EPA 910/9-63-106B
United States
Environmental Protection
Region 10
1200 Sixth Avenue
Seattle WA 98101
Water Division
January 1984
Water Quality Management
Program For Puget Sound
Part II
Proposed Approach and Technical
SuoDort Effort

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Dear Reader:
The Environmental Protection Agency and Washington Department of Ecology are
developing a unified water quality management program for Puget Sound. This
is the second of three reports addressing management needs and strategies.
Part. I described the roles of management agencies and evaluated their informa-
tion needs in light of available data about the condition of Puget Sound waters
and factors affecting water quality (EPA 910/9-83-106A, 1983).
Part II outlines the major unified program planning elements: (1) the proposed
management approach, and (2) needed technical investigations and activities.
Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 9 describe the proposed management program. Chapters 4
through 8 describe technical work needed to support the proposed program.
We want Part II to inspire thoughtful discussion and constructive ideas from
the diverse audiences concerned about Puget Sound water quality. To be an
effective management strategy, the proposed program must gain support from the
interested and regulated public, the technical and scientific community, and
regulatory agency staff. Given the diversity of interests, the depth of
analysis or specific proposals in Part II may not satisfy every reader. We
are trying to work with this diversity in developing the management program.
EPA and WDOE want an evaluation of the proposed management approach and prior-
ities, and the validity of technical support work outlined in Part II. We also
need comments about proposed priorities within and among major technical work
categories. A series of workshops will be held in late January to discuss the
proposals in Part II. The public and affected users of Puget Sound as well as
scientific, technical, and regulatory communities will participate. A schedule
for the workshops, showing the closing date for written comments, is attached.
We intend recommended management and technical support programs to be affected
by discussions in these workshops and to mirror the diversity of public, tech-
nical, and management audiences. The final report (Part III, to be published
in April 1984) will describe the recommended management strategy and a program
of technical support work. It will guide EPA and WDOE funding decisions, regu-
latory actions and interagency coordination.
This letter is your invitation to review Part II and participation in one of
the upcoming workshops. We look forward to having your ideas and reactions.
Veryt truly yours,
L nil J	l)c~
V I Uh\
Gary VNeal	Dan Petke
Director, Environmental Services	Division Puget Sound Coordinator
Environmental Protection Agency	Department of Ecology
10 miomls

Prepared for:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Region 10
Prepared by:
Jones & Stokes Associates, Inc.
1802 136th Place NE
Bellevue, Washington 98005
Jones & Stokes Associates, Inc.
2321 P Street
Sacramento, California 95816
Tetra Tech, Inc.
1900 116th Avenue NE
Bellevue, Washington 98004
7 December 1983

Management Approach	vi
Recommended Studies	vii
Recommended Improvements in Monitoring Activities	ix
Interim Management Approach	x
Purpose and Objectives	1
Summary of Data Availability	2
General Approach to Water Quality Management in	3
Puget Sound
Need for Holistic Approach	3
Usefulness of Compartmentalized Approach	3
Institutional Considerations	7
Current Status of Water Quality Problems in	9
Puget Sound
Temperature, Dissolved Oxygen, Salinity, and pH 9
Nutrients	9
Bacteria and Viruses	10
Sedimentation and Dredge Spoil Disposal	10
Heavy Metals	11
Naturally-occurring Hydrocarbons	11
Synthetic Hydrocarbons	11
Priorities for Water Quality Management	12
Management Objectives and Data Needs	12
Types of Solutions	14
Products of Current EPA/WDOE-Funded Research	17
Toxic Contamination of the Urban-Industrial	17
Bacterial Contamination of Shellfish	20
Program Management and Coordination	20
Priorities for Recommended Studies	21
Meeting Priority Data Needs	24
Information Required for Urban Embayments	24
Information Required for the Central Basin	26
Selection Criteria	29
Selection of High Priority Pollutants	30
Rationale for Pesticides	31
Rationale for Polychlorinated Biphenyls	32
Rationale for Chlorinated Benzenes	32
Rationale for Chlorinated Butadienes	33
Rationale for Chlorinated Ethylenes	33
Rationale for Polychlorinated Dibenzofurans	34
and Pentachlorophenol

Rationale for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons 35
Rationale for Selected Metals	36
High Priority Pollutant Lists by Geographic Area	42
CSO Effluent	43
Rivers Discharging into Urban Embayments	45
Industrial Survey	48
Urban Runoff	49
Municipal Treatment Plant Survey	50
Atmospheric Flux	51
Septic Tank Leachate	51
Historical Spills, Dumps, and Locations of	52
Contaminated Sediments
Puget Sound Circulation Model	57
Central Basin Circulation Model	58
Pollutant Reactions at the Freshwater/Saltwater	59
Compartmental Distribution and Fate Processes for	60
Pollutants in Sediments
Solids Settling Model	62
Advection of Organic Compounds	63
Organic Pollutant Fate Processes	64
Other Basin Models	66
Key Species and Biological Communities	68
Body Burdens, Sediment Concentrations, and	71
Incidence of Disease
Long-term Bioassays with Young-of-the-Year	7 4
English Sole
Benthic Invertebrate Communities	77
Rockfish Survey	80
Squid Survey	82
Approach to Monitoring Programs	85
General Requirements of Monitoring Programs	86
Monitoring Specific Pollutants	86
Monitoring Plankton	86
Monitoring Benthos	86
Monitoring Fish	87
Comprehensive Monitoring Program for Puget Sound	87
Rationale	87
Existing Programs that Provide a Base for	88
Outline of the Comprehensive Monitoring	91
Recommended Ancillary Activities	97
Briefing Meetings Between Monitoring Agencies	97

Development of a Monitoring Manual	97
Calibration Between Analytical Labs and	99
Development of a Puget Sound Data Base Center	99
Taxonomic Standardization	99
Evaluation of Existing Monitoring Programs	101
Intensive Surveys	101
Metro Seahurst Baseline Study	101
Metro Toxicant Pretreatment Planning Study	102
Puget Sound Air Quality Monitoring	102
Proposed 301(h) Monitoring Programs	103
NPDES Monitoring and Analysis	104
WDOE River Monitoring	105
WDOE Marine Water Monitoring	106
USGS River Monitoring	107
Basic Water Monitoring Program	108
Shellfish PSP Monitoring Program	111
Shellfish Coliform Bacteria Monitoring	114
Rationale	117
Current Discharge Practices	118
Point Source	118
Nonpoint Source	120
Accumulating (Sediment) Contamination	121
Solid Phase Acute Bioassays	123
Suspended Particulate Phase Acute Bioassays	124
Liquid Phase Acute Bioassays	125

Table	Page
3-1	Recommended Studies by Type and Approximate	22
Degree of Priority Based on Need for Data
3-2	Recommended Studies Ranked by Approximate	23
Degree of Priority Based on Timing
5-1	Rivers Discharging to Urban Embayments or	47
Draining Urban Areas
7-1	Recommended Species for Future Studies	70
8-1	Monitored Resources and Monitoring Activities	89
in Puget Sound
8-2	Generic 301(h) Waiver Monitoring Program for	92
Small Dischargers
8-3	Recommended Sampling Stations	94
8-4	Pollutants Monitored in Mussel Tissue	109
8-5	Basic Water Monitoring Program Stations	110
8-6	PSP Monitoring Program Testing Areas	113

1-1	Data Needed for water Quality Management	4
1-2	Subject Areas in the Systematic Analysis and	5
Management of Puget Sound Water Quality
5-1 Toxicity Data for a Chemical Species	44
8-1	Location of WDOE Water Quality Monitoring	90
Stations in Study Area

Management Appraaiih
Effective water quality management practices are predicated
on: 1) full knowledge of current environmental conditions, and
2) the ability to predict environmental impacts of programs and
decisions implemented by management agencies. Water quality
managers need data that demonstrate the linkage between pollutant
loadings and adverse effects of pollutants on biota and on
beneficial uses of resources. Data that demonstrate these
linkages are sparse. The objectives of this report are: 1) to
recommend a management approach that will improve data availabil-
ity and usefulness, 2) to describe the research needed to bridge
critical data gaps, and 3) to recommend improvements in on-going
environmental quality monitoring programs.
The principal management question is: What is the cumula-
tive effect of pollutant discharges on the ecological health of
Puget Sound and on beneficial uses derived from the Sound? Two
observations are readily apparent as this principal question is
considered. First, the question and the approach to answering it
are complex, and an individual's expertise and responsibilities
are often narrowly focused or limited to specific kinds of data.
The complexity of the situation, coupled with the limitations of
a single-issue approach, have impeded remedial actions. The
effective approach must therefore occur within a holistic,
interdisciplinary framework. Second, the complexity of the
question requires breaking down the necessary research into
manageable units of effort. A compartmentalized approach is
acceptable as long as the various activities are designed,
coordinated, performed, and interpreted within the holistic
framework. An active, interdisciplinary, interagency forum must
coordinate this approach to accomplish effective water quality
management of Puget Sound.
Management priorities (e.g. funding) should focus on
immediate problems based on best available data, theoretical
considerations, reasonable judgments, and public concerns.
Several high priority management objectives and needs can be
identified based on existing knowledge of Puget Sound water
quality problems. In Puget Sound, high priority should be given
to highly toxic synthetic organic compounds and diseased fish in
urban embayments, impacts on bottom sediments from municipal and
industrial wastes, and decertification of shellfish growing
areas. Specific management objectives should include: defining
existing and developing water quality problems; identifying
pollutants of greatest concern; evaluating risk to human health
and marine organisms from exposure to toxicants; determining the
fate of pollutants discharged into Puget Sound; and identifying

environmental conditions that precipitate management action.
Within these management objectives, priority also is given to
obtaining data from urban embayments and the Central Basin on
pollutant loading, deposition and retention of pollutants within
these areas, and identifying biological and potential public
health problems associated with pollutants.
Recommended Studies
Studies that are needed immediately to obtain critical data
are generally classified as mass loading, transport and fate, or
biological effects studies. Work funded by EPA and WDOE is
currently underway on certain aspects of toxic contamination of
urban/industrial bays, bacterial contamination of Puget Sound
shellfish, and program management and coordination.
Prior to implementation of mass loading studies, a
preliminary list of high priority chemical compounds must be
developed. The preliminary list developed for Puget Sound
includes: pesticides, PCBs, halogenated aliphatics (e.g. CBDs),
monocyclic aromatics, polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs),
polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and selected heavy
metals. This preliminary list must be modified as new data are
obtained on loading, accumulating levels in the environment, and
potential biological effects.
Sources and amounts of pollutants discharged to Puget Sound
are not quantitatively or qualitatively well understood. Loading
data are essential for water quality management of specific
geographical areas (e.g. urban embayments) and of Puget Sound as
a whole. Recommended studies that pertain to critical data gaps
in mass loading are:
•	Development of high priority pollutant lists for local
geographical areas.
•	Analysis of CSO effluent volume and composition.
•	Documentation of pollutant loading from urban rivers.
•	Documentation of pollutant loading from industrial
•	Documentation of pollutant loading from urban runoff.
•	Documentation of pollutant loading from municipal
treatment plants.
•	Documentation of pollutant loading from atmospheric

•	Identification of problems associated with septic tank
•	Review of historical spills, dumps, and locations of
contaminated sediments (including dredge spoils).
Quantification of pollutant loadings will enable water
quality managers to focus management effort on major inputs of
pollutants. Management effort then will be allocated more
effectively. Mass loading data also significantly influence the
focus and design of transport and fate, and biological effects
Once pollutants have entered Puget Sound, knowledge of the
transport and fate of these pollutants is essential to the
prediction of impacts. Mathematical models that represent a
vertically and horizontally dynamic system are needed to describe
water circulation and areas of sediment deposition in Puget
Sound. As knowledge of pollutant fate processes is gained, the
information may be used to refine water circulation models.
Recommended transport and fate studies include:
•	Development of a circulation model for Puget Sound.
•	Development of a circulation model for the Central
Basin and urban embayments.
•	Analysis of pollutant reactions at the
freshwater/saltwater interface.
•	Analysis of distribution and fate processes for
pollutants in sediments.
•	Development of a solids settling model.
•	Estimation of advection of organic compounds.
•	Description of organic pollutant fate processes.
Understanding pollutant transport and fate processes is
essential for water quality managers who regulate activities and
implement abatement programs. Detrimental impacts are expected
to concentrate in areas that accumulate pollutants; the ability
to predict depositional areas is necessary to identify
geographical areas requiring special attention.
Critical information that links pollutants with adverse
impacts on biota is sketchy or has not been developed. Effort is
focused on two broad management needs: linking pollutants to
observed biological effects, and developing action level criteria

germane to management decisions. Pour important data gaps have
been identified:
•	Pollutant uptake and bioaccumulation mechanisms, and
primary pathways of exposure.
•	Statistical relationships between sediment
contamination, body burdens of toxicants, and
biological conditions (e.g. disease).
•	Causal relationships between contamination and demersal
fish diseases.
•	The effects of sediment contamination and organic
enrichment on benthic invertebrate community structure.
Recommended biological studies that address these data gaps and
help establish action levels are:
•	Correlations between elevated body burdens of toxicants
in English sole, elevated levels of toxicants in the
environment, and the occurrence of pathological
•	Long-term bioassays with young-of-the-year English sole
to investigate the mechanisms of bioaccumulation and
possible cause of disease.
•	Effects of sediment contamination and organic
enrichment on benthic invertebrate communities.
•	Analysis of toxicant bioaccumulation and occurrence of
disease in sport-caught rockfishes from urban
•	Toxicant bioaccumulation in market squid in urban
Initially, major emphasis is placed on identifying linkages
between pollutant levels and adverse biological effects that may
not be cause-effect linkages. Action levels can be identified
based on these linkages, assuming that pollutant levels are
indicators of potential biological impacts. Data from the
initial work provide a basis for focusing and designing follow-on
studies that examine cause-effect relationships.
Recommended improvements in Monitoring Activities
Monitoring programs are necessary to identify change in
environmental Conditions in Puget Sound. A "view of current
monitoring efforts in Puget Sound reveals the neea for a compre-
hensive monitoring program that would provide water quality

managers with a means of detecting and documenting changes in the
enviroment, including those resulting from the cumulative actions
taken in Puget Sound.
A comprehensive monitoring program must be able to show
trends in pollutant levels in the water column, sediment, and
biota. In addition, pathological conditions that are implicated
as pollutant-induced, and composition of the Puget Sound biologi-
cal community must be monitored in appropriate locations and in a
manner reflecting management concerns and beneficial uses at
these locations. Several existing programs, such as WDOE marine
monitoring and Metro's TPPS and Seahurst baseline programs,
provide a substantial foundation for the recommended comprehen-
sive program.
In addition to the comprehensive monitoring program, several
additional activities for coordinating ongoing monitoring efforts
are recommended. These consist of:
•	Briefing meetings between monitoring agencies.
•	Development of a monitoring manual.
•	Calibration of analytical labs and techniques.
•	Development of a Puget Sound data base.
•	Standardization of names of Puget Sound taxa.
These activities would improve the usefulness of data from the
various monitoring agencies, with the net result of increased
efficiency in the overall monitoring effort.
Recommended changes to existing monitoring programs are
aimed at improving their value to water quality managers and at
incorporation into the comprehensive monitoring program.
Interim Management Approach
Until sufficient data are obtained by the recommended
research effort, water quality managers must make decisions based
on existing data. Reasonable judgments based on the best
available data can be used to develop a "preponderance of
evidence" approach to decision making. This approach requires
knowledge of current pollutant loadings and of the accumulating
pollutant reservoir. The interim approach is based primarily on
chemical data and biological testing of current pollutant
loadings and the accumulating reservoir of pollutants.
Management decisions can be made at any point in the process of
evaluating current discharge practices and the accumulating
reservoir of pollutants. For example, discovery in effluent of a
chemical compound known to be acutely toxic or carcinogenic at

low concentrations may indicate a need to control or abate
discharge of the compound. However, the decision is best
supported by additional data on occurrence in the environment and
associated biological effects. The interim program will evolve
into the overall management approach as data are obtained that
link specific pollutants to observed biological effects.

