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Water Pollution

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Biotic Index Card (Penn State Extension)

The Biotic Index was developed by William M. Beck, Jr. in response to the need for a simple biological measure of stream pollution. This method is based on the classification of selected aquatic invertebrates into categories depending on their response to organic pollution (sewage and other oxygen demanding wastes). General experience has indicated that the Biotic Index is also useful in classifying other types of pollution. Extensive study of the distribution of invertebrates in relation to water quality enabled Beck to divide these organisms into three groups on the basis of their ability to tolerate organic pollution.

How to Dispose of Medicines Properly

How to Dispose of Medicines Properly

(US EPA - EPA 816-F-11-003, 2011, 2 pp,)

Do's and Dont's for proper disposal. First choice: drug takeback events.


Global Threats to Human Water Security and River Biodiversity

(Nature, September, 2010, 8 pp)

"...the first global-scale initiative to quantify the impact of these human-induced stressors on human water security and riverine biodiversity. "

Read more about the study at http://riverthreat.net/

Nutrients in the Nation's Streams and Groundwater

Nutrients in the Nation’s Streams and Groundwater:
National Findings and Implications

(USGS Fact Sheet, September 2010, 6 pp.)

A comprehensive national analysis of the distribution and trends of nutrient concentrations in streams and groundwater from 1992 through 2004.

For the full 174 page report, Nutrients in the Nation’s Streams and Groundwater, 1992–2004, and more information on the National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Program, visit http://water.usgs.gov/nawqa/nutrients/pubs/circ1350/

Coal-Tar-Based Parking Lot Sealcoat

Coal-Tar-Based Parking Lot Sealcoat: An Unrecognized Source of PAH to Settled House Dust

USGS Report published in Environment Science and Technology, January 2010, 7 pp.

This latest research looks at the contamination of households with sealed parking lots/driveways from polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).

Still Out of Balance

Still Out of Balance: A follow-up study of the health of the
water and land of the Octoraro watershed

PennFuture, 2009, 20 pp

A follow-up to PennFuture's 2004 report: A Barrel Full of Holes: A Case Study of Pennsylvania Regulations on High Density Livestock Farm Pollution.


Shaping Proposed Changes to PA's Total Dissolved Solids Standard: A Guide to the Proposal and the Commenting Process.

(Penn State, College of Agricultural Sciences,
Agricultural Research and Cooperative Extension, November 2009 8 pp)

Introduces the concept of TDS, reviews events that prompted the proposed changes in regulation, explains the proposed changes, and how, where, and why the public can submit comments on the proposed regulations.  The deadline for public comments on the proposed changes is February 5, 2010.


Emerging Contaminants

Powerpoint Presentation at DEP 2009 Watershed Specialists' Meeting

A report on recent studies of Selected Pharmaceuticals, Antibiotics,
Hormones, and Wastewater
Compounds In Pennsylvania’s Source Water


Mercury in Fish, Bed Sediments, and Water from Streams Across the United States, 1998-2005, Scientific Investigations Report 2009–5109

USGS, 2009, 85 pp)

Scientists detected mercury contamination in every fish sampled in 291 streams across the country.

Visit the USGS, National Water Quality Assessment website for info on the report.

Troubled Waters thumbnail

Troubled Waters - An Analysis of 2005 Clean Water Act Compliance

(US PIRG Education Fund, 2007, 40 pp.)

Using data provided by U.S. EPA, reports that 51% of major PA facilities exceeded their Clean Water Act permits at least once in 2005.

Mercury Matters

Mercury Matters - Linking Mercury Science with Public Policy in the Northeastern United States
(Hubbard Brook Research Foundation, 2007, 28 pp.)


Factory Farm Pollution in Pennsylvania: Watersheds and Communities at Risk
(Citizens for Pennsylvania's Future, 2003, 34 pp)

  Management of Canada Geese in Suburban Areas - A Guide to the Basics
New Jersey Dept of Environmental Protection, 2001, 26 pp)

Nitrogen Pollution

Nitrogen Pollution: From the Sources to the Sea (Hubbard Brook Research Foundation, 2003, 29 pp.)


Sewage Treatment Plants

Sewage Treatment Plants:The Chesapeake Bay's Second Largest Source of Nitrogen Pollution,
(Chesapeake Bay Foundation, 2003)


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