Sewage sludge as an acidity filter for groundwater-fed lakes

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Authors:Davison, William
Author Affiliations:Primary:
Freshwater Biol. Assoc., Ambleside, United Kingdom
Volume Title:Nature (London)
Source:Nature (London), 322(6082), p.820-822. Publisher: Macmillan Journals, London, United Kingdom. ISSN: 0028-0836
Publication Date:1986
Note:In English. 8 refs.; illus.
Summary:The acidification of lakes by acid rain has increased awareness of the problems associated with acid waters, and has stimulated work on self-neutralization mechanisms and liming strategies. However, some very acid lakes, particularly those which have been newly formed by the widespread extraction of coal, mineral ores and sand and gravel, owe their acidity to another source. If pyrite is present, as it often is, its exposure to air induces microbially mediated oxidation, resulting in the production of sulphuric acid. The waters of the lakes then resemble dilute acid, typically with pH<3, with an impoverished flora and fauna. Neutralizing such waters with lime ameliorates the situation, but only temporarily because further supply of acidic groundwater inexorably lowers the pH. Here I report the use of a combined treatment of lime and sewage sludge, which has produced a self-regulating system, capable of maintaining a stable pH. The organic material which is spread over the bottom of the lake acts as a chemical filter, removing acidic sulphate as it enters, and converting it to neutral sulphide.—Journal abstract.
Subjects:Acidification; Controls; Environmental geology; Feasibility studies; Field studies; Filters; Filtration; Geochemistry; Ground water; Hydrochemistry; Hydrology; Limnology; Natural resources; PH; Pollution; Properties; Reclamation; Sewage; Sludge; Sulfate ion; Water resources; Water treatment; East Anglia; England; Europe; Great Britain; London Basin; Norfolk England; United Kingdom; Western Europe; Blue Lagoon; King's Lynn
Coordinates:N522500 N530000 E0014500 E0001000
Record ID:1987005395
Copyright Information:GeoRef, Copyright 2018 American Geosciences Institute.
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