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17.12: Sewage

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    • Contributed by Miracosta Oceanography 101
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    In many regions of the world sewage from populated regions is a major source of pollution in coastal regions. Sewage is a major problem in poor and overpopulated communities that cannot afford the technology to treat and process sewage before it is released into rivers or coastal waters. Old, over-used, and poorly-designed waste treatment facilities often cannot handle the volume of both sewage and runoff created by storms. As a result raw sewage can find its way into coastal waters (Figure 17.27).

    Sewage discharge from an industrial area on the
    Figure 17.27. Sewage discharged from a point source on the Calumet River, Illinois.

    Sewage from urban areas include human wastes, food wastes, and household and industrial chemical wastes of many kinds from any different sources.

    In San Diego County, urban runoff through storm drains account most of the coastal pollution resulting in beach closures.
    The rule of thumb is that for every rain greater that ¼ inch, it is advised to stay out of the ocean for 72 hours.

    Here’s the variety of diseases you can get from swimming in contaminated water:
    - Sinus infection
    - Hepatitis A (bad)
    - Gastrointestinal problems, including Cholera
    - Staph infection
    - Blood poisoning.

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