182 Years in the Making: Invertebrate Communities of Narragansett Bay

Benthic invertebrates support various ecosystem functions and services such as shellfish production and biogeochemical cycling. Historical data spanning 182 years permitted Hale and colleagues to determine the trends and current conditions of invertebrate communities in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island. From the 104 studies, the authors detected over 1,000 different taxa that have been observed within the esturary and suggest human influence has greatly impacted the overall biodiversity of the invertebrate community.

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Wineries: don’t waste the wastewater

The recycling of wastewater at large-scale production facilities such as wineries is considered by some to be a sustainable and innovative response to the harsh climate and water shortages many areas are currently facing. However, the question of what impact this wastewater will have on both the facilities and the surrounding environment is still up for debate. Recent research has investigated the effect that irrigating vineyards with wastewater has on the crops, the soil, and the wine produced by several wineries in California.

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Wastewater and wetlands: a friendship for the ages?

Today’s wastewater is not what it once was. Pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and other lifestyle products are contributing compounds to wastewater that have emerged as harmful contaminants in the environment. In order to combat these contaminants, which are not being effectively treated by conventional wastewater treatment plants, some places have incorporated constructed wetlands as an additional treatment method meant to eliminate emerging contaminants before they enter into the environment.

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Don’t Throw That Out! Turning Dairy Waste into Microalgae Products.

Wastewater produced on dairy farms can be a tough challenge for small and medium sized farms. High-tech treatment methods work for large farms, but smaller farms need a more effective way to treat their wastewater. Discharged without treatment, wastewater can highly endanger aquatic systems, deteriorate water quality, and has cost the US billions annually to clean up. This study’s research shows the potential to turn that waste back into commercial products by growing microalgae. Because wastewater is rich in the nutrients microalgae need to grow, it can be harvested and turned into biofuels, biofertilizers, animal feed, and other products. This provides smaller farms with a method to treat their wastewater and turn it into a usable commercial product.

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The fate of our waste: nitrogen removal in residential wastewater

Residential wastewater serves as a major source of nitrogen to coastal watersheds. Increased nitrogen loads can harm coastal ecosystems, so advanced onsite wastewater treatment systems have been designed in order to reduce these loads and protect coastal waters.

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Generating electricity while microbes clean wastewater – how wastewater treatment plants could go from brown to green

Microbial fuel cells are structures that behave like batteries, but are powered by ever-present environmental microbes. Researchers in South Korea measured the ability of Microbial Fuel Cell prototypes to generate electricity while cleaning up wastewater. Results indicate that this technology could radically reduce the energy requirements of wastewater treatment facilities.

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