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ENVIRONMENTAL

STUDIES
Sudipta Sarkar
Civil Engineering Department

Suggested Books
S.
No.

Name of Books/Authors/Publisher

Year
Publ.

Introduction to Environmental
Engineering, M.L. Davis and D.A.
Cornwell, McGraw Hill, New York 3/e

1998

Introduction to Environmental
Engineering and Science, G.M. Masters,
Prentice Hall of India, New Delhi. 2/e

1998

Environmental Engineering, H.S. Peavy,


D.R. Rowe and G. Tchobanoglous,
McGraw Hill, New York

1986

of

Our Target
You should understand the basics of
environment & environmental hazards
(pollution) in your surroundings.
You should be able to think scientifically on
the environmental problems.
You should be able to solve real
environmental problems by applying basic
scientific principles.
You should know the environmental
consequences of your acts

Course Outline

Ecology
Air Pollution
Water Quality & its Management
Water & Wastewater Treatment
Solid Waste Management
Hazardous Waste Management

Ecology

ECOLOGY
Ecology the study of the inter-relationships between
plants and animals that live in a particular physical
environment.
Ernst Haeckel coined term Ecology in 1866
Ecology is the scientific study of the relations that living
organisms have with respect to each other and their
natural environment.
Ecosystem Complex of living organisms, the physical
environment and all their inter-relationships in a
particular unit of space

The Daintree Rainforest


in Queensland, Australia.

A coral reef near the Hawaiian


islands is an example of a
complex marine ecosystem.

Arctic tundra on Wrangel Island, Russia.

Ecosystem

Collection of organisms (plants, animals and microbes)


that live in a place with the nonliving environment (air,
water and mineral soil)

Human Influences on Ecosystems


We normally separate non-human
(natural) aspects of ecosystems from
human (anthropogenic) influences
Many ways to describe perturbations
chemical
land use

biological
pollution

physical
global

Response may be complex due to the


interrelationships
Primary interest is on health of ecosystem

Levels of Organization
Ecologists study
organisms ranging from
the various levels of
organization:
Species/individuals
Population
Community
Ecosystem
Biome
Biosphere

Species

Group of similar organisms that can breed and


produce fertile offspring

Population

group of organisms, all of the same species, which


interbreed and live in the same area.

Community

All the organisms that inhabit a particular area; an


assemblage of populations of different species living close
enough together for potential interaction

Ecosystem

Collection of organisms that live in a place with the


nonliving environment

Biome

Group of ecosystems with the same climate and


dominant communities

Tropical rain forest

Temperate grassland

Temperate forest

Tundra

Tropical dry forest

Desert

Northwestern
coniferous forest

Mountains and
ice caps

Tropical savanna

Temperate woodland
and shrubland

Boreal forest
(Taiga)

Organization Hierarchy

Ecosystem
COMPONENTS

Abiotic Component

Biotic Component
Living Plant & Animals
Energy: Sunlight

Air, Water, Mineral &


Soil

Characteristics of ecosystems
All ecosystems have a constant source of
energy ( sun)
Cycles to reuse raw materials
Water, nitrogen, carbon, phosphorus cycles

An ecosystem comprises of the biotic or living


( viz. plants and animals) and the abiotic or
non-living components ( viz. air, water,
minerals, soil)
Terrestrial ecosystems: forests, deserts, jungles
Aquatic ecosystems: streams, lakes, marshes

The Daintree Rainforest


in Queensland, Australia.

A coral reef near the Hawaiian


islands is an example of a
complex marine ecosystem.

Arctic tundra on Wrangel Island, Russia.

OPERATION OF ECOSYSTEM
Reception of radiant energy of Sun.

Synthesis of organic materials from inorganic by producers. (Primary


Production)

Consumption of producers by consumers. (Secondary Productivity)

After the death of producers and consumers complex organic compounds


are degraded and finally, converted into such forms (Humics) as are suitable
for neutralization by producers.

Energy flow in ecosystems


Photosynthesis

6CO2 + 6H2O + energy C6H12O6 + 6O2

Respiration
Stored energy is released in the reverse reaction
C6H12O6 + 6O2 6CO2 + 6H2O + energy
Released energy is available to drive other reactions, e.g. cell
metabolism and growth

I. C. engines/combustion processes same reaction


Difference: temperature

Energy flow through an ecosystem


Energy flows through
an ecosystem in ONE
direction,
Sun
Autotrophs
Heterotrophs

Synthetic fertilizers: N, P, K

Autotrophs vs. Heterotrophs


Autotrophs make
their own food so
they are called
PRODUCERS

Heterotrophs get
their food from
another source so
they are called
CONSUMERS

Main forms of energy for autotrophs


Sunlight
The main source of
energy for life on earth
Photosynthesis

Chemical
Some organisms such as
bacteria, rely on the
energy stored in
inorganic compounds
Chemosynthesis
(honey, opium)

