The Mississippi River Has Experienced a Decline in Pollution Since the 1980’s-New Study

The Mississippi River has been experiencing a decline in pollution since the 1980s, according to a new study.…
Mississippi river

The Mississippi River has been experiencing a decline in pollution since the 1980s, according to a new study. The Clean Water Act has had a positive impact on the Mississippi river since it was enacted. According to a new survey that studied over a century of river chemistry, this act has made a huge impact.

The Mississippi River, the largest river in America, was becoming dirtier and dirtier when it was tested for contents of lead, sulfates, and other chemicals.  The Clean Water Act was enacted in 1972 and since then there have been some changes in the river.

Eugene Turner examined reports on water quality around four sites close to the Mississippi River’s terminus.  Since this act was implemented, the sewage treatment infrastructure was made compulsory and more developed. This resulted in a big decline in the amount of fecal coliform bacteria.

Fecal coliform bacteria resulted from the dumping of raw sewage for the past 50 years. In the three of the four sites examined, oxygen concentrations increased over the same period, although, the farthest site from the sea changed for the past 50 years.

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The Clean Water Act had so much impact that lead pollution was almost non-existent. Lead pollution was much lower than it was in 1979. Environmental agencies stopped checking for lead in the Mississippi river in 2011 because its amount in the water was the same for about 10 years.

In 1950, every liter of water contained almost 50 milligrams of sulfur dioxide. All thanks to the Clean Air Act that helped to reduce the sulfate emissions. This river now has an average of 18 micrograms in every liter of water.

The Clean Water Act has been tremendously effective at decreasing the amount of industrial and urban pollution, as this study shows.  We need to protect the act and all of its authorities, [and] we also need to start looking at expanding it to cover the emerging public safety threats as they relate to water.

Olivia Dorothy, a Mississippi River management expert

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