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ANALYSISOF THE MISSOURI WATER POLLUTION

Currentproblem

Missouripublishes Water Quality Report after a period of every two years. Itshows a summary of the water quality levels in the state and theirprogress towards the federal clean water Act objectives. According tothe 2010 census, Missouri has an estimated number of 60 millionpeople and lies in an estimated area of 69,000 square miles. Most ofthe states and its water are in a rural nature because almost half ofthe people live on opposite sides of the state in St. Louis metroareas and Kansas City. The Missouri water pollution problem isdivided into the following categories: North and West Missouri, OzarkPlateau, Mississippi Embayment and Alluvial aquifers (Delfino andByrnes, 80).

TheNorthern a Western Missouri was originally called the Prairie land.Its primary use for the people is livestock rearing and cropproduction. Under its surface lies bedrock composed of impermeableclay and shale layers. Its surface waters experience high levels ofsediment deposition and are more turbid as a result of soil erosion.The result is pathetic aquatic habitat as a result of the fine,unstable substances of stream bottoms. Almost 8000 miles of stream isaffected by the problem and other aquatic life degradation likechannelization and modification. The rivers and reservoirs that aremeant to supply drinking water contain high levels of herbicideschemicals like cyanazine and atrazine (`New Water Quality AnalysisSystems`, 34).

Thequality of ground water in this region is also questionable becauseof the influence by geology of the area. The main public sources ofground water for the area are wells and reservoirs. The wells mainsource of water is the glacial deposits and limestone aquifers. Theresulting problem is that tap water supplies for the region are toomineralized for drinking purpose. Majority of the private wells inthe area do not exceed the nitrate and pesticide standard levelsallowed for drinking water. The contamination does not indicate awidespread effect to the underground aquifer because they areprotected by impermeable strata from surface contamination. PrivateWells have contaminated wellheads thus the unsafe water forconsumption (Munasinghe,40).

TheOzark and Springfield Plateau have a hilly topography. Their bedrockis composed of sandstone, limestone and diatomite which yieldexcellent quality of ground water. Surface activities like mining,lawn care, wastewater disposal and storm water runoff pose threats tothe ground water quality. Contamination is experienced in privatewells due to spills, leaks and improper disposal of chemicals. InJalopin area, the water contains levels of heavy metals and sulfatebecause of mineralization of flooded water in mines.

TheMississippi Embayment contains large areas of wetlands converted forcrop production. Surface waters are mainly made up of drainageditches that pose a threat to aquatic life. As a result ifchannelization (Biswas,76). Channelization causes filling with channel bottoms and slaughteringof its banks thus burying the good habitat and leaving an unstablesubstrate. Shallow private wells in the area have below standardlevels of pesticides and nitrate as in Northern Missouri.

Thealluvial aquifer systems in the state are dependent for the supply ofwater to the people. They are, however, contaminated by floodplainsand industrial land use in St. Louis and Kansas City. They alsoaffect the supply of water to Meramec and Missouri river thus makingsome of the municipal water supply fails the quality test (`New WaterQuality Analysis Systems`, 45). The deep aquifer systems areunreliable to the people.

Thetable below shows the sources of pollution and contaminants in thecity.

Sourceof pollution

Source

Stream Miles Impaired

Percent of Total Miles

Lake Acres Impaired

Percent of Total Acres

Unknown

2,006.4

8%

1,740

1%

Agriculture

Grazing Activities

Crop Production

1,088.1

55.8

4%

*

640

9

*

*

Urban Runoff and Construction

1,031.8

4%

49,055

16%

Atmospheric Deposition

703.6

3%

24,560

8%

Mining

Tailings

Other Mining Activities

541.5

515.7

25.8

2%

2%

*

Municipal and Other Domestic Point Sources

324.1

1%

48,434

16%

Hydromodification

Channelization

Flow Regulation/Modification

Upstream Impoundment

105.9

66.4

29.0

10.5

*

*

*

*

246

246

*

*

Industrial Point Sources

41.8

*

Rural Nonpoint Sources

14.8

*

206

Natural Sources

2.3

*

Recreational Activities

7.5

*

Contaminants table

Contaminant

Stream Miles Impaired

Percent of Total Miles

Lake Acres Impaired

Percent of Total Acres

Bacteria

2,945.0

12%

Metals

Mercury

Lead

Cadmium

Zinc

Nickel

Copper

Arsenic

695.8

249.4

142.9

126.7

10.7

5.7

0.9

3%

1%

1%

1%

*

*

*

24,560

24,560

8%

8%

Low D.O.

914.0

4%

Unknown

445.3

2%

D.O. Supersaturation

73.0

*

246

*

Chloride

65.8

*

pH

43.0

*

*-valuesless than 1%

Keyplayers and causes of the problem

Theykey players in the pollution problem in Missouri are many. Theyinclude the government, the industries, the farmers and the privatepeople. The government has failed to ensure proper and adequatecontrol of the pollution activities and also providing alternativesources of clean water. The industries are responsible for thedischarge of chemicals to the water system. Developers in the miningsector contribute to the level of metal present in the water. Farmersare responsible for high nitrate and pesticide levels in waterbecause of the pesticides and herbicides they use (Tompkins et al.,67). Individuals, that is, citizens’ of the state are alsoresponsible for the discharge of effluents to the water system andcontamination of their private wells.

