A quantitative and qualitative survey of benthal deposits contained in the Houston Ship Channel.
Hutton, W.S.; Hann, R.W., Jr.; Smith, R.H.
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The pollutional significance of benthal deposits contained in the Houston Ship Channel is defined through the use of data resulting from a comprehensive field and records research effort. The estuary is lined with a multitude of petro-chemical, domestic, and miscellaneous industrial waste outfalls. Its bottoms serve as a trap for non-biodegradable matter received from these waste sources and urban runoff. As a part of the field effort, unique techniques are developed whereby sludge cores are extracted, preserved, and analyzed with regard to biochemical oxygen demand, volatile solids, chemical oxygen demand, and oil and grease content. In conjunction with the qualitative study, Corps of Engineers' dredging contracts, outfall effluent records and urban runoff records from various state and local agencies are used to quantify the amount of material deposited in the channel over the past 10 years. These qualitative and quantitative values are employed in a mass balance of the entire channel and its side bays providing a comprehensive evaluation of the channel's benthal deposits.