Chapter 1
Purpose and Objectives
The perception of Puget Sound as a relatively pristine body
of water has changed during the last few years, and this change
has stimulated intensive effort to maintain the Sound as a high
quality environment. Changes in the quality of Puget Sound
resulting from the inflow of pollutants have evoked an effort by
the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), in association with
the Washington State Department of Ecology (WDOE) to develop a
more comprehensive, coordinated water quality management program
specifically designed for Puget Sound. The first phase of this
work effort required the coordinated compilation of data and
information from numerous interacting agencies and individuals.
The report resulting from the first phase (Jones & Stokes
Associates, Inc. 1983) describes the roles of agencies partici-
pating in water quality management, the data presently needed to
make management decisions, and the data available for decision-
making .
It is generally accepted that effective water quality
management practices are predicated on having adequate knowledge
about environmental conditions and the capability to predict the
cumulative environmental impacts of regulatory actions. This
knowledge and capability is becoming even more critical to
regulatory processes as pollutants increase in complexity and
distribution. The regulatory process is significantly impaired
by the lack of germane data linking controllable pollutant
loadings with adverse effects in biota and the beneficial uses of
resources. Furthermore, the regulatory process is hampered by
insufficient capability to use data to predict the results of
regulatory actions. These factors make it difficult to even
judgmentally project the remedial effects of possible regulatory
Analysis of this situation demonstrates the immediate need
to implement a holistic, well coordinated water quality manage-
ment program for Puget Sound. Many of the activities that must
be initiated to implement such a program are identified in this
report, which was formulated using the following objectives:
• Emphasize the importance of building holistic,
ecological conceptualizations into water quality R&D
and management activities.

•	Provide a working document for the use of water quality
managers, technical experts, and citizens groups that
focuses attention on the need, objectives, and scope of
data requirements.
•	Recommend new management directions and activities that
will improve data availability, quality, and applica-
•	Outline the research required to bridge the most
critical data gaps and to formulate predictive models.
•	Recommend changes in on-going programs that will
provide more valuable data to decision makers.
These objectives are critical to understanding the purpose
of the report. This report provides a framework for community
discussion of the direction of EPA/WDOE-supported research,
investigation, and monitoring during the next few years. A third
and final report will include and be responsive to the community
input received during these discussions.
Summary of Data Availability
The findings of the first phase of work (Jones & Stokes
Associates, inc. 1983) are summarized in Appendix A.
Available data do not clearly link specific pollutants to
adverse impacts on biota or beneficial uses; nevertheless, the
evidence indicates a positive association between industrial-
ization/urbanization and adverse changes in the ecology of and
beneficial uses of some areas in Puget Sound. Several key topics
have been identified that require urgent action for long-term
management of water quality in Puget Sound. Critical data needs
•	Sources and amounts of high priority pollutant inputs.
•	Descriptions of the environmental fates of pollutantsr
including modeling to predict solids deposition areas,
predict relationships between dissolved pollutants and
suspended solids, and predict pollutant transfer to
« Biological effects of high priority pollutants.
•	information on long-term trends.
Until major gaps in our understanding of these topics are
bridged, water quality managers are faced with the knowledge that
regulatory decisions cannot focus on specific agents that cause
adverse impacts on biota or beneficial uses. There is,

therefore, uncertainty that decisions will be as effective and
efficient as one may desire.
General Approach to Water Quality Management in Puget Sound
Wastewater, groundwater, and surface runoff discharged to
Puget Sound may contain pollutants that are toxic or otherwise
harmful to fish and wildlife, and thus potentially harmful to
humans who take food, economic, or recreation benefits from the
Sound. The principal question is: What is the cumulative
effect of pollutant discharges on the ecological health of Puaet
Sound and on beneficial uses derived from the Sound? This broad
question can be divided into more specific ones concerned with
geographical locations (e.g., Elliott Bay), species (e.g., English
sole), beneficial uses (e.g., shellfish harvesting), and so on.
The specific questions pertinent to Puget Sound are outlined in
Chapter 2. Factual responses to inquiries about pollution of the
Sound require information and data relevant to many questions.
Very often these data are complex and extremely expensive to
obtain; moreover, the scientific and engineering community has
not discovered, in many situations, how to ask the essential
The general need for technical data and information in water
quality management is accepted by almost everyone. The gathering
of specific kinds of data, however, is often limited by an
individual's knowledge (expertise) and responsibilities, and
falls short of the general need. To compensate for this, a
holistic approach is needed. The principal consideration in
preparing this report was obtaining critical data needed to
protect and maintain beneficial uses of resources by water
quality managers operating within the holistic framework outlined
by Figure 1-1. The approach strives to link pollutant loadings
to adverse effects on biota and beneficial uses of resources.
Documenting linkages between pollutant sources and
measurable adverse effects on beneficial uses requires many areas
of technical (scientific) expertise. From a practical stand-
point, it is necessary to divide the research into manageable
units of effort. Figure 1-1 portrays a process, but it is
possible to recognize steps in the process. A compartmentalized
approach is acceptable as long as the various research efforts
are designed, carried out, and interpreted within the holistic
Figure 1-2 is a schematic illustration of how the Puget
Sound ecosystem can be divided into manageable units (compart-
ments) for research and investigative effort. A systematic

IS 00


Figure 1-1. Diagram of Linkages Between Data Needed for Water Quality Management Decisions
NOTE: Boxes and bold arrows represent descriptive compartments and processes which can be
quantified. Ecosystem processes (broken arrow) and indirect effects (diamond) are
open to scientific analysis but rarely quantifiable. The circles and remaining
arrows represent compartments or processes that are defined or implemented within
the social framework (modified from White and Lockwood, in press).


8 Priority
Dissolved Chemicals
Suspended Solids
Pollutant Sink
Drainage 8
CSO Pollutants
Industry,Domestic,Land use,Traffic etc.
Food Chain
Figure 1-2. Schematic Illustration of Interrelated But Distinct
Subject Areas That Must be Considered in the
Systematic Analysis and Management of Puget Sound
Water Quality

analysis of water quality concerns occurs in each compartment
(Figure 1-2) as a result of one or more recommendations presented
in this report.
Initially, pollutants that are considered potentially
harmful to the Sound must be identified and classified according
to their presence and documented level of risk to biological
systems. In Chapter 4 of this report a preliminary list of
pollutants that represent the highest level of risk to biota
using the Sound is identified. The locations and amounts of high
risk substances discharged from both permitted and nonpermitted
sources must be known to help develop plans and implement actions
that will produce effective abatement. Chapter 5 identifies
methods for refining the preliminary list and acquiring an
accurate accounting of mass loading for high priority pollutants
and certain other substances.
Many toxic chemicals discharged to the Sound are either
bound to particulate matter or will be bound in a relatively
short period, and eventually will be deposited in the sediments.
Some dissolved chemicals may be accumulated by biota, and some of
the adsorbed load may redissolve as ionic conditions change.
Until accurate estimates of mass loading and mass accumulation in
bottom sediments are made, the proportional fates of specific,
relatively conservative pollutants will be left to speculation.
Chapter 6 recommends methods of describing how dissolved pollu-
tants and suspended solids move through Puget Sound. Studies are
also designed to examine the fate of pollutants in sediments as
well as in other environmental compartments of Puget Sound.
The pathways for chemicals to move from discharge to sedi-
ment, biota, or the ocean require identification and description.
A high priority is placed on gaining knowledge about the transfer
of pollutants from sediment to biota and also on the resulting
effects on biota. It is recommended for the near term that two
general types of studies be done: 1) screen biota for bioaccumu-
lation of selected pollutants, and 2) test biota to identify
pathologies associated with or perhaps caused by the bioaccumula-
tion of specific pollutants (Chapters 7 and 8). A logical
outcome of these studies is the establishment of sediment and
body burden standards for selected toxic substances.
A comprehensive long term monitoring program is required to
record ecological changes that are attributable to water quality
management actions. Intensive monitoring of areas receiving the
greatest loads of pollutants is expected to yield the most
obvious positive effects of toxic substance source control and
treatment. Monitoring of other areas must occur, however, to
register environmental changes that may result from the total
pollutant load and the movement of substances from one area to
another (Chapter 8). Human food, e.g., clams, fish, and
waterfowl, must be monitored to assure safety of the public.
Management decisions must be made before many of the
recommended studies yield data that can be used as regulatory

tools. Therefore, an interim approach to water quality manage-
ment is proposed (Chapter 9). This approach will allow decisions
to be made based on a "preponderance of evidence" format, until
such time as cause-and-effect relationships between pollutants
and impacts on beneficial uses are defined.
The prevailing passive system of communicating ecological
data is inefficient and ineffective relative to the needs of all
concerned parties. If each party conducting an in-depth analysis
of a complex problem must continue to ferret out diverse pieces
of information from numerous sources scattered throughout the
Puget Sound area, large amounts of time, human resources, and
money are unnecessarily diverted from the productive tasks of new
data collection, analysis, and communications. This problem is
correctable by establishing a central library for all Puget Sound
data resources, published and unpublished, based on automatic
data processing principles with an index of materials accessible
to off-site computer terminals. It also should be required that
any reports produced with public money be deposited in the
library. Moreover, such a library should be staffed to assist
users of its resources.
Collection of sound ecological data for management of water
quality based on a holistic viewpoint requires that agencies
and individuals recognize their common goals and need for coordi-
nated effort. Coordination of related activities generally does
not occur unless accomplished by regulations, a Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU), or recognition of mutual interests. Projects
and programs are often developed by individuals and small groups
in response to their particular needs, which may be either
specific and narrow in scope, or broad enough to affect other
projects and programs. Many opportunities to gain data and
understanding from such work are lost if peers and interested
parties are not included in study planning and design.
An active, interdisciplinary forum is needed to review and
critique project and research design as well as resulting data
and reports. This process is especially important for publicly-
funded projects and research oriented toward water quality
management. Such a group should include representatives of all
appropriate technical disciplines, management agencies, dis-
chargers, governmental bodies, consultants, and public groups
willing to responsibly participate in such a forum. Independent
operation as a grant-funded, nonprofit corporation directed by
several major funding entities may serve the public and
effectively avoid single issue biases.


Chapter 2
The fundamental objective of resource managers is to protect
and maintain beneficial uses of the resource. As described in
the first phase of work (Jones & Stokes Associates, Inc. 1983),
society plays the major role in defining beneficial uses. To a
great extent, society also plays a major role in defining adverse
impacts on beneficial uses. The major role of scientists is to
provide data and guidance on how to protect and maintain
beneficial uses.
Before specific management objectives can be identified,
managers must have adequate knowledge of the current status of
the resource. Although by no means complete or conclusive,
scientific data exist (Jones & Stokes Associates, Inc. 1983) that
permit reasonable judgments on the status of water quality
problems in Puget Sound.
Current Status of Water Quality Problems in Puaet Sound
Temperature, dissolved oxygen, salinity, and pH may be
altered by human activities near or on localized shallow marine
embayments with poor flushing characteristics. In Puget Sound,
these water quality problems are primarily limited to tributary
water estuaries, e.g. the lower Duwamish River. There is little
evidence to indicate that these are serious water quality
problems in Puget Sound, nor is there reason to believe they will
become problems in the near future, other than in localized
Nutrient loading to Puget Sound can be beneficial if the
resulting increase in plant productivity contributes to larger
stocks of valuable fish, shellfish, or wildlife. Ecological
systems are generally resilient and able to accommodate mild
fluctuations in nutrient levels. Excessive nutrients can result
in excessive plant productivity, which then may lead to oxygen
depletion in poorly flushed water as plant material decays.
Changes in nutrient balance may alter plant and phytoplankton
species composition, replacing nutritious or valuable species
with less nutritious or noxious species.

