Wildlife health implications of sewage disposal in wetlands

Edited by: P.J. GodfreyE.R. Kaynor, and S. Pelczarski



Wildlife health concerns associated with disposal of sewage effluent in wetlands are of three primary types: (1) introduction of pathogens, (2) introduction of pollutants that adversely impact on host body defense mechanisms, and (3) changes in the physical and chemical properties of wetlands that favor the development and maintenance of disease problems. Unlike the situation with human health concerns, introduction of pathogens is not the major concern regarding wildlife health. Instead, the focus of attention needs to be directed at environmental changes likely to take place as a result of effluent discharges into different types of wetlands. Unless these changes are adequately addressed from a disease perspective, marshes utilized for sewage disposal could become disease incubators and wildlife death traps. This result would be unfortunate because the backlash would likely negate the potentially beneficial aspects of the use of sewage wastewater for the creation of new wetlands and have a severe impact on progress being made towards evaluation of the compatibility of wildlife and sewage effluents.

Additional publication details

Publication type Book chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Title Wildlife health implications of sewage disposal in wetlands
Year Published 1985
Language English
Publisher Van Nostrand Reinhold Company
Publisher location New York, NY
Contributing office(s) National Wildlife Health Center
Description p. 262-269
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Other Government Series
Larger Work Title Ecological Considerations in Wetlands Treatment of Municipal Wastewaters
First page 262
Last page 269
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