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    Application of Laboratory Scale Model Streams Toward Assessing Effluent Impacts in Freshwater Lotic Environments

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    Laboratory scale model streams were developed to assess the effects of oil-shale-related effluents on aufwuchs. The model stream design allowed variation of water temperature, chemical composition, flow rate, and illumination intensity and periodicity. Chemical constancy of the stream water was provided by continuously metering new water to the streams with doses of test effluents. Omega-9 water, the experimental retort water used, was studied at dilutions between 0.013 and 2.12 percent for 9 days. Day 3 samples generally showed stimulated growth at all dilutions. Measurements on Days 6 and 9 however, had lowered levels of growth at 1 percent or more Omega-9 water concentration. The more dilute effluent loads stimulated growth throughout the test period. The most marked effect of Omega-9 water was to lower the proportional contribution of diatoms to the aufwuchs biomass. Measurements of control model streams suggest a species composition heterogeneity of 10 to 15 percent with a total unloaded stream spatial/temporal variability of no greater than about 25 percent. The biomass measurements were very reproducible, but chlorophyll a and respiration rate assays were hampered by excessive analytic error. Field confirmation of these tentative results is strongly recommended.


    ecology, effluents, aquatic organisms, model streams, artificial substrates, aufwuchs, periphyton, oil shale, effluent impacts, water pollution, synfuels

    Author Information:

    Russell, PP
    Director, Environmental Engineering, Fireman's Fund Insurance Companies, San Francisco, Calif.

    Horne, AJ
    Professor of Civil Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, Calif.

    Thomas, JF
    Professor of Civil Engineering and chairman of the Division of Sanitary, Environmental, Coastal, and Hydraulic Engineering, University of California, Berkeley, Calif.

    Committee/Subcommittee: D19.24

    DOI: 10.1520/STP27631S