Data from Puget Sound (Jones & Stokes Associates, Inc. 1983)
reveal that nutrient loading can become, or is, a problem in
relatively shallow, poorly flushed embayments of Puget Sound
(e.g. Budd Inlet). There is no current evidence to indicate that
adverse impacts result from nutrient loading to the Central
Basin. This situation could change at some time in the future as
population growth occurs in the Puget Sound watershed and greater
quantities of wastes are produced.
Bacteria are a food source for shellfish and are generally
harmless, but fecal bacteria are used as an indicator of the
potential presence of harmful viruses and other pathogens
associated with human waste. The Washington Department of Social
and Health Services (DSHS) has decertified commercial shellfish
growing areas because of unacceptable levels of fecal coliform
bacteria in the water. In rural areas, unacceptably high fecal
coliform bacteria in the water is likely to be caused by nonpoint
sources such as overloaded septic tank leach fields, livestock,
or wildlife. In urban areas, shellfish are exposed to poten-
tially harmful pathogens found in untreated domestic wastewater.
Shellfish in urban areas are also exposed to toxicants, but few
toxic organic compounds have action level criteria established
for shellfish. The absence of fecal coliforms in water near
urban areas does not mean that shellfish from these areas are
uncontaminated by pollution.
Organisms that live in depositional environments or in
estuaries typically adapt to sedimentation. Sedimentation
and dredging activities become a pollution problem when:
•	Toxic compounds are adsorbed to sediments or settling
•	Changes in sediment type alter the benthic community.
•	Erosion or deposition results in habitat loss for
important species.
•	Spawning in nearshore habitats is impeded by siltation.
•	Navigation or port facilities are impaired.
Sediment currently is of most concern in Puget Sound as a
pollutant carrier, in habitat alteration, and in the issue of
navigation and dredge spoil disposal. Best Management Practice
(BMP) improvements in agriculture, silviculture, and construction
may alleviate some sedimentation concerns; however, increased
population and urbanization can act to offset this gain. Disposal
of contaminated dredge spoils in some areas is a special case of
pollution by heavy metals and organic compounds.

Heavy metals locked within mineral matrices are of little
concern as pollutants. Many marine organisms can detoxify heavy
metals over a wide range of environmental concentrations through
the activities of certain enzymes, such as metallothioneins.
Problems may arise when uptake of heavy metals exceeds the
capacity of natural detoxification mechanisms. The toxic effect
of heavy metals is most often shown to be sublethal (e.g. Sanders
et al. 1983). It is difficult to identify lethal or pathological
effects at concentrations typically encountered in marine waters.
Heavy metal pollution occurs in Puget Sound. Significant
sources include runoff from highways and parking lots, shipping
and shipyards, and industry. Elevated levels of heavy metals
(relative to presumed nonpolluted areas) have been found in
sediments of most urbanized embayments and harbors. Anthropo-
genic metal loading to Puget Sound has probably occurred since
the turn of the century. However, even in areas displaying high
sediment contamination by heavy metals, body burdens of most
resident organisms appear to be no more than two- or three-fold
greater than those of organisms collected in presumed nonpolluted
areas. As a result, correlations between body burdens of heavy
metals and the incidence of pathological conditions are
Many petroleum and combustion hydrocarbons are naturally
occurring organic compounds. The former can enter ecosystems
through natural seeps, and the latter through forest fires. Many
organisms have evolved tolerance mechanisms to at least low
environmental levels of these compounds. Input to Puget Sound
increased dramatically with the advent of industrialization and
the use of combustion engines. Measurable concentrations of some
of these compounds are found in sediments of Puget Sound. Some
are also found in tissues of organisms residing in Puget Sound,
but many of these compounds are also readily metabolized. It is
rarely clear whether metabolization results in detoxification, or
in more toxic byproducts. Some of these compounds are carcino-
genic, mutagenic, or teratogenic, and clearly require considera-
tion as a priority water quality problem.
This is a category of compounds for which organisms rarely
have evolved defensive or detoxification mechanisms. This fact
alone qualifies these compounds as candidate water quality
problems of highest priority. Diversity and production of these
compounds have increased dramatically since World War II. Within
the last decade, a number of these compounds have been shown to
be toxic, carcinogenic, mutagenic, and teratogenic at low concen-
trations. Lipophilic compounds have been found in tissues of
organisms from urbanized areas at levels as high as one or two

orders of magnitude greater than in tissues of organisms from
presumed nonpolluted areas.
Priorities for Water Quality Management
Marine pollution is a relatively new subject area with many
unanswered questions. As a technological frontier, vast amounts
of money and time could be spent investigating and researching
the field. Unfortunately, only limited resources are available,
and decisions cannot be postponed until "all the evidence is in."
Management effort and resources should focus first on water
quality problems that require immediate attention, and secondarily
on problems that may develop if present practices do not change.
Decisions must be made on best available data, theoretical
considerations, and reasonable judgments.
Organisms and ecosystems are capable of adjusting to certain
environmental levels of most naturally occurring pollutants.
This indicates that adverse impacts in most of these categories
may be reversible on some reasonably short time scale. Clear
exceptions are those water quality problems related to input of
synthetic organic compounds, especially those that are lipophilic
and hazardous to human health or marine life at low concentra-
tions. Elevated levels of naturally-occurring organic compounds
and the occurrence of synthetic organic compounds in biota and
sediments of Puget Sound are high priority management issues,
particularly since many of these compounds are known or suspected
carcinogens, mutagens, or teratogens at low concentrations.
Further analysis of existing data indicates that most water
quality concerns occur in urbanized embayments, particularly
around the Central Basin. These geographic areas should receive
high priority in locating sites for research, investigations, or
In setting priorities, water quality managers must not only
consider technical information provided by scientists, they also
must consider public use of the resources. In Puget Sound, the
current, major water quality concerns for the public (based on
frequency of news coverage) are: incidence of diseased fish in
urban embayments, health risks and aesthetic impacts resulting
from discharge of municipal wastes, and decertification of
shellfish growing areas.
Management Objectives and Data Needs
In reviewing current status of water quality in Puget Sound
and the concerns that must be considered in establishing
priorities for water quality management, management objectives
become apparent. Key objectives are:

•	Define the nature and extent of existing and developing
water quality problems in Puget Sound.
•	Identify pollutants of greatest concern in Puget Sound.
•	Determine whether marine organisms that support
beneficial uses of Puget Sound are at unacceptable risk
due to exposure to toxicants, particularly those
toxicants known to be acutely toxic, carcinogenic,
mutagenic, or teratogenic at low concentrations.
•	Determine the fate of pollutants discharged to Puget
•	Identify environmental conditions that indicate when
action must be taken as provided by federal and state
laws and their implementing regulations.
Other objectives may be identified for localized areas of Puget
Sound, and still others will arise as knowledge of the Puget
Sound ecosystem expands.
Data needs are broadly described and briefly outlined in
Chapter 1, and by Jones & Stokes Associates, Inc. (1983).
Specific data needs, based on current status of water quality and
management priorities, can be briefly summarized as follows:
•	For urban embayments:
-	What are pollutant loadings into the bay from various
point and nonpoint sources?
-	What are the depositional areas for contaminated
-	What is the extent of pollutant retention within the
-	What biological problems are occurring in bays that
can be associated with pollutants?
-	What action levels could be developed to judge the
significance of existing or proposed discharges, or
of existing contaminated deposits?
•	For the Central Basin:
-	What are the loadings from major urban embayments?
-	What are the depositional areas for contaminated
-	Are there biological problems in the Central Basin
associated with pollutants?

-	What are the trends in water quality, contaminated
sediment, and biota?
-	What action levels could be developed to judge the
significance of existing or projected levels of toxic
Each of these needs will be addressed by recommended studies or
monitoring programs described in subsequent chapters of this
Types of Solutions
Solutions to water quality problems can arise in either the
technological or the social/political arena. In many cases, a
solution may require effort in both arenas.
Regulatory action by water quality management agencies
influences and is influenced by activities in both arenas (Jones
& Stokes Associates, Inc. 1983). As new information is made
available, certain regulatory actions (e.g. revision of permit
conditions and limitations, improved surveillance and enforcement
activities) can be modified within a reasonably short time under
existing regulations. The principal purpose of the recommenda-
tions in this report is to provide water quality managers with
improved technological tools to analyze and regulate controllable
sources of pollutants to the Sound. Data and analyses stemming
from these studies will reduce data gaps that presently make it
difficult to negotiate permit conditions and implement pollution
abatement programs.
In the social/political arena, the role of water quality
managers and regulatory agencies is focused primarily on data
collection and dissemination, and enforcement as appropriate.
Following public education, some of these solutions can be
implemented as enforceable regulations in relatively short time
periods. Examples of regulatory changes include:
• Revision of construction codes.
•	Implementation of or changes in land use ordinances.
•	Improved coordination between regulatory agencies.
Other solutions are long term in nature and may be difficult to
accomplish by regulatory action. Examples include:
•	Change in disposal practices by homeowners and other
individuals handling small quantities of hazardous

•	Lifestyle changes resulting in reduced demand for
hazardous materials.
•	Population growth management.
Although these are important and valuable steps to solving many
water quality problems, it is impractical to presume that these
alone will resolve urgent management concerns or prevent water
quality degradation. At the present time, technological
solutions implemented through regulatory authority (and resulting
from research effort) will play a major role in abating or
preventing water quality degradation.


Chapter 3
The recommendations in this report appeared in draft form in
March 1983. At that time, EPA and WDOE funded selected compo-
nents through interagency agreements. Work on these components
is now underway. These funded components continue to appear in
this report as elements of recommended studies. The work effort
and expected products of on-going work are summarized below.
Collectively, the funded components provide a major step in
identifying problem areas and addressing some of the more urgent
data needs. Following this summary, the remainder of this
chapter describes priorities among the recommendations, and how
the resulting data address the management objectives and needs
outlined in Chapter 2.
Products of Current BPA/WDOE-Funded Research
A major portion of this effort is to develop better under-
standing of the nature and extent of toxic chemical contamination
of the bottom sediments of bays near the major urban-industrial
areas of Puget Sound. Current work in this area can be classified
and described under the following three components: problem
definition, criteria development, and toxicant source and loading
Problem Definition. Five bays were selected for priority
attention: Commencement Bay, Elliott Bay, Port Gardner, Sinclair
Inlet, and Bellingham Bay. Four "baseline" bays were chosen to
represent relatively undeveloped, uncontaminated areas of Puget
Sound: Case Inlet, Dabob Bay, Sequim Bay, and Samish Bay. Level
of effort is more intense in areas such as Sinclair Inlet,
Bellingham Bay, and Port Gardner where existing data are sparse,
and less intense in Commencement Bay and Elliott Bay where a
number of studies recently have been conducted.
An initial screening survey is underway to characterize the
physical, chemical, and biological conditions of the four base-
line bays and Port Gardner, Sinclair Inlet, Bellingham Bay, and
the Four Mile Rock dredge spoil disposal site (in Elliott Bay).
Approximately 20 surface sediment samples will be collected in
each bay and analyzed to determine sediment grain size and concen-
trations of selected metals, carbon tetrachloride extractable

organic matter, and organic carbon. Amphipod bioassays will also
be conducted on the same samples.
The results of these initial screening analyses will be used
to select approximately 10 sites in each urban-industrial bay and
five sites in each baseline bay for more detailed chemical and
biological analysis. Oyster larvae bioassays, benthic biology
recruitment tests, more detailed amphipod bioassays, a broad
range of detailed chemical analyses, and biological community
structure analyses will be conducted on samples from each selected
site. These analyses will proceed through the summer of 1984.
Samples of bottomfish and shellfish will be collected from
the sites selected after the initial screening survey. These
samples will be analyzed to define the incidence of fish and
shellfish abnormalities and disease. Similar work will be done
in each of the four baseline bays and in Sinclair Inlet, Bellingham
Bay, and the Four Mile Rock area of Elliott Bay. This information
will supplement previous work in Commencement Bay, inner Elliott
Bay, and Port Gardner. The field work is to be conducted in the
fall of 1983. The pathological analyses will be incorporated
with the results of the chemical and biological analyses, and
published in the fall of 1984.
Finally, an effort to assess the degree of human exposure to
potentially contaminated fish and shellfish from the urban-
industrial areas of Puget Sound is being undertaken by the
Washington Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) under
a grant from WDOE. The "catch and consumption" survey will
supplement a similar study of the Commencement Bay area by the
Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. The DSHS survey includes
a review of available Department of Fisheries sport fishing and
shellfish harvest data for the Puget Sound area, and field
interviews with sport fishermen in the Seattle, Everett, Bremerton,
and Bellingham urban areas. Surveys will continue through the
spring of 1984, and analysis of the survey results is expected by
the summer of 1984. A more detailed, two-year study designed to
complement the DSHS work is being undertaken by the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Criteria Development. There is a need to understand the
potential significance of elevated levels of various chemicals in
the bottom sediments of Puget Sound. Although the results of
this work will be applicable throughout Puget Sound, initial
effort is focused on Commencement Bay. A detailed literature
review and evaluation of the properties of these chemicals and
groups of chemicals will be conducted to establish their poten-
tial bioavailability and toxicity in the marine biological
system. Approximately 15 to 20 chemicals known to exist and
judged to be most significant in Commencement Bay will be
reviewed and ranked in importance. The chemical and toxicologi-
cal literature review of priority toxicants from Commencement Bay
is expected to be completed in the spring of 1984.