Thestate is encouraging suburban development that has negative impactson the streams. It is because streams are lost through makingculverts and shortening of channels. Altered channels may lead toerosion during high peak flows thus carrying high levels of variouschemicals and sediments from the urban environment. Poor maintenanceof the domestic sewerage systems results to high bacterial andnutrient levels in the water. Channeling that interferes with thenatural flow of water is responsible for high flows and flooding incertain areas. It becomes in conducive habitat for aquatic life dueto the reduced distance of natural stream. There are alsodevelopments of residential structures around portions of reservoirsthus causing a threat to the water quality. The developments resultsto eutrophication of the reservoirs. Lead-Zinc mines that areabandoned after mining is ceased causes discharge of metals to theground waters due to floods in the mines (Shortle,21).People who engage in livestock rearing and feeding use pesticides tokeep pest away from their farms. These chemicals are washed away totheir personal wells thus contaminating the water levels. In largescale, it affects the water bodies around the area.

Controlactivities

Controlof water pollution in Missouri lies in the department for naturalResources. Missouri Department of Agriculture is responsible forregulation and control of the use of pesticides even though a permitfrom the natural Resources department always covers pesticides use.The control is categorized to the point of source and non-point ofsource controls. The Natural resources department regulates theamount and quality of discharge that are allowed into the watersources. The national Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)is responsible for providing permits and monitoring if the setrequirement for effluent discharge is met by the permitted industries(Munasinghe,25).Poultry and Hog production is a major business picking up inMissouri. Proper waste management for these animals is required toavoid water pollution. There are changes in regulations for dischargeof wastewater. It is because of the concerns raised over importantreservoirs suffering from eutrophication. The regulations have setlimits for the concentration of phosphorus in wastewater discharges.

Controlshave been put in place to guard nonpoint sources of pollution.Regulations put in place include prevention of leakage of storagetanks that are located under the ground and secondary containers ofstoring bulk agricultural chemicals. General permits are required bylarge gravel and sand miners while small scale counterparts are givenguidelines to ensure best management practices. All of them arerequired to get 4004 permits. 50% of the permits are provided by thewater Pollution Control branch for causing land disturbance orpolluting water. Active mines that discharge water are required tooperate under permits. Local water shade projects have commenced toensure the provision of clean drinking water for residents. Privategroups, local and federal governments, individual landowners anduniversities are involved in Missouri voluntary nonpoint sourcemanagement. The program helps control runoff of pesticides,fertilizer and animal waste together with erosion of pasture andcropland. Programs that provide funding for the pollution controlshave worked best (Gardner,89).For example, tax charged on coal has provided funds to ensurereclamation of abandoned coal mines.

Theeconomic cost of managing nonpoint source and treatment of wastewateris accrued to the industrial, municipal and private treatment plants.Total costs and expenditures on control of water pollution preventionand management can be estimated by what the Missouri state spendsyearly. Their budget runs to a total of $43.1 million. $2.8 millionis used to analyze and monitor ambient water and related media. $3.7million is spent for issuing permits and $8.6 million on otheractivities of water pollution and administration. $ 4 million isawarded annually to nonpoint source pollution an water planningactivities. The department gives landowners $24 million annually toaddress reduction of sediment (Tompkins et al., 56).

Fromthe pie chart above, landowners are the biggest beneficiaries of therevenue allocation to control of water pollution at 55.8% of thetotal funds. It is followed by Administrative and other controlfacets at 20%. Nonpoint source control is next at 9.3% and isfollowed closely by permits at 8.5%. Analysis and monitoring are aleast beneficiary at6.4% of the total funds (Crunkilton et al., 78).

Policiesand standards

Thewater standard and quality level consists of three main elements thatare the designated users, anti-degradation policy, and water qualitycriteria. The regulation is on quality standards of water people andusers to specify uses of water. Other factors include thegeographical location, culture, socio-economic and scenes qualities.Examination of the water bodies is done three years so as to examinewhether there is a need for revision of the standard. There arepeople who are pro government argument on the issue of designated usebecause it allows for the state to plan for the sources of water andprevent water pollution. For example, water set aside for wildlifecannot be used for public water supply because it may becontaminated. They argue that setting aside water for propagation offish may increase the economic livelihood of people through fishingactivities (Bateman,32).There are people who do not support the states policy on designatedusers and argue that people should be free to use the naturalresources to their satisfaction. They claim that a person livingclose to a water body set aside for public water supply cannot gofishing yet the water is near their area of residence. They call forflexibility of the purpose for water bodies.

