A Familiar Technology Once Again Called Upon To Aid One Of The World's Most Fragile EcosystemsSource: Severn Trent Services
The Chesapeake Bay watershed, the largest estuary in the United States, stretches across more than 64,000 square miles, encompassing parts of six states and the District of Columbia. Called by some “one of the world’s most fragile ecosystems,” the long-term health of the watershed has been well documented for decades. Excess runoff and discharges of nutrients – particularly nitrogen and phosphorous – from farms, pavement, wastewater treatment plants and other sources have fueled the growth of algae blooms that impact water quality and aquatic life. As a result, the USEPA has placed the Bay on its List of Impaired Waters.
The ongoing nutrient pollution of the watershed has been the focus of billions of dollars in Bay restoration spending over the past 25 years. Many wastewater treatment plants and industries in the watershed have installed – or are planning to install – new equipment to reduce the amount of nutrients that are discharged into the Bay's tributaries to meet more strict total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorous (TP) regulations.