Ocean Dumping at the Philadelphia Site; A Case Study

by Michael Devine, NOAA, Ocean Assessments Div, Rockville, MD, USA,
Duane Simpson, NOAA, Ocean Assessments Div, Rockville, MD, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '85


This study reviews the results of eleven years of investigation of the impact of ocean disposal of sewage sludge at the Philadelphia dumpsite. The site, located on the continental shelf east of the Maryland coast, was used for the disposal of sewage sludge from Philadelphia between 1973 and 1980. Studies were carried out before, during and after dumping from 1973-1983. Overall, results indicate a much lower level of degradation at the Philadelphia site than in nearshore areas in the New York and Los Angeles regions. All pollution indicators have declined rapidly in the four years since dumping stopped. The time for the site to physically recover from this accumulation is calculated to be less than two years.

Subject Headings: Case studies | Water pollution | Waste sites | Sludge | Site investigation | Sewage | Ocean engineering | United States | Philadelphia | Pennsylvania | Maryland | New York | Los Angeles | California

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