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Ecological impacts of nutrients from sewage treatment plants (STP/WWTP)

Credible scientific modus operandi for appraisal prior to (not after) regulatory approval

Soil & Water Conservation Society of Metro Halifax (SWCSMH)

July 26, 2006                                        Sewage Management



For several years there has been wide concern among our member-professionals all over HRM with respect to the long term impacts of STPs (sewage/wastewater treatment plants). NSDEL does not have any established scientific criteria for approvals. The probable impact of an STP on a freshwater lake can be quite significant, especially during the summer months when the lakes do not flush appreciably.

While the design of an STP is the domain of a professional engineer, the only professional who has the credibility in the scientific evaluation is a limnologist/professional lake manager. It is unethical and unprofessional for a professional engineer to impinge into the domain of a professional limnologist.

Inserted below is a 12-page published paper of a leading chemical limnologist, Joe Kerekes PhD, Scientist-Emeritus with Environment Canada Atlantic, Dartmouth. Dr. Kerekes was also one of the leading scientists who headed the international OECD (Organization for Economic Co-Operation & Development) peer consensus standards-development.

In this published paper, Dr. Kerekes carries out an intensive scientific analysis of the impact of a proposed secondary-level package STP prior to its installation at a development site which drains into Freshwater Lake, Cape Breton Highlands National Park. He warns against secondary treatment as that would result in the Freshwater Lake becoming `Mesotrophic’, its management objective being `Oligotrophy’!!

(cf. Kerekes, 1983)

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