You are on page 1of 16



What is Thermal Pollution?   Increase in the normal temperatures of natural waters caused by intervention of human activities. Temperature is a physical characteristic of water which is characteristic of water which is regulated under the Clean Water Act. .

Thermal Pollution .

Major Causes    Nuclear power plants Deforestation Soil erosion .

After the water is used. it is put back into a water supply at 9-20oC warmer .Nuclear Power Plants   Nuclear power plants use water as a cooling agent.

This 1988 thermal image of the Hudson River highlights temperature changes caused by discharge of 2. in green and blue. The plant sits in the upper right of the photo — hot water in the discharge canal is visible in yellow and red. spreading and cooling across the entire width of the river. Two additional outflows from the Lovett coal-fired power plant are also clearly visible against the natural temperature of the water. .5 billion gallons of water each day from the Indian Point power plant.

Waste Heat from Power Plants .

Deforestation   The decrease in vegetation increases the amount of light that hits the water. which increases the temperature of the water Deforestation also increases erosion .

Soil Erosion  Erosion makes the water muddy. which increases the light absorbed .

Effects of Increased Water Temperature     Thermal shock – aquatic life adapted to a certain water temperature can go into shock when the temp is changed even 1 or 2 degrees. which increases their need for oxygen . Oxygen dissolved in water decreases Increases the rate of photosynthesis. which increases the amount of plant growth Increases the metabolic rate of fish.

more suitable environment. As a result one has the problem of compromising food chains of the old and new environments. and to in-migration of organisms that normally only live in warmer waters elsewhere. Biodiversity can be decreased as a result. .Biotic Effects of Thermal Pollution • Changes in the environment may also result in amigration of organisms to another.

These cellular level effects can adversely affect mortality and reproduction. and alteration of enzyme metabolism. Principal adverse changes can include rendering cell walls less permeable to necessary osmosis. . coagulation of cell proteins.• Changes of even one to two degrees Celsius can cause significant changes in organism metabolism and other adverse cellular biology effects.

Dissolved Oxygen v Tem s p .

man-made bodies of water designed for cooling by evaporation. which transfer waste heat to the atmosphere through evaporation and/or heat transfer Cogeneration. a process where waste heat is recycled for domestic and/or industrial heating purposes .Control of thermal pollution    Cooling ponds. convection. and radiation Cooling towers.

References:     www.