Another problem sewage plants have is that they are unable to break down surfactants that originate from so called environmentally sound detergents. Surfactants are used to replace the polluting phophates in detergents and washing-up liquid and disturb the process where bacteria is used to break down nitrogen and other compounds.
Another problem with sewage treatment is that we Swedes use a great deal of water, so the "diet" the bacteria live on is very meagre - a meal for weight watchers. The best way to give bacteria energy is to add alcohol to the sewage! A swig of etanol makes the bacteria work better and those nitrogen compounds that are not broken down in the plumbing are broken down at the sewage plant. There is a risk that bacteria develope an alcohol problem!
There are several alternatives to large scale sewge treatment. One important alternative is to seperate the urin from the urea at its source. Urine has a composition that makes it very suitable for fertilizing arable land, but in the "ordinary" system the urine is sent to the sewage plant and a valuable resource is wasted.
Measures against atmospheric downfall
A well known fact is that Scandinavia is exposed to airborne pollutants that originate from other areas in Europe, for example about 90% of the sulphur and nitrogen dioxode downfall originates from other European areas. Even if the largest part of the atmospheric downfall does not originate in Sweden or from its neighbours, there are measures that can be taken locally.
It has been estimated that the European discharge of nitrogen oxides and ammonia needs to be reduced by 75% just to stop further damage to the environment, including the seas. This reduction is probably difficult to accomplish, as it appears that even the present level of discharge is difficult to freeze. But try anyway - "to reach the clouds, you must first reach the tree tops".
|A splendid outing ?|
|Problems and expectations|
|It was better before"|
|Seawater and soluble salts|
|The sea moves|
|Coastal waters are close to us|
|What is eutrofication?|
|Sources of over-fertilization|
|How the open masses of water are effected|
|How shallow bays are effected|
|What can we do?|