Another activity designed to help further understanding of
the significance of marine sediment contamination involves
spiking sediment samples with selected chemicals in various
concentrations, and determining the resulting biological effect
through use of amphipod bioasssay techniques. The degree of
biological uptake of these chemicals and their effect on a
tolerant benthic polychaete also will be determined. If success-
ful, this work will determine which chemicals and groups of
chemicals are most important in causing biological stress, and at
what concentrations they produce adverse biological effects.
Commencement Bay sediments and chemicals will be used in this
work. The expected completion date is the summer of 1984.
The Northwest and Alaska Fisheries Center is also attempting
to identify which chemicals are causing biological problems in
Puget Sound. Under this two-year effort, sediment samples from
two areas that are known to be highly contaminated, the Hylebos
Waterway of inner Commencement Bay and the West Waterway of inner
Elliott Bay, will be separated into a number of chemical fractions.
These fractions will be used in a series of bioassay techniques,
including the amphipod and oyster larvae bioassays, to determine
their biological effects. Through this process, the relative
significance of various chemical groups should become more
apparent. EPA's Marine Science Center in Newport and the
National Marine Fisheries Service will share sediment samples,
biological and chemical analyses, and technical expertise.
Eventually, development of sediment quality criteria or
standards may be necessary to establish a specific basis for
remedial action and toxicant control policies. For this reason,
an effort is underway to evaluate a range of possible approaches
to establishing such sediment-related criteria or standards.
Various alternative methodologies, their associated data
requirements, and relative utility in the regulatory process will
be examined. This work is expected to be completed in the spring
of 1984.
Toxicant Source and Loading Analysis. Part of the work
currently funded by WDOE in the nearshore areas of Commencement
Bay is directed toward source identification and analysis.
Several major studies of a similar nature have also been completed
by Seattle Metro in Elliott Bay. This kind of information will
also be developed in the Port Gardner/Everett area. Additional
source-related work also may be necessary in Bellingham Bay and
Sinclair Inlet. The work planned in the Port Gardner/Everett
area is designed to identify all existing sources of toxicants,
and to develop estimates of toxicant loading to Port Gardner.
Where adequate site-specific data on hydrology or chemical
characteristics are not available, appropriate data from other
regional or national studies will be evaluated and extrapolated
to the Everett area. Gaps or inadequacies in existing data will
be identified. The effect of these deficiencies on the toxicant
loading estimates also will be evaluated. The processes of
toxicant deposition in Port Gardner and transport of toxicants
out of the area will also be examined by using mass balance

techniques and sedimentation rate analyses. These analyses will
require collection of a series of deep sediment cores in the area
and chemical analysis and lead-210 age-dating of the cores to
determine the history of sediment deposition and contamination
over time. Completion of the analysis is expected in late fall
of 1984.
WDOE undertook a major new initiative in the fall of 1983 to
develop a coordinated, intergovernmental shellfish program. This
effort, a part of the WDOE/EPA Puget Sound water quality manage-
ment program, is being staffed and funded largely by WDOE.
Burley Lagoon, Minter Bay, and their associated watersheds
are being studied in detail. Land use patterns, fecal coliform
bacteria sources, and fecal coliform bacteria concentrations in
feeder streams, receiving waters, sediment, and oyster tissues
will be determined under various streamflow conditions. Flushing
action and exchange processes in the bay will also be evaluated
to determine if they affect bacterial concentrations.
Burley Lagoon and its associated watersheds were selected
for a basin planning effort to be conducted by Pierce County and
Kitsap County, with funding provided by WDOE. Existing land use
and runoff control regulations and ordinances will be evaluated
and modified as necessary to establish effective regulatory
controls. The work effort is expected to be completed by summer
of 1984.
WDOE is considering the merits of establishing a "no major
additional discharge" policy that could apply to domestic sewage
treatment plant discharges, industrial discharges, and stormwater
discharges to areas with substantial shellfish resources. This
effort will involve evaluation of the alternative forms such a
policy might take, and development of a methodology for determin-
ing those geographic areas to which such a policy should be
applied. These evaluations are expected to be completed by mid-
A brief evaluation of the management structure and problem-
solving approaches employed in the recently completed Chesapeake
Bay water quality program was undertaken in order to learn from
that work. In addition, an identification of the major regula-
tory decisions facing various agencies in the Puget Sound region
and an evaluation of the decision processes is currently underway.
This work will be completed in the fall of 1983.
An evaluation of several institutional options for coordinat-
ing and managing policy level direction of Puget Sound water
quality management activities also has been initiated. The
results of this work will be helpful in understanding future
institutional needs and may prove useful in helping to define the

direction arid role of the newly established Puget Sound Water
Quality Authority. This same effort will identify and evaluate
options for improving interagency coordination in the development
of program plans and proposals for project-level investigations,
and in the implementation of specific projects and activities.
Both of these evaluations are expected by spring of 1984.
Priorities for Recommended Studies
Studies in Chapters 5-7 are designed to provide information
that water quality managers must have to evaluate current
environmental conditions and impacts of regulatory decisions.
The recommendations do not provide answers to all questions
relevant to water quality impacts. There are many questions that
are technically interesting and for which answers would be useful
to water quality managers. The recommendations provided in
Chapters 5-7 are considered high priority needs as determined
through an initial screening process. Furthermore, the studies
have been selected because the results are likely to provide
technically sound data that can be used to predict water quality
impacts and make management decisions.
Highest priority is given to those studies that are deemed
urgent or critical in meeting management needs. Recommendations
are classified by the general categories of mass loading, trans-
port and fate, and biological effects of pollutants. Within each
category, some recommended studies are judged more critical to
decision making than others. Table 3-1 summarizes the types of
recommended studies and their relative priority based on need for
data within each category. Monitoring program recommendations
are not included in Table 3-1, but are treated separately in
Chapter 8.
Since the results from each study should be used to focus
or interpret results from other studies, (the holistic approach),
the timing of each study is also important. Table 3-2 is an
effort to rank the recommended studies as a function of timing
priority, i.e. how the various studies should be phased. It
should be noted that timing priority in Table 3-2 may not
reflect the overall need to fill specific information gaps as in
Table 3-1. As decisions are made on which studies should be
undertaken, consideration should be given to the need for the
data (Table 3-1), and how the information from that and other
studies can be integrated (Table 3-2).
Monitoring programs (Chapter 8) will provide some data for
use in the recommended studies (Chapters 5-7). Although the use
of these data is encouraged, it should be noted that the purpose
of a monitoring program is to document environmental conditions
over time; therefore, the use of these data should be considered
carefully. In many respects, it is more likely that the outcome
of the recommended studies will influence the design and focus

Table 3-1. Recarmended Studies by Type and Approximate Degree of Priority Based on Need
for Data to Eliminate or Reduce Significant Information Gaps
Highest Priority	Moderate Priority	Lower Priority
Mass loading
High-priority pollutant lists
CSO effluent
Rivers discharging into urban embayments
Industrial survey
Transport and fate
Ccnpartmental distribution and fate in
Reactions at freshwater/saltwater interface
Model of Puget Sound
Model of Central Basin
Solids settling model
Biological effects
Body burdens, sediment concentration,
and incidence of disease
English sole bioassays
Rock.fish survey
Mass loading
Urban runoff
Municipal treatment plant survey
Atmospheric flux
Transport and fate
Advection of organic compounds
Organic pollutant fates
Biological effects
Benthic invertebrate comrrunities
Squid survey
Mass loading
Septic tank leachate
Historical spills
Transport and fate
Whidbey Basin model
Southern Puget Sound
Hood Canal model
Bellingham Bay model

Table 3-2. Reccmnended Studies Ranked by Approximate Degree of Priority
Based on Timing, i.e., Need for Data to Complement
Ongoing or Subsequent Studies
Study	Timing Priority
High priority pollutant lists	1
CSO effluent	1
Industrial survey	1
Rivers discharging into urban errbayments	1
Urban runoff	1
Municipal treatment plant survey	1
Body burdens, sediment concentration, and incidence of disease i
English sole bioassays	1
Rockfish survey	1
Squid survey	1
Ccmpartmental distribution and fate in sediments	1
Reactions at freshwater/saltwater interface	2
Atmospheric flux	2
Solids settling model	3
Model of Puget Sound	3
Model of Central Basin	3
Benthic invertebrate ccrnnunities	4
Advection of organic compounds	5
Organic pollutant fates	5
Septic tank leachate	5
Historical spills	6
Whidbey Basin model	7
Southern Puget Sound model	7
Hood Canal model	7
Bellingham Bay model	7

of monitoring programs. Major exceptions include mass loading
data obtained from monitoring programs.
Meeting Priority Data Needs
Specific data management needs were summarized in Chapter 2.
In addition, an effort has been made in Chapters 5-8 to describe
how each recommendation meets certain management needs. The
following is a brief outline of how the recommendations fit in
with the management needs outlined in Chapter 2. Names of study
recommendations are abbreviated as in Table 3-1 and 3-2. Full
technical descriptions are found in Chapters 5-8.
This information will be obtained from a combination of
recommended studies and recommended monitoring effort.
Recommended mass loading studies (Chapter 5) that will provide
these data are:
•	CSO effluent
•	Industrial survey
•	Rivers draining into urban embayments
•	Urban runoff
•	Municipal treatment plant survey
•	Atmospheric flux.
Some of this work is already underway in Commencement Bay,
Elliott Bay, and Port Gardner. Concurrent development of area-
specific high priority pollutant lists will greatly benefit from
these studies as well as help identify the pollutant species
needing quantification in these studies.
Existing monitoring efforts are generally inadequate for
meeting this management need, or these data would already have
been available. Some information can be provided by the 301(h)
monitoring program, but only with reference to municipal
dischargers. Metro's TPPS program will provide some mass loading
data for large CSOs in the Duwamish estuary, Elliott Bay, and
Lake Washington Ship Canal. The Renton treatment plant also
currently contributes to Elliott Bay. With implementation of
recommended changes, the PSAPCA and NPDES monitoring programs
could provide much of the necessary data, and will be
particularly valuable in identifying trends.

What are the Depositional Areas for Contaminated Sediments?
Recommended studies (Chapter 6) that will identify these areas
•	Model of Central Basin coupled with the model of Puget
Sound (the latter used to define boundary conditions)
•	Reactions at freshwater/saltwater interface
•	Solids settling model.
Probable depositional areas also can be identified by examining
existing sediment maps, as discussed in the recommended
comprehensive monitoring program. Some intensive monitoring
programs may have also obtained some useful data, and should be
What is the Retention of Pollutants Within the Bays?
Recommended studies (Chapter 6) that will help determine the
retention time are:
•	Model of Central Basin coupled with the model of Puget
•	Reactions at freshwater/saltwater interface
•	Solids settling model
•	Compartmental distribution and fate in sediments
•	Advection of organic compounds
•	Organic pollutant fates
•	Historical spills.
The on-going literature review of toxic compounds in Commencement
Bay will provide some of these data. The existing WDOE marine
monitoring program can provide some information on this subject
once transport and fate processes have been described by the
above studies. The monitoring programs proposed under the 301(h)
program may provide some useful data, as long as the discharges
occur into bays and not into the Central Basin or other large
basins of Puget Sound.
what Pollutant-Associated Biological Problems are Occurring
in Urban Bays? It is generally assumed that some of the fish
diseases now observed in urban embayment populations are caused
by pollution. An immediate need is better documentation of the
relationship between chemical and biological information.
Following this initial effort, there is a need to address causal
mechanisms. Studies that will address these needs (Chapter 7)

•	Body burdens, sediment levels, and incidence of disease
in English sole
•	English sole bioassays
•	Rockfish survey
•	Squid survey
•	Benthic invertebrate communities.
Data from intensive monitoring surveys and Metro's TPPS study can
be used to identify some problems. Data from intensive surveys
cannot always be used to correlate pollutant levels with observed
effects, let alone identify causal mechanisms. Whether Metro's
TPPS study will be able to provide some of these data remains to
be seen. The 301(h) monitoring program may be able to identify
water quality problems if they result from these discharges, but
causal mechanisms are unlikely to be identified. The same
limitation applies to the comprehensive monitoring program
outlined in Chapter 8. Work currently underway by EPA will
provide useful data on the relationship between sediment
contamination and the incidence of disease.
What Action T.evels Could be Developed? Water quality
criteria have been established by EPA for certain chemical
compounds. Action is taken to prevent these compounds from
exceeding levels in the water column that are presumed to be
hazardous to aquatic life or human health. Similar action levels
for concentrations in sediment or biota may be necessary for
compounds found at hazardous levels in sediment or biota, even
though at low concentrations in the water column. This
management need will require data from recommended studies and
monitoring. Preliminary planning work is currently underway.
The studies listed in the previous data need (biological
problems) will provide data that can be used toward reaching this
objective. In particular, the English sole bioassays, the field
study on English sole, and sediment bioassays conducted as part
of the benthic invertebrate communities study will be of value.
To a limited extent, the comprehensive monitoring program, the
Basic Water Monitoring Program (BWMP), and the shellfish PSP and
coliform bacteria monitoring programs (Chapter 8) can provide
useful data in noting what levels of pollutants are associated
with certain biological effects. Additional data could be
provided by the 301(h) monitoring programs, if these programs are
implemented as recommended.
What are the Loadings From Mai or Urban Embavments? This
data need can be addressed by the work outlined for the retention
of pollutants within the bays.

What are the Depositional Areas for Contaminated Sediments?
This data need can be approached with the same effort outlined
for urban embayments.
Are There Biological Problems in the Central Basin? Most of
this information will come from a comprehensive monitoring
program (Chapter 8). In particular, the recommended sediment and
bioaccumulation elements of the comprehensive monitoring program
will ascertain whether organisms in the Central Basin are being
exposed to accumulating amounts of toxicants or are building up
body burdens of compounds that either can be associated with or
lead to adverse impacts on beneficial uses. At present, benthos
and demersal fish are prime candidates for a comprehensive
monitoring program. There is no existing evidence that primary
producers or pelagic species have been adversely impacted in
urban embayments or in the Central Basin. NOAA is currently
investigating toxicant concentrations in birds and mammals of
Puget Sound. Whether any species other than benthos and demersal
fish require monitoring will not be clear until this NOAA study
is completed.
What are the Trends in Water Quality. Contaminated
Sediments, and Biota? Most of these data will be provided by
long-term monitoring effort because the data need is time
dependent. Existing programs that could be used in providing
some information are the BWMP, the WDOE marine water monitoring
program, and the shellfish PSP monitoring program. However, as
now operated, these programs leave major issues and large areas
of the Sound unaddressed. Part of this missing coverage could be
remedied by implementation of the recommended changes to these
programs (Chapter 8). However, the best way to meet this
objective is to implement the recommended sediment and bioaccumu-
lation elements of the comprehensive monitoring program. These
two elements, in association with the WDOE marine water monitor-
ing program, will fulfill this management need.
What Action Levels Could be Developed? In many respects,
the data obtained to identify probable action levels in urban
embayments will be applicable to identifying probable action
levels in the Central Basin. Before this management need can be
further addressed, it must first be determined whether biological
problems occur outside of the urban embayments.