Types of Consumers
Omnivores
Eat plants and meat
Herbivores- only eat plants

Carnivores - only eat meat

Wild beast

Detritivores and
Decomposers

Feed on plant and animal


remains

Decomposers /detritivores

Vultures vanished from India, Pakistan (DDT or cow/buffalos)

Polythene/plastics: no decomposition; banning of Plastics by States


Choking of sewer lines; agriculture sector: moisture, nitrogen fixation
Spills of crude in oceans

Energy Transfer
Solar Energy

Kcal/m2.
min

Stored Chemical Energy

Feeding relationships
Food Chain steps of
organisms transferring
energy by eating & being
eaten

Food Web network of


all the food chains in
an ecosystem

Food chain
It is the process of eating and being eaten up.
Solar Energy 4000
kcal/m2.d
Photosynthesis
+ Water + Nutrients
Others

Vegetation,

Carnivores

Herbivores

Algae, etc

Carnivores

1 consumers

1
producers
Food Energy
transfer at each
level

2 consumers

40

4.0

0.4

0.04

Food Web
The interconnected food
chains form a food web

Ecological pyramids

Trophic Level each step in a food chain or food


web

Biomass Pyramid

Energy Pyramid
Pyramid of Numbers

Trophic
levels

Why are nutrients important ?


Every living organism
needs nutrients to
build tissues and carry
out essential life
functions.
95% of our body is made of
1)
2)
3)
4)

OXYGEN
CARBON
HYDROGEN
NITROGEN

S and Ca etc. are synthesized by


organisms
Sugar should not be eaten ?
Trans fat ?

Availability of nutrients
If a nutrient is in short supply, it will limit
organisms growth. It is called a limiting nutrient
and is in accordance of Leibigs Law
When a limiting nutrient is dumped into a lake
or pond, an algal bloom occurs and this can
disrupt the ecosystem

Matter movement through an ecosystem


Unlike the one way flow of
energy, matter is recycled
within & between
ecosystems

Nutrients are passed


between organisms & the
environment through
biogeochemical cycles
Biogeochemical Cycles
Bio life
Geo Earth
Chemo chemical

1. WATER CYCLE
2. NUTRIENT CYCLES
a) CARBON CYCLE
b) NITROGEN CYCLE
c) PHOSPHORUS CYCLE

Material Cycle
Abiotic component (N, C, water) are finite.
Retained within the ecosystem called
reservoir pool.
As energy moves in food chain, they also
move, after the death decomposers
mineralize them.
These materials move in a cyclic way:
Biogeochemical cycles

WATER CYCLE

Water Cycle

Carbon Cycle
Inputs of new CO2 comes naturally from
minerals and anthropogenically from the
combustion of fossil fuels
Plants are responsible for most of the CO2 that
is converted to organic carbon
Carbon is lost to deep ocean zone via the
solubility
Carbon cycles within the biosphere by
photosynthesis and respiration

Burning of Fossil
Fuels

Subsurface
Biological
Activity

Carbon Cycle

CARBON CYCLE
CO2
4 PROCESSES MOVE CARBON
THROUGH ITS CYCLE:
1)

Biological

2)

Geochemical

3)

Mixed biochemical

4)

Human Activity

CO2

CO2

CO2

Nitrogen Cycle
Atmosphere provides an abundant reservoir
of N2
N2 is converted to biologically available forms
naturally by nitrogen-fixing organisms and
anthropogenically by combustion
Nitrogen cycles between NO3-, NO2-,NH3, and
organic N by different organism
N2 is returned to atmosphere by
denitrification under anoxic conditions

NITROGEN CYCLE
Nitrogen-containing nutrients in the
biosphere include:
1)

Ammonia (NH3)

2)

Nitrate (NO3 )

3)

Nitrite (NO2 )

ORGANISMS NEED NITROGEN TO


MAKE AMINO ACIDS FOR
BUILDING PROTEINS!!!

N2
in Atmosphere

N03NH3

Haber process: 1918


Nobel Prize

&

N02-

Human Activities

Nitrogen
Nitrogen
Cycle
cycle

PHOSPHORUS CYCLE
PHOSPHORUS FORMS PART OF IMPORTANT LIFE-SUSTAINING
MOLECULES (ex. DNA & RNA)
Cold drinks; pH: 3
phosphoric acid

Phosphatic
fertilizers

Phosphorus Cycle
Phosphate
Rocks

Fertilizers

Stability & Diversity


Stable Ecosystem: Withstand external stress such as
pollution, construction, e.g. Tropical rain forest

Biodiversity: variation of life at all levels of


biological organization

Little Diverse Ecosystem: Disappearance of


group of organisms from food web severely
disrupt the ecosystem.
Lake & River ecosystems are stable but due
to pollution and lower DO level only lower
species can survive.

