Doesn rainwater dilute polluted wastewater? And isn it diluted further by the quadrillion gallons of water in Lake Superior?
Yes, it’s diluted, but there are a bunch of reasons why this is still bad. First, it is illegal. We have laws to prevent even diluted wastewater from being discharged into our surface waters because it poses an immediate threat to public health. Although concentrations may be diluted, the overall load of disease causing microorganisms and other chemical pollutants (such as nutrients, sediments, organic matter and toxic contaminants) is enormous. It also doesn’t help the treatment process at WLSSD to dilute the wastewater because the plant is actually designed to treat the higher concentrations of pollutants found in typical wastewater. And about the matter of dilution reducing pollution. We all know that the volume of water in Superior is enormous. But discharges aren’t instantly diluted throughout the volume of the lake. Check out these pictures: image courtesy of Albert Dickas, University of Wisconsin- Superior image courtesy of US Environmental Protection Agency, Region V What most