Chapter 4
Many chemical compounds are discharged to Puget Sound. Some
of these are very toxic in small quantities, others are not known
to be toxic. Before mass loading studies can be planned and
conducted (Chapter 5), the list of chemical compounds targeted
for evaluation must be shortened to a manageable length. For the
most part, the existing data (Jones & Stokes Associates, Inc.
1983) are only sophisticated enough to identify groups of organic
compounds and heavy metal elements that are likely candidates.
These are identified in this chapter. Work is recommended in
Chapter 5 to refine this preliminary list to specific chemical
isomers or chemical species in different areas of Puget Sound.
Selection Criteria
The EPA priority pollutant list identifies 126 hazardous
compounds, chosen primarily because of their toxicity, persis-
tence, ability to bioaccumulate, scale of production, and chance
for release to the nation's environment. The EPA list was used
primarily as a starting point for development of a preliminary
list of high priority pollutants. Priority pollutant compounds
were reviewed (Jones & stokes Associates, Inc. 1983) to determine
those most likely to be of concern based on their structural and
behavioral characteristics. Local information was then reviewed
to ascertain which of these compounds were highly concentrated or
widespread in Puget Sound, or implicated as likely causes of
observed biological effects. Characteristics evaluated include:
•	Acute and sublethal toxicity, including known or
suspected carcinogenicity, mutagenicity, and
•	Ability of organisms to detoxify or adapt to known
levels of pollutant in the environment.
•	Tendency for persistence in the aquatic environment.
•	Tendency to bioaccumulate and pose health hazards to
the organism or to higher trophic level organisms.
•	Degree of contamination relative to expected background
levels and to other polluted areas.

• Spatial extent of contamination within Puget Sound.
• Number and type of environmental compartments (water,
sediment, biota) known to display elevated concentra-
tions .
Selection of High Priority Pollutants
Based on the above criteria, the following preliminary list
was developed for Puget Sound:
•	Pesticides; DDT and its metabolites DDD and DDE;
possibly aldrin and its metabolite dieldrin, and
•	Polychlorinated biphenyls: particularly the more
heavily chlorinated tetrachloro- through nonachlorobi-
•	Halogenated aliphatics: particularly chlorinated buta-
dienes (CBDs); possibly tri- and tetrachloroethy1ene.
•	Monocyclic aromatics: particularly chlorinated
•	Polvchlorinated dibenzofurans and pentachlorophenol.
•	Polycvclic aromatic compounds! particularly
naphthalenes, fluoranthenes, benzota]- and
dibenzo[a]anthracene, benzoialpyrene; possibly
•	Heavy metals; lead, mercury, silver, copper, arsenic,
cadmium; possibly selenium.
The above list is not meant to be exhaustive, nor is it
final. In fact, refinement is recommended in Chapter 5. The
list should be modified as new data are obtained. These com-
pounds were chosen on the basis of their existing or potential
impact in the aquatic environment; compounds typically existing
as air pollutants were not considered except as they impact
water. A number of other compounds are potential candidates for
listing because of their toxicity and/or ability to bioaccu-
mulate, but available data on distribution, sources, and
concentration are limited. Absence of information does not
necessarily indicate lack of a problem; in many cases it may
indicate a lack of sampling. Additional information is likely to
result in additions to or deletions from the above list. As
noted in Chapter 3, EPA has already begun to work on this data

Most priority pollutant pesticides are now either banned or
severely restricted in usage. Input can be expected to continue
to decrease. However, some compounds are still of concern;
current concentrations in the environment may pose significant
hazard to marine biota. The potential hazard of certain banned
compounds may not decrease for some time, primarily because of
their persistence, continuing high levels in Puget Sound
sediments or biota, and bioaccumulative ability. Metabolites of
these compounds also are often very toxic, and little is known of
their distribution, metabolic pathways, or concentrations.
The primary pesticide of concern appears to be DDT and its
metabolites DDD and DDE. DDT was banned in the United States in
1972, so input should be decreasing. All three compounds are
listed as priority pollutants by EPA, and are classified by
Chapman et al. (1982a) as Category 1 compounds because of their
persistence, bioaccumulative ability, and nonvolatility. They
are also considered to be Category 1 pollutants of concern by
Konasewich et al. (1982) based on wide distribution and relative-
ly high concentrations in Puget Sound. In most areas of the
world, DDE is the predominant form in sediments. However, DDT
appears to be the predominant form in Puget Sound sediments, in-
dicating either recent input of DDT or lack of metabolic activity
in the sediments. Dry weight samples of biota from Commencement
and Elliott Bays show considerably higher concentrations than
other areas of Puget Sound, indicating that contamination results
from localized sources.
Aldrin and dieldrin were banned from usage in the United
States in 1974, and endrin was banned in 1979 (Frandsen pers.
comm.). Input of these compounds should therefore be decreasing.
All three compounds are classified as EPA priority pollutants.
Chapman et al. (1982a) classify aldrin as a Category 2 compound
(persistent, bioaccumulative and volatile), and dieldrin and
endrin as Category 1 compounds (persistent, bioaccumulative and
nonvolatile). Konasewich et al. (1982) consider dieldrin and
endrin as Category 5 compounds (those which are toxic, but for
which additional information is required).
Aldrin is readily metabolized to dieldrin, which tends to
persist in the marine environment. It is therefore likely that
dieldrin, not aldrin, is of greater long-term concern. Dieldrin
is one of the most persistent of the organochlorine pesticides
(Callahan et al. 1979) and is also considered a potential carci-
nogen (Sittig 1980). Bioaccumulation factors of 60,000 and 2,700
have been noted for snails and fish, respectively (Callahan et
al. 1979).
Little information on local distribution or concentration is
available. Low levels of aldrin and endrin have been detected in
Puget Sound sediments (Konasewich et al. 1982). Aldrin and
dieldrin have been detected in West Point treatment plant efflu-
ent, even though banned. Aldrin and dieldrin are extremely toxic

to most forms of life, including molluscs and other invertebrates
(Sittig 1980). EPA (1980) criteria for aldrin state that levels
in water are not to exceed a value of 1.3 ppb; criteria for
dieldrin are 0.0019 ppb (24-hour average), not to exceed
0.71 ppb.
Endrin is isomeric with dieldrin. It is persistent and
highly toxic in the marine environment; toxicity to pink shrimp
has been noted at 0.037 ppb. Chronic toxicity to mammals is also
greater for endrin than for other organochlorine pesticides. EPA
(1980) water quality criteria for saltwater organisms are
0.0023 ppb (24-hour average), not to exceed 0.037 ppb. Endrin is
readily bioaccumulated, and has been reported to reach concentra-
tion factors of 6,400 in marine fish (Sittig 1980).
Data for aldrin, endrin, and dieldrin are limited, and it is
not now possible to accurately assess their importance in Puget
Sound. Because of their toxicity and persistence, it is believed
that initial work on Puget Sound biota and pollutants should
include these three pesticides to determine their degree of
presence and the extent of their local hazard.
Although their production has been terminated, polychlori-
nated biphenyls (PCBs) are EPA priority pollutants and are
considered Category 1 pollutants by Chapman et al. (1982a)
because of their persistence, bioaccumulative ability, and
nonvolatility. Konasewich et al. (1982) also consider PCBs to be
pollutants of concern based on their widespread dispersion and
predominance in Puget Sound sediments and biota. They are also
considered to be of primary concern in this study because of the
unknowns regarding their metabolites and reactions in seawater,
and because of their potential health effects. Levels in
Commencement and Elliott Bay biota range up to 0.850 and 2.1 ppm
wet weight, respectively, for English sole muscle; much higher
levels are found in liver tissue (Malins et al. 1982). In
comparison, current United States and Canadian guidelines for
consumption of PCBs in fish are 5 ppm and 2 ppm wet weight,
The main monocyclic aromatic hydrocarbons of concern appear
to be the chlorinated benzenes. Of these, chlorobenzene, three
dichlorobenzenes, trichlorobenzene, and hexachlorobenzene are EPA
priority pollutants. Chapman et al. (1982a) rank all of these as
Category 2 pollutants (persistent, bioaccumulative and volatile),
with the exception of hexachlorobenzene, which is ranked as a
Category 1 pollutant (persistent, bioaccumulative, and non-
volatile). Konasewich et al. (1982) consider these compounds
to be pollutants of concern based on their toxicity and wide-
spread distribution in Puget Sound. These compounds, and
particularly hexachlorobenzene, are identified as high priority
pollutants in this study for the same reasons. Sediment analyses

from Hylebos Waterway, Old Tacoma, and Elliott Bay identify
several hundred organic compounds; tri-, tetra-, penta-, and
hexachlorobenzenes are all present, often in fairly high
concentrations relative to the other organic compounds in the
area. Concentrations of hexachlorobenzene were particularly
high. This compound was found in 59 of 61 areas sampled
throughout Puget Sound. Concentrations reach 1,300 ppm in
Commencement Bay sediments (Malins et al. 1982). Levels in
Commencement Bay biota were also relatively high in comparison to
other areas (Konasewich et al. 1982). Although no EPA water
quality criteria guidelines have been established for chlorinated
benzenes, acute and chronic toxicity levels of 160 and 129 ppb,
respectively, are noted for saltwater biota (EPA 1980).
Halogenated aliphatic compounds are generally volatile, but
two of those classified by EPA as priority pollutant compounds
tend to be persistent, bioaccumulative and nonvolatile. Of these
two, only hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD) appears to be present in
Puget Sound in high concentrations, although sampling has been
limited (Konasewich et al. 1982). HCBD is considered a
Category 1 pollutant by Chapman et al. (1982a) based on its per-
sistence, bioaccumulative ability and nonvolatility. Konasewich
et al. (1982) classify chlorinated butadienes (CBDs) in general as
pollutants of concern based on their presence in all compartments
of the Puget Sound ecosystem. The group as a whole is considered
to be of high priority in this study because a number of volatile
CBDs and their isomers are widely distributed and are often found
in high concentrations in Puget Sound. Furthermore, low levels
have been shown to produce chronic effects on biota. HCBD, for
example, is considered fetotoxic, nephrotoxic, neurotoxic, and
carcinogenic (EPA 1980). Tri-, tetra-, and pentachlorobutadiene
reach levels of 1,000-4,000 ppm in Hylebos Waterway sediments.
Dichlorobutadiene is also present but appears to be approximately
two orders of magnitude less in concentration (Malins et al.
1982) and probably exhibits lower toxicity than the others
because it has fewer chlorines. Dry weight concentrations of
total CBDs in Commencement Bay sediments have reached 20,000 ppb
(Malins et al. 1982) and concentrations in English sole livers of
Hylebos Waterway have been noted at 8600, 410, 220, and 10 ppb
for the hexa-, penta-, tetra-, and trichlorinated butadienes.
Several chlorinated ethylenes (ethenes) are listed as EPA
priority pollutants. Although Chapman et al. (1982a) classified
these compounds as Category 4 pollutants (persistent, non-
bioaccumulative, and volatile), Callahan et al. (1979) have
noted that several of these compounds are known to bioaccumulate.
Konasewich et al. (1982) consider chlorinated ethylenes as
Category 1 pollutants because concentrations in water, parti-
cularly in Hylebos Waterway, indicate discharges of these
compounds are continually occurring. Chlorinated ethylenes are
considered in this report as possibly high priority pollutants

because little is currently known about levels in sediment and
biota, and potential effects on biota. Concentrations in water at
Hylebos Waterway are high (3 ppb) relative to concentrations
reported elsewhere in marine waters (0.01 ppb). Although this
level in water is as much as three orders of magnitude lower than
EPA (1980) guidelines, these data suggest that concentrations in
sediments and biota may be higher than elsewhere in the marine
environment because of continued input.
Polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) are not considered EPA
priority pollutants, but Konasewich et al. (1982) consider them
pollutants of concern because of their toxicity and potentially
widespread distribution. Because their structure indicates they
are persistent, bioaccumulative, and nonvolatile, they would be
considered Category 1 compounds under the system developed by
Chapman et al. (1982a). PCDFs are also closely related to the
chlorinated dibenzodioxins, which are among the most toxic
compounds known. Omission from the EPA priority pollutant list
often means that the compound will be overlooked or appear less
important; preliminary efforts in pollutant detection often focus
primarily on the EPA priority pollutants. This may be the reason
that little local information is available now for these
Hexa-, penta-, and tetrachlorodibenzofurans have been
detected in Puget Sound sediments, although levels were not
quahtified (Malins et al. 1980). Malins et al. (1982) also noted
low concentrations of dichlorodibenzofurans in a subsequent
analysis of Tacoma sediments. Although reports concerning the
presence of PCDFs are few, there is a potential for widespread
distribution because these compounds are present as occasional
contaminants in PCB and pentachlorophenol (PCP) formulations.
PCP is widely used as a wood preservative and in pulpmills,
sawmills, and lumber terminals. A major PCP producer is located
in Tacoma. An EPA priority pollutant, it is a possible precursor
of PCDFs and is highly toxic to a variety of organisms, it is
adsorbed by organic matter and known to bioaccumulate. Some
continuing sources have also been identified, but a few pre-
liminary analyses of sediments have generally shown no observable
concentrations. It seems likely that PCDFs and PCP are poten-
tially widely present, but quantification is needed.
Toxicity of PCDF compounds varies, depending on the number
and position of the chlorine atoms. Certain compounds have been
shown to be highly toxic to birds and mammals, although infor-
mation concerning aquatic organisms is lacking. As these
compounds appear to be highly bioaccumulated, consumers of
contaminated aquatic organisms could potentially be affected.
The most immediate data requirements concern identification of
the isomers present, and the need to determine their distribution
and concentrations. PCP and its degradation products should
also be examined more closely.

