Effluent monitoring at a bleached kraft mill: Directions for best management practices for eliminating effects on fish reproduction
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A long-term monitoring study was conducted on effluents from a bleached kraft pulp and paper mill located in Eastern Canada. The study was designed to gain insights into temporal effluent variability with respect to fish reproduction as it related to production upsets, mill restarts and conditions affecting biological treatment performance. Final effluent quality was monitored between February 2007 and May 2009 using biochemical and chemical oxygen demand, total suspended solids, resin and fatty acids, a gas chromatographic profiling index, and the presence of methyl substituted 2-cyclopentenones. Selected effluent samples were evaluated for effects on fish reproduction (egg production) using a shortened version of the adult fathead minnow reproductive test. The events relating to negative effects on fish reproduction were upsets of the pulping liquor recovery system resulting in black liquor losses, operational upsets of the hardwood line resulting in the loss of oxygen delignification filtrates, and conditions that reduced the performance of biological treatment (e.g., mill shutdown and low ambient temperatures). The reductions in egg production observed in fathead minnow were associated with biochemical oxygen demand values > 20 mg/L, GC profiling indices > 1.2 and the presence of methyl-substituted 2-cyclopentenones at concentrations > 100 μg/L. This study demonstrated the importance of both in-plant measures for controlling the loss of organics as well as the optimum operation of biological effluent treatment for eliminating effluent-related effects on fish reproduction (egg production) in the laboratory.
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