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Chemistry and microbiology of a sewage spill in South San Francisco Bay

January 1, 1983

During three weeks of September 1979, the breakdown of a waste treatment plant resulted in the discharge of a large volume (1.5×107m3) of primary-treated sewage into a tributary of South San Francisco Bay, California. Chemical and microbial changes occurred within the tributary as decomposition and nitrification depleted dissolved oxygen. Associated with anoxia were relatively high concentrations of particulate organic carbon, dissolved CO2, CH4, C2H4, NH+4, and fecal bacteria, and low phytoplankton biomass and photosynthetic oxygen production. South San Francisco Bay experienced only small changes in water quality, presumably because of its large volume and the assimilation of wastes that occurred within the tributary. Water quality improved rapidly in the tributary once normal tertiary treatment resumed.

Publication Year 1983
Title Chemistry and microbiology of a sewage spill in South San Francisco Bay
DOI 10.2307/1351399
Authors J. E. Cloern, R.S. Oremland
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Estuaries
Index ID 70011248
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization California Water Science Center; San Francisco Bay-Delta; Pacific Regional Director's Office