Nearly all of the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs)
are of concern. Sixteen compounds are listed on the EPA priority
pollutant list, but a very large number of related compounds have
been noted in Puget Sound. All PAHs listed as priority pollu-
tants are considered Category 1 pollutants (persistent,
bioaccumulative, and nonvolatile) by Chapman et al. (1982a).
On the basis of their characteristics and distribution,
naphthalene, chlorinated and brominated naphthalenes, the
fluoranthenes, benzota]- and dibenzo[a]anthracene, benzofa]-
pyrene, and other halogenated PAHs are all considered Category 1
pollutants by Konasewich et al. (1982). Many PAHs are carcino-
genic. They are widespread throughout Puget Sound, but reach
particularly high concentrations in Commencement and Elliott
It is difficult to evaluate the relative importance of many
compounds in this group because data concerning distribution,
concentration, and environmental compartment are limited, so that
existing data may not be representative. Information concerning
behavior of some compounds is also limited. This group was
considered to be of primary concern in this study based on:
large number of compounds observed; distribution; concentration
in sediments, suspended matter, and water; structure; properties;
and health effects. Additional sampling will undoubtedly
indicate the presence of other PAH compounds in Puget Sound.
PAHs chosen as high priority pollutants correspond fairly closely
to those chosen by Konasewich et al. (1982), and include
fluoranthenes, naphthalenes and selected anthracenes and pyrenes.
Fluoranthene compounds are numerous and widely dispersed.
Sampling of sediments at only three sites (Old Tacoma, Hylebos
Waterway, and Seattle Pier 54) indicated the presence of
fluoranthene, approximately nine types of chlorofluoranthenes/
pyrenes, and at least six other types of fluoranthenes/pyrenes,
methyl fluoranthenes/ pyrenes, and benzofluoranthenes.
Fluoranthene and benzof1uoranthene appear to be the most highly
concentrated of these compounds, with concentrations ranging from
1-8 ppb in sediments for all three areas tested (Malins et al.
1980). They are considered carcinogens and/or co-carcinogens,
and have been found to be present in a number of Puget Sound
organisms, as well as in sediments, suspended particulates, and
the water column.
Naphthalene compounds are numerous and in high concentra-
tions in Commencement and Elliott Bay sediments. Naphthalene,
eight chlorinated naphthalenes, and at least 12 other naphthalene
compounds have been noted at only three sample sites by Malins et
al. (1982). Naphthalenes are widely distributed, and have been
found in sediment, water, and biota in areas from Port Susan to
Case Inlet. In general, the chlorinated naphthalenes were noted
at concentrations an order of magnitude less than that of other
naphthalene compounds, but they are more prone to bioaccumulation
because of their chlorine content.

Naphthalene is acutely toxic to invertebrates (Sittig 1980),
and concentrations may be approaching levels observed to affect
benthos populations. Armstrong et al. (1979 in Konasewich et al.
1982) suggest that levels as low as 2 ppm in sediments can affect
biota. Naphthalene compounds in Old Tacoma and Seattle Pier 54
were found to total approximately 2 ppm and 3.6 ppm, respectively
(Malins et al. 1980).
Anthracene compounds are also numerous and of conspicuously
high concentration in sediments. Anthracene, benzo[a]- and
dibenzo[alanthracene, five chlorinated/brominated anthracenes,
and six additional anthracene/phenanthracene compounds were noted
by Malins et al. (1980) in the sediments at three locations
tested. There is widespread distribution of benzo[aJanthracene
in both sediments and biota from Case Inlet to Seattle. Concen-
trations of chlorinated anthracenes were two to three orders of
magnitude below levels of other anthracene compounds. Benzo[al-
anthracene was particularly highly concentrated, ranging from
2-7 ppm in the Tacoma area and at Seattle Pier 54. Dibenzota]-
anthracene was found less frequently and at an order of magnitude
less concentration in sediments (Malins et al. 1980). However,
as it contains one more ring than benzo[a]anthracene, it is
likely to be more highly bioaccumulated (Callahan et al. 1979).
Both compounds are considered likely to be carcinogens
(Konasewich et al. 1982).
Benzo[a]pyrene and pyrene appear widespread, and were noted
in concentrations ranging from 0.3-2.0 ppm and 2.0-10.0 ppm,
respectively, in Tacoma and Seattle waterfront sediments by
Malins et al. (1980). Benzo[a]pyrene is a recognized carcinogen
and has been found in numerous locations in the sediment, water
column, and various invertebrates.
High concentrations of metals have been noted in sediments,
water column, and biota, but no data exist to determine whether
heavy metals are adversely affecting biota. As elements, metals
will not degrade, and most are bioaccumulated, often as essential
nutrients. Toxicity is a function of the chemical species in
which the metal occurs. Identification of which chemical species
should be listed as high priority pollutants is one of the more
urgent data needs for heavy metals. Continued metal input is
expected, although improved effluent treatment practices have
decreased heavy metal mass loading compared to that of 10 years
Lead. Lead is an EPA priority pollutant and is considered
by Chapman et al. (1982a) as a Category 1 pollutant based on its
persistence, bioaccumulative ability and nonvolatility.
Konasewich et al. (1982) and Crecelius (pers. comm.) also consi-
der it as one of the heavy metals of greatest concern. Lead
concentrations are elevated in sediments, water, and biota, and
lead has been observed in high concentrations in nearly all urban
areas. Highest concentrations have been noted in the lower

Duwamish River and Hylebos and City Waterways in Tacoma. Local
concentrations in sediments have been noted to reach 790 ppm
(Malins et al. 1980). Lead is also bioaccumulated, and concen-
tration factors of greater than 2,500 have been noted for the
mussel Mvtilus edulis (Konasewich et al. 1982). Local concen-
trations in biota have been noted to reach 22.9 ppm (Malins et
al. 1980). Although EPA water quality criteria guidelines have
not been established for saltwater biota, acute and chronic
toxicity levels for marine organisms are noted at 450 and 25 ppb,
respectively (EPA 1980).
Mercury. Mercury is an EPA priority pollutant, and is
considered a Category 1 pollutant by Chapman et al. (1982a); a
pollutant of concern by Konasewich et al. (1982); and the metal
of greatest concern by Crecelius (pers. comm.). It is
persistent, bioaccumulative, and one of the few heavy metals
known to biomagnify. Concentration factors of 100,000 and 1,670
have been observed in marine invertebrates and fishes,
respectively (Callahan et al. 1979).
Mercury is elevated in Puget Sound water, sediments, and
biota; it has been observed at concentrations of >1 ppm in
sediments of Sinclair Inlet and Bellingham, Elliott, and
Commencement Bays (Malins et al. 1982). Concentrations in Puget
Sound bottomfish, salmon, and dogfish have been noted at 74, 77,
and 970 ppb, respectively (Dexter et al. 1981). Mercury is of
concern because of possible effects to consumers of Puget Sound
Mercury has been estimated to have five times the toxicity
of lead (Schroeder in Konasewich et al. 1982). EPA (1980)
criteria guidelines recommend a maximum concentration in water of
0.025 ppb (24-hour average), never to exceed 3.7 ppb, for marine
Silver. Silver is an EPA priority pollutant, and is
considered as a Category 1 pollutant by Chapman et al. (1982a),
and a pollutant of concern by Konasewich et al. (1982) and
Crecelius (pers. comm.). Dexter et al. (1981) believed data on
silver to be limited and of unknown quality. It is persistent,
bioaccumulative, and elevated in local water, sediment, and
biota. Silver concentrations are highest in Sinclair Inlet and
City and Sitcom Waterways in Tacoma. Concentrations from 1,000
to 11,000 ppb have been observed in dry weight sediments from a
number of diverse areas (Malins et al. 1980). Silver is bioac-
cumulated primarily through the water, and concentrations have
been noted to reach 6,070 ppb in local biota (Konasewich et al.
1982). Silver is considered to be one of the most toxic metals,
and very low levels have been shown to affect aquatic organisms.
A maximum concentration in water never to exceed 2.3 ppb is
recommended by EPA (1980) for saltwater life. No 24-hour
criteria are available.
Copper. Copper is an EPA priority pollutant, and is
considered a Category 1 pollutant by Chapman et al. (1982a), and

a pollutant of concern by Konasewich et al. (1982) and Crecelius
(pers. comm.). It is persistent, bioaccumulated, and elevated in
local sediments and water. There is also limited evidence for
its bioaccumulation in demersal fishes. Accumulation of copper
has been noted in fish (liver) and invertebrates to levels of
17.6 ppm and 79.7 ppm, respectively (Malins et al. 1980). Dry
weight sediment concentrations of 1,600 ppm have been noted; in
comparison, EPA guidelines within the Great Lakes consider dry
weight sediments in excess of 50 ppm copper as "heavily polluted"
(Konasewich et al. 1982).
Copper (as cupric ion) is very toxic to marine biota.
Konasewich et al. (1982) report 96-hr LC50 values as low as 5 ppb
total dissolved copper. Marine invertebrate larvae are particu-
larly sensitive, but sensitivity is widely variable among
species. EPA (1980) guidelines specify a maximum 24-hour average
of 4 ppb total dissolved copper, never to exceed 23 ppb. Sanders
et al. (1983) tested crab larvae at total dissolved copper con-
centrations between 0.57 and 1270 ppb, resulting in a calculated
cupric ion concentration of 0.003-10 parts per trillion. Survi-
val and duration of the larval stage did not change over the
range of test conditions, but larval growth decreased at total
copper concentration above 60 ppb. In Puget Sound, total
dissolved copper ranges from 0.1 to 3 ppb (Schell 1976).
Arsenic and Cadmium. Some controversy exists over the
importance of arsenic and cadmium as toxic pollutants in Puget
Sound. Both are EPA priority pollutants and are considered
Category 1 pollutants by Chapman et al. (1982a) because of their
persistence, bioaccumulative ability, and nonvolatility.
Konasewich et al. (1982) consider them compounds of concern.
Crecelius (pers. comm.) believes they are not of great concern
because neither appears to be affecting Puget Sound biota at the
present time. Dexter et al. (1981) believe data on cadmium are
of uncertain quality.
Arsenic is a known human carcinogen, but this has not been
shown for animals. There is evidence that suggests bioaccumula-
tion in demersal fishes. Little is known about arsenic concen-
trations in or effects on marine biota (Sittig 1980; Konasewich
et al. 1982). The primary anthropogenic source is the ASARCO
smelter. Highest levels of arsenic are found in the vicinity of
ASARCO and in sediments of Quartermaster Harbor. It reaches
concentrations up to 10,000 ppm in localized areas near the
source (Konasewich et al. 1982). EPA (1980) water quality
criteria for arsenic include a saltwater acute criterion of
508 ug/1 and state that the criterion should be lower among
species more sensitive than those tested. No chronic criterion
is given.
Cadmium levels in Elliott Bay sediments reach at least
18 ppm, and exceed "heavily polluted" levels designated for Great
Lakes harbors (Konasewich et al. 1982). Cadmium is also elevated
in sediments of Commencement Bay (up to 16 ppm), and Budd Inlet
(up to 11 ppm) (Dexter et al. 1981), but little concentration

data from water column or biota are available. Cadmium is also
strongly bioaccumulated through both food and water and is
relatively mobile in the environment (Callahan et al. 1979), so
it is bioavailable for many organisms. Concentration factors of
250,000 and 3,000 have been noted for marine invertebrates and
fish, respectively, (Callahan et al. 1979) in other areas. Low
levels are capable of causing chronic effects; 6.5 ppb and 5 ppb
have been shown to affect mysid shrimp respiration and brood
formation. Existing levels also exceed concentrations shown to
affect burrowing in some clam species (Konasewich et al. 1982).
EPA (1980) Water Quality Criteria guidelines for cadmium are
4.5 ppb for a 24-hour period, not to exceed 59 ppb at any time.
Selenium. Selenium is an EPA priority pollutant, and is
considered to be a Category 1 pollutant by Chapman et al. (1982a)
because of its persistence, bioaccumulative ability, and nonvola-
tility. Local researchers have varying opinions concerning
selenium. Dexter et al. (1981) believe selenium data are
unreliable; Konasewich et al. (1982) consider selenium to be a
pollutant of concern; and Crecelius (pers. comm.) believes it is
not a problem. It is highly elevated in Puget Sound sediments,
and concentrations as high as 113 ppm in dry weight sediments
have been noted (Konasewich et al. 1982). There appear to be few
data for water column and biota. However, selenium is acutely
toxic to aquatic invertebrates and fishes (Sittig 1980); the EPA
(1980) criterion for protection of saltwater life is 54 ppb
(24-hour average), not to exceed 410 ppb (recoverable inorganic


Chapter 5
A review of the existing pollutant loading data (Jones &
Stokes Associates, Inc. 1983) revealed that pollutant loading
from many sources is poorly understood, both qualitatively and
quantitatively. Without accurate knowledge of pollutant con-
tributions from various sources, efficient and effective
pollution control decisions cannot be made. Therefore, addi-
tional mass loading studies are needed to quantitatively
determine the significance of the different sources of
The list of high priority pollutants presented in Chapter 4
generally provides the focus for the effort in the following
studies. Exceptions to this are noted as appropriate. In all
cases, mass loading studies must evaluate the chemical species,
or isomeric forms in which pollutants occur. Furthermore, the
data must distinguish between pollutants in the dissolved and
particulate state to the extent that this information may be
Data from mass loading studies significantly influence the
focus of studies on transport and fate processes (Chapter 6) and
biological effects (Chapter 7) by identifying those pollutants
that should be investigated and where. Mutual feedback between
mass loading and biological effects studies is generally practi-
cal because many of the studies are internally subdivided into
phases. Progress and results of early phases help define or
focus the work effort in later phases.
The purpose of a mass loading study must be clearly defined
before initiation of the program. Each study must provide data
that will meet one or more of the following data needs:
•	What are the high priority pollutants in given
geographical (water mass) areas, based on suspected
biological effects and suspected quantities discharged
or retained in the area?
•	What are the major sources of high priority pollutants?
•	What are the loadings of high priority pollutants for
each identified or suspected source?
The mass loading studies presented below will provide a better
definition of the magnitude of the various pollutant sources to
Puget Sound. These mass loading studies should provide

information that will enable water quality managers to compare
relative mass loadings among various sources, and make cost-
effective decisions regarding any necessary control measures or
remedial actions.
High Priority Pollutant Lists by Geographic Area
Need. The list of high priority pollutants identified in
Chapter 4 is a preliminary list based on existing information
developed for Puget Sound as a whole. The Sound is sufficiently
large and the range of human activities sufficiently diverse that
large quantities of certain pollutants may be found only in
localized areas of the Sound. Furthermore, the speciation of
these compounds can alter toxic effects, and may vary from area
to area. There is a need to refine the preliminary list of high
priority pollutants to provide water quality managers with a list
of pollutant species, isomers, and their metabolites that would
be most appropriate for monitoring or research analyses in
localized areas.
1.	Develop a semiquantitative estimate of pollutants
entering localized areas of Puget sound.
2.	Identify the chemical species, isomers, and degradation
products of priority pollutants in various areas of
Puget Sound.
3.	Conduct a literature review to identify respective
toxicological effects.
4.	Refine the list of high priority pollutants by area as
other mass loading studies are conducted.
5.	Develop open file reports on high priority pollutants
by geographic area.
Methodology. The preliminary high priority pollutant list
in Chapter 4 represents a starting point for the development of
more refined lists for localized areas of Puget Sound. Pollu-
tants listed in Chapter 4 should not be deleted from the regional
lists of high priority pollutants unless it can be shown that
mass loading is minimal and the toxicity of the chemical species,
isomer, or degradation products does not warrant high priority
status in a given localized area. This list may be further
modified pending the outcome of studies conducted for EPA Office
of Policy and Research Management on the pulp and paper mill
industry (Woods pers. comm.). Similar evaluations should be
conducted if and when comparable data are obtained for other
industries, and as data are obtained from mass loading studies.

