School of Life Sciences | Ask A Biologist

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Conclusions

So what can we conclude from this study so far?

One, that the wastewater chemistry is very different from that of natural waters, contain high concentrations of nutrients. Two, saltcedar dominates the riparian plant community in basal area and density for both the effluent and control sites. Three, the rate of growth in all three tree species increases when exposed to wastewater. And four, there appears to be more birds using the wastewater site than the natural site, with fish-eaters and blackbirds having the greatest impact.

So, maybe wastewater is nature's power drink, but it still too early to tell. More information is needed before we can correctly state whether wastewater is good or bad, or neither, for the plants and animals that live along the rivers.

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Be part of Ask A Biologist

by volunteering, or simply sending us feedback on the site. Scientists, teachers, writers, illustrators, and translators are all important to the program. If you are interested in helping with the website we have a Volunteer page to get the process started.