Lake Eutrophication: Disrupted


Ecosystem

High Nutrients in Runoff:


Excess Algal Growth
Limit sunlight penetration
High Dissolved Oxygen Variation: Very low DO in Night
Fish Kills
Algal Toxins: Shellfish Poisoning, Odors etc.,

Disturbance of River Ecosystem:


Impact of Tehri Dam

Impact Assessment & Prediction


(Qualitative)
Likely change in the (i) water chemistry, especially
with respect to dissolved oxygen and (ii) turbidity of
water.
Likely impact on biodiversity, i.e., flora and fauna of
the area.
Likely obstruction of movements of migrating fish
species during breeding season.
Likely impact of water accumulation on the
upstream side of the dam, which causes inundation
of land including forest-land.
Likely problem of water-logging and salinity of the
land in the command area.

Mitigating Measures: Environmental


Management Plan-I
Compensatory Afforestation

Area of 4586.07 ha. in Lalitpur and Jhansi District & . 2716.40 ha. of
degraded forest-land of Khanpur forest range in Haridwar District.
Catchment Area Treatment

The main objective of CAT works was to check soil erosion and resultant
siltation in the reservoir. Afforestation, soil conservation, treatment of
agriculture land, farm forestry, horticulture etc..
Command Area Development

In order to mitigate the likely problem of water-logging and salinity, the


network of field channels and drains were developed..
Flora

In CAT works, the species as recommended by Botanical Survey of India


(BSI), based on their flora study of the area, have been planted. A Botanical
Garden in an area of 14.28 ha. has also been established and plantation of
special species coming under submergence has been completed, so as to
preserve important flora of the region.
Fauna

Action plan for possible mitigation of Mahseer fish was framed.

The periphery of the reservoir have been suitably planted by bushes, shrubs
and trees for the rehabilitation of Aves (Birds), and also attract other groups
of animals. The bushes, shrubs and undergrowth have therefore been
provided as ideal shelter to snakes and lizards also.

Mitigating Measures: Environmental


Management Plan-II

Water Quality Maintenance


The water quality modeling concluded that no specific measures are
required and there would be no adverse effect on the water quality due
to impoundment.
Water quality monitoring on Tehri Reservoir, both upstream and
downstream is being carried out at 5 monitoring stations. The water
quality study also concluded that Dissolved Oxygen (D.O.) and
Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD) in whole of reservoir are expected to
remain within permissible limits desired for drinking water resources.
Another mathematical model study on water circulation concluded that
water in reservoir remains under dynamic circulation throughout the
year and does not remain stagnant.
Green Belt
A green Belt have been planned to be created along the rim of the
reservoir between 850 m above MSL and 1050 m above MSL. The
idea for developing the green belt is to check soil erosion and resultant
siltation of the reservoir; to protect and regenerate the vegetation in the
rim area; to increase the natural beauty of the landscape.

An ecological model is a mathematical expression that can be used to describe or


predict ecological processes such as population density, community species richness,
productivity, or distributions of organisms

Ecological Succession
Well Balanced Ecosystem change over time.
Lake Shallow Lake (deposition of Silt)
Marsh Meadow
Hardwood Forest.
Takes place long period of time and could not
be studied in one human lifespan.
Can be affected by human activities such as
pollution.

ACCUMULATION OF
POLLUTANTS

CO2
CH4
SUN

CO2

CO2

CH4

CO2
Decomposition
by bacteria

Wastes

Food

Animals

Nutrients
(NCP)

Photo
Trees,
synthesis

Liquid & solid


wastes

People
Some metals,
chemicals &
pesticides
persists in
the soil, water
and Food.

Plants,
Algae,

Water

Grass

OXYGEN

CO2, SOx, NOx


Mining,
industries

Fuel

ACCUMULATION OF POLLUTANTS IN
ENVIRONMENT

1. Conservative Pollutants: Pesticides, Heavy Metals etc.,


2. Non Conservative Pollutants: Biodegradable Organics, Human Waste

Water

Town A

Town B

Town C

Supply
Drainage

(A)

River
Initial
(B)

Concentration of conservative
pollutant increases after each outfall

concentration

D.O. profile sags below


each outfall as
biodegradable matter
exerts oxygen demand

Initial D.O.
(C)

Minimum D.O
Bacterial concentration increases
below each outfall but rapidly
diminishes as natural die off occurs

Initial bacterial
(D) concentration
River

Minimum D.O

Conservative Pollutants:
Biomagnification
Biomagnification is the
bioaccumulation of a substance up
the food chain by transfer of
residues of the substance in smaller
organisms that are food for larger
organisms in the chain.
Sequence of processes that results
in higher concentrations in
organisms at higher levels in the
food chain (at higher trophic levels).
These processes result in an
organism having higher
concentrations of a substance than
is present in the organisms food.