Semiquantitative estimates of pollutant loadings into
regional areas of Puget Sound can be developed using existing
monitoring data obtained by major dischargers and published
national average concentrations for discharger SIC numbers (SCS
Engineers 1981). Alternative strategies may need to be developed
for small municipal dischargers that have not been required to
monitor concentrations of priority pollutants in the effluent but
receive industrial wastes. These estimates can be used to
establish and refine regional lists of high priority pollutants.
A literature review should be conducted to document
estimated toxic risk for each chemical species, isomer, or
byproduct, perhaps in the manner described by Klapow and Lewis
(1979) and illustrated in Figure 5-1.
The list or lists of high priority pollutants should be
developed as open file reports, i.e., constantly amended as new
information is obtained by water quality managers.
Rpnefits to Water Quality Managers. The development of
regional (localized) lists of high priority pollutants will help
focus localized monitoring and research efforts on those
pollutants. These lists also can be used to focus source
investigation activities and transport/fate studies. The lists
provide flexibility in establishing monitoring programs and
permit conditions from area to area.
CSQ Effluent
Nine cities that discharge to the study area have
combined storm and sewer systems; six of these (BeiiintL™
Bremerton, Everett, Olympia, Port Angeles, Seattle Jet™?
discharge into confined urban embavmentq	Metro)
emergency overflow stations that provide'a mM!! systems contain
treatment plant, i.e. dischargewithoutthe
of heavy rainfall. The pollutant loadingperiods
overflows (CSOs) is potentially significant-	bined sewer
events. Limited information currently exists o^disJhfrgf
quality and volumes. Seattle Metro	aiscnarge
study as part of their tpps program, and recpnt f9 i CS0
Metro and Bremerton have quantified CSO flows and °f	°£
flow events (Kievit pers. comm.). PollutantconcJttatlo^
information is needed to enable water ouaiit-v	I
evaluate6anySneed8for^control'measures^0"1 CS°8 * ^ t0
from CSOsCtoVUgetEloi?ldtontan annui? of seasonal
toward"character^Lzation of^SO"flows^hat'woui'^ <3irected
approximation without detailed monitoring of each csS." cISfto

Figure 5-1. Example of Toxicity Data Plotted for a Chemical Species
&	•
H	d) u)
3	° B1
<	-p o
m o s
U +j w
•H Q)
§-S.5 §


o o <
ooo r

U x


Conservative Estimate of Acute
Toxicity (3,000 ug/1).
Conservative Estimate of Chronic
Toxicity (14.6 ug/1).
Average Seawater Concentration
(0.2 ug/1).
Source: Modified from California State Water Resources Control Board 1983.

be evaluated by this study must discharge into urban embayments
at a frequency of at least one discharge in two years, (i.e.
discharge during a median flow event). If significant variation
in volume and pollutant composition is found or expected between
CSOs, classes of CSOs may need to be distinguished and character-
ized. Variations could result from differences in system
contributors, tributary land uses (industrial, commercial, or
residential), and frequency and duration of overflow.
A review of Metro's CSO study is needed to determine whether
meaningful variations in effluent composition exist between CSOs
and whether classes were (or can be) distinguished. If classes
of CSOs are distinguishable, other areas with CSOs should be
characterized to determine appropriate CSO classification.
Loading estimates should be made based on appropriate Metro
pollutant analysis data, site-specific historical records of
actual overflows, or precipitation records and system capacity.
If Metro's data do not allow distinctions between classes of
CSOs, a characterization study is needed. The study involves
selecting areas with differing land uses and system contributors,
and monitoring the volume and composition of discharge from CSOs.
These results would then be used to estimate the CSO loading to
specific areas of Puget Sound.
Benefits to Water Quality Managers. The study would provide
an estimate of the mass loading and relative contribution of
designated pollutants to urban embayments from CSO sources. The
water quality manager will be able to determine whether CSOs
represent major sources of certain pollutants and, therefore,
whether control of this or other sources would be appropriate and
Rivers Discharging into Urban Embayments
Need. Rivers discharging into urban embayments are subject
to potentially significant pollutant loadings as the river flows
through the urban area. Both point and nonpoint pollution
sources can be numerous. Rivers draining urban areas are, in
most cases, draining into urbanized harbors, bays, or other
subareas of Puget Sound that typically have water quality
problems. Current pollutant loading data for Puget Sound rivers
draining urban areas usually encompass only conventional
pollutants and heavy metal parameters. Urban rivers normally
contain higher levels and a wider variety of pollutants than
rivers draining rural watersheds. Data are needed to estimate
the contribution of organic priority pollutants to urban
embayments from riverine discharges. Recent EPA programs in the
Elliott and Commencement Bay areas may significantly reduce the
effort required by this study on the Duwamish and Puyallup

Objective^. Determine pollutant loadings from rivers
draining urban areas.
Methodology Rivers which discharge to urban embayments or
drain large urban areas are listed in Table 5-1. Water quality
sampling should occur near the mouths of these rivers. The
stations should reliably represent net river discharge. Factors
that should be considered include: location of major conflu-
ences; depth; distance from riverbank; tide-induced upstream
movement of water and its effect on the transport of dissolved
pollutants and suspended particulates, and spatial relationship
to nearby dischargers. The duration and frequency of sampling
should allow for determination of seasonal variances.
The following information sources should be used to select
the pollutants that will be quantified:
•	The list of high priority pollutants described in
Chapter 4.
•	Loading data from major upstream dischargers.
•	Previous special studies that may reflect water quality
conditions in the river or watershed.
•	An initial pollutant scan to verify or add to the list
of high priority pollutants.
Pollutant loading measurements should include those
pollutants occurring in the soluble and suspended particulate
state. In addition, all conventional water quality parameters
should be analyzed because of their importance in fate and
transport processes of pollutants. (See General Requirements in
Chapter 8).
Benefits to Water Quality Managers. The data from this
study will determine the relative contribution of rivers to the
pollutant load in urban embayments. The data can also be used as
a preliminary estimate of the potential role of many nonpoint
pollutant sources resulting from land uses on the watershed. A
comparison of the magnitude of river contribution to other source
contribution is needed to identify any appropriate corrective
Depending on the results of this study, several other phases
may be considered for implementation. First, a more detailed
investigation on sources of pollutant loading to the river may be
needed to decrease the river's contribution of pollutants to
urban embayments. Second, smaller streams which also drain urban
areas may need to be analyzed if significant river-related
loadings are indicated. Third, if the riverine load is deter-
mined or suspected to be significantly influenced by natural
pollutant sources or human activities in rural areas, analysis of
nonurban rivers may be necessary to quantify riverine loading.

Table 5-1. Rivers Discharging to Urban Embayments or
Draining Urban Areas
Receiving Water
Whatcom Creek
Snohomish River
Lake Washington Ship Canal
Duwamish River
Puyallup River
Deschutes River
Bellingham Bay
Everett Harbor
Central Basin
Elliott Bay
Commencement Bay
Budd Inlet

Finally, the data may indicate whether a long-term monitoring
program is warranted.
Industrial Survey
Need. The existing NPDES effluent limitations and
monitoring requirements of industrial dischargers are usually
limited to conventional pollutants. Few data exist on concen-
trations of priority pollutants or other toxic chemical compounds
that could occur in the discharge. These data are needed to
accurately obtain a loading estimate that could be used by water
quality managers.
1.	Determine the possible pollutants in effluents from
NPDES-permitted industrial dischargers.
2.	Estimate loadings for these pollutants.
Methodology. WDOE should identify probable constituents
in industrial waste streams based on published national average
concentrations for SIC numbers (SCS Engineers 1981), EPA Form
3510-2C (currently used for NPDES renewals), and the Industrial
Waste Survey conducted for the Department of Energy (URS Company
1980). Based on these data sources and actual concentrations
reported in discharger monitoring reports (DMRs), mass loading of
high prority pollutants should be estimated for specific areas of
the Sound.
It should be noted that level of treatment and local varia-
tions in industrial plant operations may greatly affect a
pollutant's concentration, but that using the average concentra-
tion provided by SCS Engineers (1981) will yield an approximate
value of loading to specific water bodies. Areas with high
estimated loadings should be investigated in more detail with a
quantitative pollutant scan of appropriate discharges.
Benefits to Water Quality Managers. This study would
identify probable pollutants and loadings from various industrial
dischargers. It would help refine localized lists of high
priority pollutants, and determine relative contribution of
pollutants from industrial discharges. This information would be
useful in evaluating currently identified problem areas. The
survey would provide a means of focusing on probable pollutants
in a certain area so that selective monitoring of pollutants and
appropriate dischargers could occur if deemed necessary. Also
modifications to NPDES permit limitations and requirements could
be made to stabilize or abate the discharge of identified problem

Urban Runoff
Need. Urban areas have many nonpoint pollution sources that
are likely contributors of pollutants to urban runoff. Except
for cities with combined sanitary and storm sewers, urban runoff
flows into Puget Sound without any treatment. In many cases,
storm drains empty directly into Puget Sound as hundreds of
nonpermitted point sources. WDOE has developed an Urban
Stormwater Management Plan (Grace 1983) that includes issuing
general permits for stormwater discharge in an area. Some data
on pollutant loading may be generated by implementation of this
plan, but will not appear for some time. The pollutant loading
from this source is potentially significant; quantification of
pollutant loading is needed to determine if corrective measures
should be implemented. A study is in progress by the City of
Bellevue that addresses loadings from urban runoff, and may be
transferable to other Puget Sound areas.
1.	Based on the Bellevue report and other appropriate
data, estimate the pollutant loading from urban areas
that would be expected to have similar runoff
2.	Collect data as needed from other urban areas to allow
estimates of mass loading from storm drain discharges.
Methodology. Site characteristics of urban areas around
Puget Sound would be evaluated relative to factors influencing
urban runoff parameters. The evaluation should include local
land uses, upwind air pollution point sources, annual average
precipitation, and drainage programs. Data from the Bellevue
study would be used to estimate pollutant loading to urban
embayments for comparable urban areas. For urban areas that are
determined to be significantly different from the Bellevue sites,
a comparison with other areas in Metro's Toxicant Pretreatment
Planning Study (TPPS) program or in the National Urban Runoff
Program (NURP) should be made. Appropriate estimates of
pollutant loading for comparable Puget Sound urban areas would
then be made. If significant urban areas of Puget Sound cannot
be assumed to be similar to other areas that have been studied,
runoff analyses must be performed to estimate the pollutant
loading from these areas.
Benefits to Water Quality Managers. The approximate
loadings from urban runoff could be compared with other known
sources. This would determine to what extent corrective measures
are needed. The data will help determine whether there is a need
to evaluate local stream quality, because of potential
similarities to urban runoff.

Municipal Treatment Plant Survey
Need. Approximately 75 municipal wastewater treatment
plants discharge to Puget Sound. Effluent composition is a
function of: number, size, and type of contributors to the
system; degree of pretreatment of industrial wastes; and
treatment capabilities of the plant. Due to the variety of
inputs to a sewer system, many different pollutants may be
present in the effluent. In most cases, information is not
available for parameters other than conventional pollutants.
Metro treatment plants and some of the other municipal plants
that have applied for 301(h) waivers have limited data on
priority pollutant parameters. If mass loading of pollutants is
to be accurately assessed, there is a need for data from all
municipal dischargers. The need for this study and the level of
effort required will depend on the quantity and quality of data
provided with 301(h) waiver applications.
Objectives. Quantify pollutant loading from municipal
treatment plants.
Methodology. Sample collection and analysis should be
performed on the effluent from municipal treatment plants after
all treatment processes, including chlorination, have occurred.
Sample collection and analysis should follow prescribed methods
that are the same for all dischargers. Treatment plants that
process only domestic wastewater and discharge small volumes of
wastewater initially need not be included in this study, if the
study indicates that homeowner discharge of toxic materials may
be a major source contribution, the study should be revised to
include all municipal dischargers. The study should include an
analysis for both wet and dry periods. Initially, a qualitative
pollutant screening should be conducted to identify any priority
pollutants that occur in the effluent. Quantitative analyses can
be restricted to high priority pollutants and to other selected
pollutants identified in the qualitative screening.
Benefits to Water Quality Managers. The municipal effluent
stream is the final discharge point for many dischargers.
Because of the variety of pollutants that may be present in a
municipal effluent stream, the loading from each municipal
discharger is an important and highly variable element in
understanding total Puget Sound loadings. The data resulting
from this study will permit water quality managers to identify
appropriate places to implement cost-effective corrective
measures. These data will be helpful in comparing the relative
contribution of municipal dischargers during the evaluation of
Section 301(h) waiver applications.

Atmospheric Flux
Need. The atmosphere is the receiving body for many types
of emissions. Pollutants are transported and sometimes trans-
formed within the air column, and may be deposited directly to
Puget Sound waters or onto adjacent lands. Pankow et al. (1982)
indicate that a wide variety of organic compounds are present in
the atmosphere. Current data on pollutant concentrations are
limited to some heavy metals, conventional air pollution
parameters, and parameters influencing acid rain. The magnitude
of the pollutant loading from the atmosphere is unknown at this
time. it is expected that loadings of certain pollutants in
certain areas would be significant. An ongoing Metro study is
investigating the atmospheric contribution of heavy metals to the
Central Basin of Puget Sound. An ongoing Bellevue study includes
a partial analysis of dry and wet atmospheric fallout. The data
from these studies may be useful in design of this program.
1.	Identify and, if possible, estimate concentrations of
high priority pollutants in the atmosphere and in air
fallout residue.
2.	Estimate magnitude of dry, wet, and gaseous
contribution to Puget Sound.
3.	Determine areas of most likely significant
Methodology. A review of existing PSAPCA data and data soon
to be released by Metro and Bellevue on air pollutants,
concentrations, and deposition rates would be the first step in
this study. This would include a review of sampling and
monitoring techniques and selection of parameters. An initial
analysis from one or more known areas of poor air quality would
help establish a list of high priority pollutants. The station
network design should consider local wind patterns, large point
sources, direct input to Puget Sound, and existing air quality
monitoring stations.
Benefits to Water Quality Managers. The study would provide
a better understanding of this source and its impact on Puget
Sound, if significant quantities of pollutants of concern are
inputted from the atmosphere, a further study may be necessary to
Pinpoint originating sources.
Septic Tank Leachate
Need. WDOE and DSHS have decertified certain shellfish
growing areas because of violations of fecal coliform standards.

