Saturday, December 5, 2009

Uranium and Septic Tanks


I'm working on my uranium bioremediation term paper and the evidence is piling up. Septic tanks effect uranium solubility in ground water.
The presence of oxygen in ground water leads to uranium solubility. Not just O2. Nitrates (NO3, NO2) and Sulfates (SO4) also have an effect on uranium solubility. Nitrogen and sulfur enter septic tanks in their reduced form attached to amino acids. Septic tanks are anoxic so nitrogen leaves the septic tank as NH4+ and sulfur as H2S. When they reach the leach field they are oxidized to nitrate and sulfate.
Some of the nitrate and sulfate get utilized in the biomat but for the most part, nitrate and sulfate leach out of soil fairly quickly. They have a negative charge and soil has a net negative charge so they repel each other. The end result is nitrate and sulfate in ground water interacting with the bound uranium in the aquifer and solubilizing it.
New Mexico has very high concentrations of uranium. We need to get off septic tanks. SHIT! (really).

4 comments:

  1. Aerobic Septic Tanks?

    Can anoxic septic tanks be converted into aerobic septic tanks.

    We have a product that causes a bloom of Diatom Algae in any water, including raw sewage. Diatoms give huge amounts of oxygen and this puts an end to anoxic conditions.

    Diatoms require sunlight for photosynthesis.
    If you can allow sunlight into the septic tanks using a tranlucent acrylic sheet cover, perhaps with a steel mesh frame for strength, you can use our product Nualgi to keep the dissolved oxygen level of the water high and prevent emission of CH4 and H2S.

    The septic tank chimney will emit oxygen instead of harmful GHG.

    best regards

    Bhaskar
    www.kadambari.net

    ReplyDelete
  2. That won't help. You'll still get nitrates and sulfates leaching into the groundwater.

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  3. Interesting stuff, Geo! Don't know what the uranium levels are here in OK, but yeah... we seem to be full of it! Also interesting, when we were in Alb'q'q for Thanksgiving and waiting to meet my niece at a restaurant, we overheard a (very negative) woman whining into a cel phone about the high levels of thyroid cancer in NM. geeeeee, wonder whyyyyy.....

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  4. Well, I'm going to be doing some research and find out if this is really going on. My program manager is all for it and we've got a guy from LANL on board. LANL has awesome labs.

    ReplyDelete

Miri 1994-2009

Miri 1994-2009
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