MWRD is currently studying phosphorus wastewater concentrations and investigating adding it as a required analytical parameter under the User Charge or Continued Compliance ordinance to comply with stricter overall limits mandated by IEPA effective January 1, 2014. They have recently sent out a letter to industrial facilities in its service area asking for volunteers to help determine the amount of phosphorus discharged by industry. MWRD currently estimates that 60% of the phosphorus that ends up in its waste treatment plants comes from domestic waste; 10% from products used in the home; and 30% from commercial and industrial use.
Gabriel is now offering to add phosphorus testing to User Charge and Continued Compliance sampling to help our clients establish a baseline for each facility’s current phosphorus discharge. This analysis can be added at a nominal rate to scheduled sampling events. By learning about current phosphorus levels, our clients can be proactive and prepared for upcoming MWRD regulations regarding phosphorus limits.
Infographic source: EPA
Excessive phosphorus and other nutrients lead to increased algae growth and decreased oxygen levels in rivers, streams and other watersheds. In the Mississippi River Basin (including Chicagoland waterways), this phosphorus and nitrogen pollution has caused a 5,840 square mile “dead zone” in the Gulf of Mexico where plants and fish cannot survive.
Contact Antonio Tabacchi at atabacchi[at]gabenv.com or 773-486-2123 if you want to add phosphorus testing to your upcoming sampling or to learn more about MWRD’s volunteer program.