Toxic pollutants damage our habitats and wildlife and come from our homes, cities, industrial operations, and farms.
Our vehicles, homes, farms, businesses, and industries generate runoff and effluent containing toxic heavy metals, oils, sewage, nutrients, and chemicals. This is a threat to fish, wildlife, ecosystems, and people in most industrialized regions worldwide. These pollutants seep into precious water sources, soils that grow our food, and habitats that nourish animals.
America’s water pollution includes nutrients (e.g. nitrogen and phosphorus) derived primarily from human and animal excrement, and heavy metals and metals (e.g. stormwater).
These waters are commonly referred to as stormwater and wastewater. In reality, they are water with particular pollutants, in specific locations. We have categorized four (5) primary application groups producing pollutants which contaminate freshwater sources and ecosystem habitats:
Industrial operations including manufacturers, machine shops, auto shops, metals refineries, and others.
Agricultural including dairy farms and aquaculture farms.
Cities (e.g. municipalities) including municipal wastewater treatment utilities, special purpose districts, and conservation districts.
Institutional and Commercial Facilities, including multifamily, college, school, medical, retail, office, mobile home parks, and hospitality.
Residential including single family homes and communities.
Appling PureBlue’s Implementation Strategy and Balancing Location-Specific Factors
PureBlue’s process and implementation strategies will be prioritized by geography (e.g. county, state, or nation) and to one or multiple application groups, e.g. commercial, agricultural, industrial, municipal, communal or residential. We expect to adjust our approach, communications, and solutions to meet the technical, economic, social, and cultural distinctions between application groups and, less so, by U.S. location. Solving water quality challenges is more distinct between ports and farms that it is between ports in Seattle and Boston. The nature of the water to be treated, retained, monitored, and managed is distinct between applications.
To illustrate distinctions between application groups, let’s compare water and pollutant management at ports versus dairy farms. Many ports focus on managing petroleum and heavy metals in stormwater runoff while dairy farms focus on nutrient reduction (e.g. nitrogen and phosphorus) in manure waters. Furthermore the physical property layouts between application groups are quite distinct; the Port of Seattle has stormwater across more than 1 million square feet of waterfront property while medium-large farms manage 0.3-3.0 million gallons per day of wastewater (manure wash) in dairy lagoons, and small industrial manufacturers (e.g. auto shops or metals machiners) have extremely high concentrations of zinc, copper, and petroleum in their stormwater runoff across less than one acre of impervious pavement.
The economic and regulatory circumstances of operators in these applications is also distinct. In the last year we have discovered how to efficiently determine the state regulatory parameters affected an application group, and select the water management solutions most relevant to that application group, region/state, and entity size. We continue to learn from our expanding collection and analysis of ecological data, water quality data, and first-hand experiences gleaned from the people actually managing water at their sites. We have determined that there are sets of water management solutions, knowledge, and relationships which are much more similar than different within an application group across multiple states. This reality supports the scalability and applicability of our work nationwide.
Nonetheless, our strategic approach to water managers takes into account region-specific factors and pollutants. For instance, in the case of dairy farms, the Washington Department of Ecology primarily regulates nitrogen while Oregon Department of Environmental Quality primarily regulates phosphorus. PureBlue works closely with stakeholders to implement the best strategies most appropriate to their situation.
Most property owners and business owners are not experts in managing water, wastewater, and stormwater. Managing water pollution from their operations and property is not how they built their business or part of their daily life. If they have an industrial or commercial permit that requires they manage their pollution runoff and waste streams, receiving a regulatory fee may be the first time they realize they are not being responsible to manage their waters wisely. PureBlue exists to help these organizations assess their current setup, then select the solution(s) that meet their needs and goals. Our model is not to sue, but to support.
Harmful Algal Blooms
Understanding how toxins in marine and fresh water cause the production of algal blooms in our ecosystems.
Algal Blooming has been a prevalent problem with more cases arising globally due to the effect of rising temperatures and nutrient pollution from human activities such as, agriculture fertilisers runoffs, stormwater runoffs, waste water.
In essence, Algal Bloom Is the overgrowing and accumulation of Algae in water bodies such as rivers, lakes, Estuaries and Ocean shorelines that emerges from the presence of strong sunlight and excess nutrients (Nitrogenous and phosphate based compounds) within the aquatic system. This consequently resulted in the accelerated growth of the algal population from the usual normal numbers and created a thick muck of algae of various colours ranging from green, brown and red.
Algal Blooms in multiple cases have negatively impacted the environment, public health and the local economy. As the population of algae grows uncontrollably, it may result in eutrophication. During eutrophication, the excessive population of such algae growing on the water surface prevents sunlight from penetrating into the waters, hence causing the water oxygen level to be depleted and thus killing other aquatic organisms by hypoxia.
Some Algal Blooms known as Harmful Algal Blooms, HABs, secretes toxins that harms the ecology and poisons clean water systems. The toxins produced contaminates drinking water supply and are detrimental to people and animals, inducing various medical conditions such as rashes, liver illness, gastrointestinal ailments, respiratory complications and neurological problems.
Algae Bloom causes discolouration of waters, creates dead zones and stagnation in water flow. This causes clogging in pipelines and filters, displeasing visuals and off putting smells. Therefore, affecting industries and businesses of natural recreational tourism, commercial fishing, Desalination plants, property values and local water municipalities. Thus, a high cost is required to clean up such algal blooms and water treatment to produce clean water supply, leading to increased overhead costs and a high water utility bill for consumers.