Waterquality standards policy calls for the adoption of the narrative andnumeric criteria in the states approach to controlling waterpollution. A numeric criterion is critical when the toxicity causeis known by the relevant authorities. Narrative approach involveslimiting toxic levels in waste discharges through toxicity testing.Whole-effluent toxicity (WET) testing is recommended to be used fordischarges composed of multiple pollutants (Crunkilton et al., 89).The policy on quality has no opposes. People know the importance ofquality of water and the effect they have on the lives of people andaquatic life. The economic benefit of this policy is that the finespaid is used to food the control of water pollution in the state. Forexample on October 2013 Ritchie enterprises Inc. doing Puro Clean,Emergency restoration services paid $30,000 penalty for failing touse safety measures and notified homeowners of lead risk. Healthhazards are also reduced when the water quality is approved thusreducing unnecessary expenditure on water related health problems(Shortle,24).

Theanti-degradation policy is categorized into three tiers. The firstone is to protect and maintain water quality necessary for the safetyof the users. The second tier is to protect the quality of the waterbodies whose quality is better than those of fishing or swimming. Thethird tier provides protection to the national water reservoirs.Protection of these includes quality standards implementation onvariance. It includes the calculation of maximum daily loads (TMDLs),load allocations9LA) and waste load allocation (WLAs). People arguein support for the policy because it ensures the water available isof high quality to the users. It increases the chances of the aquaticlife existing within the water ecosystem (Gardner,89).Those who oppose the policy argue on the economic point of view thatthe amount of waste discharged may be directly proportional to thequantity of output. They argue that limiting their daily dischargerate will limit the quantity of output for their products thus lowprofit margins.

Thereare many economic alternatives that may exist for the currentsituation in Missouri State. For the increased animal waste likepoultry and cattle can be used differently as a source of livelihood.Animal wastes contain phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium nutrientswhich form the manure. Manure is an organic fertilizer that is usedto add organic matter to the soil, improve soil moisture holdingcapacity and soil structure. The use of manure in the farming fieldswill reduce the cost farmers spend on commercial fertilizers thatcontaminate water and are expensive. The state should launch aprogram that aims to educate farmers on the organic waste disposaland create a collection point for excessive organic wastes (Delfinoand Byrnes, 65). The excess organic wastes should not be disposed ofbut rather sold to other states for use in their farms.

Thecow dung in the state can be very productive to provide energy foruse in household settings. The collection of cow dung from cattlesheds and taken to the pit where it is mixed with water and thenchanneled into fermentation pits (Munasinghe,45).The gas that is produced is collected directly to produce energy forlaundry lighting and cooking. The state should ensure that farmersare provided with anaerobic digesters for the purpose of producingbiogas. A practical example is Pennsylvania State where dairy cowsproduce 5.5 million tons of manure yearly. The Penn state has adigester that produces 1,460,000 cubic feet with the energy value of924,000 Mega Joules (MJ) at an annual cost of $5,557.

Theother sources of solutions include the state having properdevelopment plans to avoid setting up residential or commercialstructures in places where streams pass. Instead, the places may beset aside to develop small parks for the public to refresh andrecreate. It will also attract tourists to the areas (Shortle,24).Policies should be enacted such that companies involved in miningshould sign a contract that compels them to reclaim the quarry sites.Meanwhile, there should be reclamation of the quarry sites andchanging them to dams for storage of clean water for uses likeirrigation.

Thereare many ways in which both individuals and state can develop throughthe alternative methods of controlling water pollution. The stateshould provide education to the residents on these alternative waysand their benefits (Bateman,36). Individuals, for instance, may benefit from supplying cow dung tothe state digester at a fee of which they will later pay for thesupply of the gas after production. Use of these alternative methodsalso limits the pollution of other environmental factors like air.

WorksCited

Bateman,Ian, Andrew A. Lovett, and Julii S. Brainard.&nbspAppliedEnvironmental Economics: A Gis Approach to Cost-Benefit Analysis.Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2008. Print.

Biswas,Asit K.&nbspWaterQuality Management in the Americas.Berlin: Springer, 2009. Internet resource.

Crunkilton,RonaldL. et al. `Residues Of 2,3,7,8-Tetrachlorodibenzo-P-Dioxin InThe Spring River, Missouri`. Water Air Soil Pollut 32.1-2 (2013): n.pag. Web.

Delfino,JosephJ., and DavidJ. Byrnes. `The Influence Of HydrologicalConditions On Dissolved And Suspended Constituents In The MissouriRiver`. Water Air Soil Pollut 5.2 (2012): n. pag. Web.

Gardner,Bruce L, and Gordon C. Rausser.&nbspAgricultureand Its External Linkages.Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2012. Print.

Munasinghe,Mohan.&nbspEnvironmentalEconomics and Sustainable Development.Washington, DC: World Bank, 2008. Print.

`NewWater Quality Analysis Systems`. Marine Pollution Bulletin 17.2(2013): 50-51. Web.

Shortle,J S, and D Abler.&nbspEnvironmentalPolicies for Agricultural Pollution Control.Wallingford: CAB International, 2011. Internet resource.

Tompkins,N. et al. `Pollution Control Facility Improvements City of Jefferson,Missouri`. proc water environ fed 2005.13 (2005): 2738-2751. Web.