As oxygen is necessary to support life in aquatic ecosystems, its measurement is essential for gauging the overall state of water bodies; in one of the study's surveys, more than one-third of the 90-kilometer length of the river system failed to meet the New York water quality standard.
This research has shown the importance of utilizing innovative technology to manage and monitor complex aquatic ecosystems in urban settings. Oftentimes, programs for treating water systems are implemented without robust data to identify the true source of the problem. The value of this case study comes from the large number of cause-and-effect relationships that were clearly identified through the monitoring system.
Steven Effler, director of research at the Upstate Freshwater Institute and Charles Driscoll, University Professor of Environmental Systems Engineering in the L.C. Smith College of Engineering and Computer Science at Syracuse University, presented recently the results of this Syracuse Center of Excellence Collaborative Activities in Research and Technology Innovation (CARTI) water research project—"An Intelligent Urban Environmental System (i-UES) for Central New York Water Resource Management"—to SyracuseCoE's Scientific Advisory Committee. SyracuseCoE awards CARTI projects using funds from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Co-authors of the study are Anthony R. Prestigiacomo and Adam J.P. Effler of the Upstate Freshwater Institute.
While much attention has been given to the impact of rivers on lake water quality, there had previously been little done to track the effects of lake outflows on receiving rivers. The water quality of these rivers is of great concern in order to protect their multiple uses—recreation, navigation, power generation and waste discharge—and to support regional development. Currently, the ability of the water systems to absorb the waste sent into them is significantly reduced.
"This study illustrates some of the complexities and challenges in managing urban water systems," says Driscoll. "There are multiple factors associated with the low oxygen concentrations in the Three Rivers system. As a result, multiple approaches will be needed to improve the oxygen status of the river."
To assess the water quality of such large river systems, the study conducted eight longitudinal surveys—four in summer 2007 and four in summer 2009—collecting data from more than 50 sites, utilizing special instrumentation that measures temperature, conductance (the capacity to conduct electricity), turbidity (muddiness of water due to stirred up sediment), chlorophyll levels and dissolved oxygen.
The "boundary conditions" that show the baseline measurements were collected by solar-powered robotic monitoring platforms at the outflows of each lake.
With much conclusive evidence pointing to the oxygen depletion in the Three Rivers system, the research team recommends long-term, routine monitoring of the system, utilizing robotic systems. The researchers suggest that simply improving processes at individual wastewater treatment plants will not be enough to impact the system, and the team must continue to define dynamics and provide insights for rehabilitation. A water quality model can then guide management decisions for a recovery process.
A project summary is available at http://www.syracusecoe.org/projects/researchsummaries/DriscollC2.aspx
Carissa Matthews | EurekAlert!
International network connects experimental research in European waters
21.03.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)
World Water Day 2017: It doesn’t Always Have to Be Drinking Water – Using Wastewater as a Resource
17.03.2017 | ISOE - Institut für sozial-ökologische Forschung
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
23.03.2017 | Life Sciences
23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences