Ocean outfalls as an alternative to minimizing risks to human and environmental health

Renato Castiglia Feitosa About the author


Submarine outfalls are proposed as an efficient alternative for the final destination of wastewater in densely populated coastal areas, due to the high dispersal capacity and the clearance of organic matter in the marine environment, and because they require small areas for implementation. This paper evaluates the probability of unsuitable bathing conditions in coastal areas nearby to the Ipanema, Barra da Tijuca and Icaraí outfalls based on a computational methodology gathering hydrodynamic, pollutant transport, and bacterial decay modelling. The results show a strong influence of solar radiation and all factors that mitigate its levels in the marine environment on coliform concentration. The aforementioned outfalls do not pollute the coastal areas, and unsuitable bathing conditions are restricted to nearby effluent launching points. The pollution observed at the beaches indicates that the contamination occurs due to the polluted estuarine systems, rivers and canals that flow to the coast.

Ocean outfalls; Coliform; Water pollution

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