It’s been awhile….

I have been at RTC. this whole time! Trust me! Posting on this site… a little less so. But that’s okay, because I definitely have a lot to talk about and plan to be a lot better in the future. Things have been happening–so let me catch you up.

The big project RTC has been gearing up for recently is SWAMP. But first, a little background info:

There are three levels of wastewater treatment that are legally allowed by the federal government. The Sacramento Municpal Water Treatment plant does what’s called Type-3. This is the lowest grade, cheapest, bottom of the barrel type of water treatment available. They’re processes are unimportant right now. What is important is that the actual waste of the treatment (because waste is unavoidable, the idea is that it’s in a relatively palatable form) is in the form of nitrate compounds (NO3). Nitrate in and of itself is not bad. It’s actually a necessary nutrient for things growing in the bay. But, in too large of quantities it actually inhibits protein synthesis in phytoplankton.

Which is where we come in. Phytoplankton are important. They’re the very base of the aquatic ecosystem–the pillar on which everything else rests. Their decline has caught our attention and now we’re trying to find out why. Our gaze has rested on the Sacramento Municipal Water Treatment Plant. It’s very possible they’re breaking the law and harming the Delta into which their pouring hundreds of thousands of gallons of nitrate every day.

If they are breaking the law then they will be forced to perfrom a 2 billion dollar renovation… and as such are not very happy with us.

But we will soon start going on cruises once a week for a period of months, and then hunker down over the summer to look over all the data we have.

Like I said: exciting times.


About dash1224

Student at Sir Francis Drake High School in the SEA-DISC Academy. Writing about my internship at the Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies.
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