wastes onto the outside
community and the environment. This has led to demands for taxes on the front end
such as water use or on outputs such as environmentally unfriendly products or on
wastes (pollution taxes).
In this way, costs to business are internalized. However, it has proved difficult to
put the right price on the inputs and on the detriments - for example, the cost to

communities and the environment of wastes. Nor is it clear that pollution taxes reduce
pollution in proportion to the amounts levied; taxes may well internalize costs, but
they otherwise only add to the cost of doing business.
The advantage of environmental auditing is that the audit can make economic sense
without having to cost externalities. For instance, the value of waste can be
calculated in terms of resource input loss and energy non-utilization (inefficiency) in other words, of the difference in value between resources and energy on one side
and the value of the product on the other. Unfortunately, the financial side of pollution
prevention planning and its part in workplace environmental audits is not well
Hazard assessment

Some pollution prevention schemes work without any hazard evaluation - that is,
without criteria to decide whether a plant or facility is more or less environmentally
benign as a result of pollution prevention measures. Such schemes may rely on a list
of chemicals which are objects of concern or which define the scope of the pollution
prevention programme. But the list does not grade chemicals as to their relative
hazardousness, nor is there a guarantee that a chemical substitute not on the list is, in
fact, less hazardous than a listed chemical. Common sense, not scientific analysis,
tells us how to go about implementing a pollution prevention programme.
Other schemes rest on criteria for assessing hazardousness, that is, on hazard
assessment systems. They work, essentially, by laying down a number of
environmental parameters, such as persistence and bioaccumulation in the
environment, and a number of human health parameters which serve as measures of
toxicity - for example, acute toxicity, carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, reproductive
toxicity and so on.
There is then a weighted scoring system and a decision procedure for scoring those
parameters on which there is inadequate information on the chemicals to be scored.
Relevant chemicals are then scored and ranked, then (often) assembled in groups in
descending order of hazardousness.
Though such schemes are sometimes devised with a specific purpose in mind - for
example, for assessing priorities for control measures or for elimination (banning) their essential use is as an abstract scheme which can be used for a large variety of
environmental protection measures, including pollution prevention. For instance, the
top group of scored chemicals could be the prime candidates for a mandatory
pollution prevention programme, or they could be candidates for phasing-out or
substitution. In other words, such schemes do not tell us how much we should reduce

environmental health hazards; they tell us only that any measures we take should be
informed by the hazard assessment scheme.
For instance, if we have to make decisions about substituting a less hazardous
chemical for a more dangerous one, we can use the scheme to tell us whether, prima
facie, the substitution decision is a good one: we run both chemicals through the
scheme to determine whether there is a wide or merely a narrow gap between them
regarding their hazardousness.
There are two sorts of considerations which rarely fall within the scope of hazard
assessment schemes. The first is exposure data, or the potential for human exposure to
the chemical. The latter is difficult to calculate, and, arguably, it distorts the intrinsic
hazard of the chemicals concerned. For instance, a chemical could be accorded an
artificially low priority on the grounds that its exposure potential is low; though it
may, in fact, be highly toxic and relatively easy to deal with.
The second sort of consideration is the socioeconomic impact of eliminating or
reducing the use of the chemical concerned. While we can start to make substitution
decisions on the basis of the hazard analysis, we would have to make a further and
distinct socioeconomic analysis and consider, for example, the social utility of the
product associated with the chemical use (which may, e.g., be a useful drug), and we
would also have to consider the impact on workers and their communities. The reason
for keeping such analysis separate is that it is impossible to score the results of a
socioeconomic analysis in the same way that the intrinsic hazards of chemicals are
scored. There are two entirely distinct sets of values with different rationales.
However, hazard assessment schemes are crucial in assessing the success of pollution
prevention programmes. (They are also relatively new, both in their impact and their
utility.) For instance, it is possible to apply them without reference to risk
assessments, risk analysis and (with reservations) without reference to cost-benefit
analysis. An earlier approach to pollution was to first do a risk assessment and only
then decide what sort of action, and how much, was necessary to reduce the risk to an
acceptable level. The results were rarely dramatic. Hazard assessment, on the other
hand, can be utilized very quickly and in such a way that it does not delay or
compromise the effectiveness of a pollution prevention programme. Pollution
prevention is, above all, a pragmatic programme capable of constantly and speedily
addressing pollution issues as they arise and before they arise. It is arguable that
traditional control measures have reached their limit and only the implementation of
comprehensive pollution prevention programmes will be capable of addressing the
next phase of environmental protection in a practical and effective way.

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