A season long study at a major electric power plant on the Patuxent Estuary, MD, indicated that more than 88% of the applied chlorine (22-38 ??N) disappeared within the plant. The remainder decayed in a manner approximated by a first-order rate law (T1/2 = 0.6-4.6 h). Increases in dissolved ammonia (contrary to conventional breakpoint chemistry) and losses in dissolved manganese were generally observed between the intake and discharge canals. The ammonia buildup must have derived either from the particulate (e.g., microorganism) nitrogen or from dissolved organic nitrogen. Only traces of trihalomethanes were observed, but there was evidence for a >6 km long discharge plume containing colloidal bromocarbons. The near absence of trihalomethanes is believed to be a result of the extremely rapid disappearance of free halogen oxidants. Sediments in the discharge canal were notably enriched in copper, probably from the Cu90Ni10 condenser tubes, but negligible enrichment was observed beyond the discharge canal. ?? 1984 American Chemical Society.