Biomagnification
When partitioning concentrates a chemical in one
phase that is the food for a higher phase, the
chemical can further concentrate as we move up
the food chain.

Bioconcentration
Bioconcentration is a process that results in an
organism having a higher concentration of a
substance than is in its surrounding environmental
media, such as stream water.
Bio-concentration factor is the concentration of a
particular chemical in a tissue per concentration of
chemical in water (reported as L/kg). This physical
property characterizes the accumulation of pollutants
through chemical partitioning from the aqueous phase
into an organic phase, such as the gill of a fish..
BCF = [Concentration of X in Organism] /
[Concentration of X in Environment]
High potential BCF>1000; Moderate Potential
1000>BCF>250; Low potential 250>BCF.

Bioconcentration of a substance is correlated to the


octanol-water partition coefficient (KOW) of the
substance. The octanol/water partition coefficient
(Kow) is defined as the ratio of a chemical's
concentration in the octanol phase to its
concentration in the aqueous phase of a two-phase
octanol/water system.

K OW conc. in octanol phase

conc. in aqueous phase

Chemicals with low Kow values (e.g., less than 10) may
be considered relatively hydrophilic; they tend to have
high water solubilities, small soil/sediment adsorption
coefficients, and small bio-concentration factors for
aquatic life. Conversely, chemicals with high Kow
values (e.g., greater than 10000) are very hydrophobic
Log(BCF) = 0.79 x logKOW - 0.4

Bioaccumulation
Bioaccumulation is a general term for the accumulation
of substances, such as pesticides (DDT is an example),
methylmercury, or other organic chemicals in an
organism or part of an organism.
The accumulation process involves the biological
sequestering of substances that enter the organism
through respiration, food intake, epidermal (skin)
contact with the substance, and/or other means.

The sequestering results in the organism having a


higher concentration of the substance than the
concentration
in
the
organisms
surrounding
environment. More hydrophobic a substance is the
more likely it is to bioaccumulate in organisms, such as
fish.

The level at which a given substance is bioaccumulated depends on :


The rate of uptake,
The mode of uptake (through the gills of a fish, ingested along with food,
contact with epidermis (skin)
How quickly the substance is eliminated from the organism,
transformation of the substance by metabolic processes, the lipid (fat)
content of the organism, the hydrophobicity of the substance,
environmental factors, and other biological and physical factors.

1.
2.
3.

Example
Hexachlorobenzene (HCB) has a water to plankton
partition coefficient of 200,000; a plankton to smelt
magnification factor of 7.5; and a smelt to lake
trout magification factor of 3.5. If the concentration
of HCB in the water is 1.0 ppt. Will either fish
exceed the fish consumption standards:
5 ppm for general consumption
1 ppm for pregnant and nursing women

Solution
K p/w

Cplankton
Cwater

mg
5 L ng
5 ng
1 2 x 10
0.2
Cplankton 2 x 10
kg L
kg
kg

Csmelt

mg
mg
1.5
7.5Cplankton 7.5 0.2
kg
kg

mg
mg
5.25
Ctrout 3.5Csmelt 3.51.5
kg
kg

Interpretation
The lake trout exceed the general
consumption standard and both species
exceed the standard for pregnant and
nursing women
Both could easily be argued on the basis
of uncertainty

PCB
Polychlorinated Biphenyls: A dielectric fluid, neither burn
nor conduct electricity. Used as insulating materials in
transformers
Impairs thyroid functions and neurotoxins.
In an accident(1977), PCBs polluted Hudson River(300
km).
PCB got concentrated in bottom sediments, consumed by
riverbed microorganisms which were eaten by fish.
Contaminated sediments are removed, extensive dredging
& properly disposed off.

Highly Toxic Electroplating


Sludge:

Chromium
Cadmium
Cyanide

OBJECTIVE: HOW CAN WE PREVENT THE DISTURBANCE OF


ECOSYSTEM
OR HOW WE CAN RESTORE OUR ECOSYSTEM
If gases Concentration Increases
by our activities , What happen
to our Ecosystem ???
If we cut lot of trees, What
happen to our Ecosystem ???

Environment

If we add large biodegradable


pollutants & Nutrients What
happen to our Ecosystem ???

If we add heavy metals, What


happen to our Ecosystem ???

If we add DDT or other


pesticides, What happen to
food chain/food web of our
Ecosystem ???

If we add large amount of


garbage, What happen to our
Ecosystem ???

Case Study-Ecosystem Restoration

Present Status
40
35

BOD(mg/L)

35
30

30

25

25

24
22

20

19

18

16

15
A

Samples