Table of Contents

Water Pollution

24. Sewage, Wastewater, & Runoff Treatment and Recovery Regulations

All raw sewage and other anthropogenic wastewaters should undergo tertiary treatment through either a sewage treatment plant, natural wetland filtration system, or through any other process that would ensure that water practically equivalent to what otherwise would exist in the natural environment is discharged from such treatment facilities. Such water should be filtered of all visible and invisible anthropogenic substances, including nitrates, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals (especially endocrine disruptors) before release back into the natural environment.

All urban and suburban water runoff (both dry season and storm runoff) should be filtered, at least to remove all visible anthropogenic litter, before being discharged into the free ecosystem. Preferably, such water should also be filtered of all less visible anthropogenic matter that still finds its way into the runoff, such as oils, heavy metals, nitrates, pesticides, herbicides, etc. Naturally, preventing such substances from getting into the water stream would be orders of magnitude easier than it is to clean it up afterwards.

Wastewater should be reclaimed and reused as much as is safe and practical before being sent to treatment facilities and/or before being released into the natural environment. However, safety is a major constraint towards the expanded use of wastewater due to the negative public health consequences of potential pathogenic transmission as well as the transmission of more virulent and drug-resistant pathogens that are often found in partially treated wastewater. If the costs and uses would justify such infrastructure investments, some areas zoned for large-scale industrial and irrigation uses should require the installation of separate wastewater piping infrastructures to supply each demand establishment within these zones with access to this non-potable, reclaimed water.

Water hydrants should not be supplied with reclaimed water because they are used mostly during emergencies, thus during times when people are not as easily able to avoid contact with such water, increasing their risk of exposure to pathogens.


25. Subterranean Gasoline Tanks

Underground tanks and pipes which store or transfer gasoline or other potentially significant environmental pollutant should be required to be equipped with some sort of leakage detection system to prevent or warn of possible pollution of the environment.


26. Oil Spill Dispersant Application Policy

As a general rule, dispersant chemicals should only be applied to oil spills as a measure of last resort. First, every effort must be made to recover the oil from the environment before dispersants are used. Dispersants applied to the natural environment should be treated as a pollutant, even though it is intended to minimize the negative effects of another pollutant (oil), and its use, therefore, should be penalized with a fine for each unit of dispersant used. Dispersants merely disperse the oil throughout the water column making its ultimate recovery more difficult and threatening the ecosystems throughout the entire water column rather than merely threaten those of the surface and shorelines if dispersants were not used. Ideally, determinations should be made, ahead of time, on how to deal with various degrees of oil spills in specific environments so that when an accident does occur, time is not wasted in trying to figure out the right response.


27. Ship Wreck Owners Responsibility

A sunken ship should belong to the company who owned it at the time of its sinking and should retain ownership through any future mergers or buyouts, unless it has sold its ownership rights to the wreck to another party, which it can do at any time after the sinking. However, the entity that owns the wreck should be required to pay a littering penalty based on the total estimated number of pounds of the wreck and cargo to the owner of the property in which the wreck lies (usually state, national, or international governments or the specific agency managing those waters). At the same time, an additional pollution tax based of the estimated amount of specified environmentally hazardous materials contained within the wreck, including ship and cargo, should be assessed. Interest on this total penalty amount should begin to accrue annually on the calendar year following the year of the wreck. Each year, beginning with the calendar year following the sinking, the entity owning the wreck should be required to pay a minimum of 10% of these original total penalty charges to the appropriate entities. Such payments could take place at any time within that calendar year, just as long as 10% is paid by December 31st of that year. Any entity purchasing or otherwise assuming ownership of the wreck should be required to continue with such payments, unless they have already been paid (which would occur after about 12 to 14 years (if the minimum 10% payments are made annually) or so because paying the accrued interest is not required until all the principle has been paid).

Entities who were the original owners of a shipwreck but not the land on which it is located, should be required to pay the proper landowner a fee of .1% of the original, pre-wrecked, estimated value of the ship and cargo every year, for infinity. The requirement to pay this fee could be permanently eliminated once the wreck’s owner has agree to relinquish ownership and all rights to benefit in anyway from any future activities related to the wreck, including salvaging, tourism, etc.

If for any reason, the owners do not exist, cannot be located or refuse to pay the necessary fees to the proper land-owner, then the country (or international government, such as the United Nations) in whose territorial waters the wreckage lies should become the sole owner of the wreck. The government exercising ownership should then be entitled to either salvage the wreck, protect it by declaring it a memorial, monument, etc., sell it, declare it public domain, or do with it what the majority of the people of that country would want done with the wreck. It also has the option to do nothing with the wreck other than just maintain a log of it and list it on a map.

Governments should insure that wrecks with unusually rich histories or potentially rich archeological data be protected and preserved for scientific study.


28. Water Craft Pollution

All types of watercraft (boats, jet skis, etc.) should be required to direct all exhaust/pollution into the air and not into the water. Watercraft should be designed so that their normal operations would inject an insignificant amount of their pollution (less than 5% by weight) directly into the water.