Voluntary Reporting on Nutrient Discharge?
Posted March 28, 2011
By Tracy Mehan
This link is to a very rough draft of mine focusing on the possibility of an information-based approach to making progress toward more reductions of Nutrient and Phosphorus loadings from point sources, specifically POTWs. It could be completely voluntary if the wastewater sector was game for this. I have had the opportunity to discuss these general ideas, but I thought it might be worthwhile to reduce them to writing.
This initial thought piece is the result. Essentially, it counsels an effort to begin (voluntarily?) reporting N and P discharges in the monthly DMRs of all POTWs with a view toward establishing a baseline for further pollution prevention efforts. I guesstimate that in a few years, this could reduce loadings by 15-20 percent which is what happened on the Tar-Pamlico-without major costs, capital investments. It would also be an opportunity to increase learning on optimization and other operational approaches which can reduce nutrient loadings.
Or at least that is how I understand that case.
So I am inviting your comments, criticisms, suggestions, edit, etc. to help me flesh out this idea. I am not sure if this is a piece I will ever publish. I am more interested in generating discussion and, hopefully, immediate action. The ongoing dialogue or debate on numeric criteria, secondary treatment, technology and costs will continue unabated. This proposal is aimed at getting something environmentally useful, yet cost effective, done sooner than later.
This document is not for publication or quotation-just online discussion. Thanks for your consideration. I look forward to your posted reactions-good, bad or indifferent.