Letter: New treated wastewater discharge location
On June 6, 2022 an article called “Nothing to Waste” was published in the Standard-Examiner. The piece gave some insight to one of the many perplexing problems that are associated with the Great Salt Lake. The issue mentioned in the piece concerned the formation of potentially harmful algal blooms that have plagued the Farmington Bay area during the summer months. When particular environmental factors, such as, suitable nutrients and temperature reach a favorable level, certain algae will reproduce at an alarmingly rapid rate, resulting in what is called an algal bloom.
In an effort to decrease the amount of algae food flowing into Farmington Bay, the North Davis Sewer District is building a pipeline to discharge its effluent west of Antelope Island, into Gilbert Bay.
The problem of sewage disposal developed with the use of water to pick up and carry away waste products of human life. Typical municipal sewage contains oxygen-demanding materials, sediments, grease, oil, scum, pathogenic bacteria, viruses, salts, algal nutrients, pesticides, organic compounds (that are hard to breakdown), heavy metals, and varying amounts and kinds of floating matter.
I am by no means an expert in sewage treatment methods. The news article did not say much about the treatment methods employed by the North Davis Sewer District. It was mentioned that the state recently updated its limits for phosphorous discharged in treated wastewater. Advanced waste treatment requires removal of phosphorus to reduce algal growth. At this time the North Davis Sewer District is not required to remove phosphorus from treated wastewater by reason of the new wastewater discharge location.