Hormones in water bodies

This 2004 article gives a certain amount of evidence that retention of waste products in lagoons for a few days instead of a few hours greatly reduces the concentration of mammaliam hormones in the effluent. It also claims that land microbes are better adapted to process and degrade mammal hormones than water microbes. (Like, DUH!) Therefore, use of effluent on land instead of dumping it into the water is less harmful to the whole biosphere. So why do not all municipal facilities for waste processing take this into account?


Alacrates's picture

I think composting can also be quite useful for breaking down various compounds. I've been amazed to read about what industrial chemicals, and maybe even radioactive materials can be be broken down by the thermophilic bacteria in compost, they seem to be geared to breaking down whatever materials they come across, no matter how toxic they are to other forms of life (there are some exceptions that even compost microbes struggle to deal with.)

In my city (Winnipeg, Manitoba) they use to spray the sewage sludge from our treatment plants directly onto farmland, but it was prohibited at a certain point, the province made the city deposit the solids in the landfill temporarily, and the city started a pilot project of 20% composted sewage sludge. I hope one day this will be 100%, but I guess I don't know the difficulties involved.

That was the gist of what the article said. I only scanned it quickly before posting, but I think the composting method was mentioned