You’ve probably heard of miners using canaries as a safety precaution when they are deep in the mines, but have you heard of using mallards for wastewater treatment safety? Maybe not.
There is currently a water reclamation project in Utah that is discharging 1.5 million gallons per day into the Great Salt Lake. The pipeline has been active for a year, and the project was instituted to combat the underground water contaminants that built up over decades of mining in the area.
The EPA has determined that the discharge will not have a significant environmental impact, but scientists will still be watching the Mallard population. Specifically, they will be monitoring Mallard egg production to gauge pollution levels.
With the Great Salt Lake approaching record low levels due to the storied drought in the Western US, the water reclamation efforts are a must, but scientists want to make sure it isn’t doing more harm than good for the area.
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