Although it is suspected that septic tank leachate may be the
problem source in some of these areas, confirmation and location
of the problem source is needed.
Objectives. Locate septic tank leachate plumes that could
contaminate shellfish.
Methodology. EPA Region 5 has successfully used a septic
leachate detector system (Kratzmeyer pers. comm.). The
instrument is portable, can be used on a small boat, and is
operated by two people. The system used by Region 5 would work
in relatively calm marine waters. The machine detects the
presence of organic materials, but does not discriminate between
natural organics and leachate. As a result, false positive
readings may occur. False and real positives can usually be
distinguished by drilling shallow test wells along the shoreline
every 6-7 meters and testing groundwater.
Benefits to Water Quality Managers. Identification of
sources of fecal coliform input would allow adequate control
measures and recertification of local shellfish growing areas.
Historical Spills. Dumps, and Locations of
Contaminated Sediments
Need. Large pollution inputs have occurred during
accidental spills and as a result of previous waste and dredge
spoil disposal practices. PCBs in the Duwamish estuary,
Commencement Bay's chemical dumpsite, and the Four Mile Rock
dredge spoil disposal site in Elliott Bay are examples of past
events that continue to impact water quality. The persistence of
many pollutants requires that such historical events and their
locations be summarized. Since areas with contaminated sediments
may be a significant pollutant source, knowledge of these
locations and their present influence on water quality is needed
to determine the relative level of impact of past events and
current practices.
1.	Summarize spill events that included large inputs of
persistent pollutants (PCBs, pesticides, heavy metals,
radioactive wastes, and chlorinated hydrocarbons) and
locate continuing sources of leachate.
2.	Determine if leachate or sediments at these locations
continue to contribute to water quality problems in
Puget Sound, and estimate relative contribution where

Methodology. This study should draw on existing records and
data as its main source of information. Some limited sediment
sample collection and analysis may be necessary to verify
existing conditions. Major data sources include investigations
under Superfund, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
(RCRA), and WDOE hazardous waste investigations.
Benefits to Water Quality Managers. This study would
provide a comprehensive documentation of events, locations, and
pollutants involved. The data would provide a framework for
comparing the relative impact of historical and current
practices, and identify potential clean-up areas.


Chapter 6
A major information need is knowledge of the dispersion,
transport, and fate of dissolved pollutants, contaminated
sediments, and suspended solids released from rivers and waste
outfalls. Other water quality parameters of potential interest
include dissolved oxygen (DO), biochemical oxygen demand (BOD),
temperature, salinity, pH, and nutrients. A second major
information need is the ability to predict the effects of altered
management practices on these dymanic processes.
Mathematical hydrodynamic simulation models are recommended
as the best approach for predicting pollutant fates under various
waste management alternatives. Such models, coupled with
appropriate data on pollutant fate processes, must be capable of
answering the following important water quality management
1.	What is the retention time for pollutants in the water
column of urban embayments?
2.	What fraction of the pollutant load is deposited in the
sediments of urban embayments?
3.	Where are the depositional environments in urban
4.	What pollutant load of each urban embayment is
contributed to Puget Sound as a whole?
5.	Where are the depositional environments in Puget Sound?
Although questions 1-4 are concerned primarily with
processes occurring within embayments, larger-scale circulation
patterns influence these processes. Pollutant fate in embayments
is highly dependent on the degree of water exchange at the system
boundaries. Application of circulation/water quality models to
embayments requires that boundary conditions either be specified,
or be predicted by a larger-scale hydrodynamic model. If a
large-scale model is not used to define boundary conditions, a
localized modeling effort would require an intensive oceanographic
field study to empirically determine boundary flow. The most
cost-effective and reasonable approach to assessment of pollutant
transport and fate is to first develop systemwide predictive
capabilities. A generalized system model would be modified (as
needed) and applied to the entire Sound to define overall
transport processes, interbasin transfer, and boundary conditions

at subsystems of concern. More detailed models could then be
applied to major Puget Sound basins (e.g., Central Basin) to
predict specific circulation and depositional patterns. Finer
grids could be used in areas such as Commencement Bay to predict
localized pollutant transport.
Puget Sound is a highly complex system, exhibiting both
horizontally and vertically oriented physical processes. Many of
the physical processes are variable over time, requiring a model
capable of accounting for dynamic processes occurring in the
Sound. As a result, the selected model should meet the following
•	Must be hydrodynamic, rather than hydrostatic.
•	Must be capable of simulating both vertical and
horizontal physical processes.
•	Must conserve mass.
•	Must be theoretically sound, particularly for certain
physical processes for which hydrostatic approximations
are necessary.
•	Must operate with a flexible grid system, i.e., can
optimize the trade-off between spatial resolution and
cost of use by allowing less detail in noncritical
areas and larger element spacings in deeper water.
•	Must be available (nonproprietary) and manageable by
EPA/WDOE personnel.
It is currently recommended that the study area be limited
to the Puget Sound area south of Deception Pass and the northern
end of Admiralty Inlet, including the Whidbey, Southern, Central,
and Hood Canal Basins. The San Juan Island Passages, the Strait
of Juan de Fuca, and the Strait of Georgia do not warrant
inclusion at this time. Waste inputs to the marine environment
from these areas represent only a small fraction of the total
waste loading, and inclusion of these areas in the modeling
effort would substantially increase complexity without signifi-
cantly increasing predictive capability.
Studies of transport processes can be initiated with little
input from other studies, but the results initially will be
limited to describing the movement of water within Puget Sound.
Once data are available on fate processes, particularly in
reference to pollutant reactions at the freshwater/saltwater
interface and solids settling patterns, the water circulation
models can be used to predict how and where specific pollutants
will be distributed in Puget Sound.

Puget Sound Circulation Model
Need. No model that has been applied to Puget Sound
adequately describes overall circulation patterns, fate processes
of solids, or interbasin transfer on a Sound-wide basis (Jones &
Stokes Associates, Inc. 1983). A model that can describe these
features is needed to provide system-wide information for use in
more detailed formulations and to assess the sensitivity of model
results to variations of important driving variables and boundary
Objectives. Develop a working, predictive model, including
calibration and verification, for use by EPA in a comprehensive
modeling program.
Methodology. Although the ideal model would be a
3-dimensional representation of the entire system, the costs of
such a model would be prohibitive, especially for long-term
transient simulations. Fortunately, however, because of the
generally narrow and deep nature of Puget Sound, a 2-dimensional,
laterally averaged approximation is justified.
The model by Najarian et al. (1981) was identified in an
earlier work effort (Jones & Stokes Associates, Inc. 1983) as
the optimum existing technique for application to Puget Sound.
Adaptation to Puget Sound requires work effort that is designed
•	Provide descriptions of overall circulation patterns,
mixing processes and net mass transport throughout
Puget Sound. Model results should aid in locating
areas of complex hydrodynamic processes requiring
additional field data and detail in the sub-basin
•	Provide insight into the sensitivity of the model
calculation to variation of parameters and approxi-
mations of important processes such as sill zone
circulation, solids processes, and water reflux
•	Determine boundary conditions required to drive the
sub-basin models. Boundary conditions of particular
importance include interbasin exchange of water and
pollutants, water reflux, and net mass transport
between basins.
A more technical description of the methods is provided in
Appendix B.
Benefits to Water Quality Managers. The model can be used
to supply general information such as net circulation patterns,
mass transport, and boundary conditions. The data provided by

the model can also be used to drive more detailed sub-basin
Central Basin Circulation Model
Need. Although laterally averaged models are sufficient for
a Sound-wide application, they may not always be appropriate when
examining the localized effects of rivers or waste discharges,
especially when large lateral gradients in water quality are
expected. The Central Basin receives wastes from multiple dis-
charges along its shores, is relatively wide in certain areas,
and exhibits complex net transport vertically throughout the
basin, and horizontally around Vashon Island. Thus, a more
complex 3-dimensional model is needed for prediction of circula-
tion patterns and water quality characteristics in the Central
The development of a 3-dimensional, leveled model of the
Central Basin, extending approximately from the Tacoma Narrows on
the south to the entrances to Admiralty Inlet and Possession
Sound on the north, is recommended. This model should be capable
of predicting circulation patterns, mixing processes, solids
transport and accumulation, and other water quality variables on
a local basis. Specific areas of interest (e.g. Elliott and
Commencement Bays) may be considered on a smaller-scale basis by
adjusting the grid elements and time steps. The model by Sheng
and Butler (1982) is recommended for adaptation to the study area
(Jones & Stokes Associates, Inc. 1983).
Objective. Provide finer spatial resolution in the Central
Basin where the largest fraction of wastes is discharged.
Methodology. Modifications to the model by Sheng and Butler
(1982) include incorporation of desired variables (e.g. density
modifiers and suspended solids) into the conservation of mass
equation and the equation of state. Associated sources, sinks,
and decay or settling rates must also be included in the formula-
tion. These data will be provided by other recommended studies
that address these processes.
The 3-dimensional, leveled model allows for grid flexibility
to adequately represent sub-areas requiring greater detail. The
most appropriate approach for model simulation would be to apply
the 3-dimensional model in a "nested" fashion. The more detailed
"nested" grid would extend only to the mouth of the bay, where it
would be "coupled" to the less detailed version of the Central
Basin 3-dimensional model for boundary condition specification.
A second approach would simply involve refinement of the grid
elements of the Central Basin model in the local areas of
interest; however, this would always require running the entire
Central Basin model, which may not be necessary or cost-effective
depending on the specific study objectives.

Existing field observations are quite extensive for all
modeling variables of interest in the Central Basin except for
sedimentation and settling rates for solids and associated
pollutants. Two independent data sets describing local phenomena
and water quality characteristics are required for calibration
and verification procedures.
Model calibration, verification, and sensitivity analyses
recommended for this model are similar to those described in
Appendix B.
Benefits to Water Quality Managers. This model is expected
to be the most valuable one to water quality managers because of
its flexibility and ability to model localized areas of Puget
Sound. Once the systemwide model is developed to provide neces-
sary data for boundary conditions and necessary fate processes
are identified, the Central Basin model can predict the retention
time of pollutants in urban embayments, areas of deposition of
pollutants in urban embayments and the Central Basin, and the
loadings from major bays to the Central Basin.
Pollutant Reactions at the
Freshwater/Saltwater Interface
Need. Many pollutants reach Puget Sound in a freshwater
medium, e.g. rivers, surface runoff, rainfall, and most municipal
and industrial discharges. When pollutants carried by freshwater
contact saltwater, a number of changes in chemical behavior and
speciation (and therefore activity) occur because of changes in
dissolved materials, pH, temperature, density, and a number of
other factors. Some pollutants are likely to flocculate and
settle out; others are likely to be released into the water
column from suspended particulates and become more available to
biota. Little information is available concerning fate processes
of most pollutants in estuaries and other areas of freshwater/
saltwater mixing. These data are needed to improve reliability
of transport model predictions. The data also will help explain
how pollutants act in the marine environment and become either
available to biota or locked up in sediment sinks.
1.	Determine reactions and compartmental shifting of
pollutants in the freshwater/saltwater mixing zone.
2.	Determine the extent of floe formation and its role in
pollutant transport.
3.	Determine effects of the freshwater/saltwater interface
on chemical speciation.

Methodology. The study should combine data from the
literature, field investigations, and rigorously controlled
laboratory studies that reflect field conditions. A first step
in this direction has been described by Curl (1982). The design
of the study should provide data that can be used to generally
describe speciation, flocculation, and compartmentalization of
pollutants in a variety of freshwater/saltwater interfaces,
including estuaries and point source discharge mixing zones.
The study should be conducted on the high priority
pollutants identified in Chapter 4. Pollutant ionic state or
isomer must be determined as appropriate. Distribution between
the dissolved and suspended particulate state must be identified
and flocculation rates assessed. The influence of DO, pH,
conductivity, salinity, temperature, total dissolved and total
suspended solids, and total organic carbon content on speciation,
flocculation, and compartmentalization must be assessed.
All sample collection, preservation, and analyses should
follow approved standard methods and be subject to EPA approval
prior to sample collection. Analyses should be conducted by an
EPA-certified laboratory.
Benefits to Water Quality Managers. The data will assist
water quality managers in predicting whether the pollutant load
will remain in a given area and whether the pollutant load will
exist in a form that is likely to result in significant biologi-
cal activity. These data are needed as input to the transport
models so that depositional rates and environments can be
reliably predicted.
Compartmental Distribution and Fate
Processes for Pollutants in Sediments
Need. The fate of toxicants in marine waters is poorly
understood. Sediments are a major sink for many pollutants, but
mobilization from sediments (at least of metals) has been
identified as one of two significant exchange processes within
Puget Sound (Dexter et al. 1981). There is also some indication
(e.g. data on DDT/DDE ratios) that degradation processes in Puget
Sound sediments vary. However, microbial activity and sediment
chemistry have not been researched, and concurrent data on the
levels of toxicants in sediment interstitial water, the water
column (dissolved and particulate phases), and biota have not
been obtained. Compartmental distribution and exchange of
pollutants in Puget Sound is therefore neither quantified nor
well documented. These data are needed to understand the fate
of toxicants in urban embayments and Puget Sound.

1.	Determine the relationship between pollutant
concentrations in sediment, biota, and dissolved and
particulate water column fractions for specific types
of sediments.
2.	Determine processes and reactions in sediments
affecting fluxes between environmental compartment
and/or bioavailability of contaminants.
3.	Obtain site-specific information on fate processes for
two of the major embayment environments of Puget Sound.
Methodology. The study initially should encompass
Commencement and Elliott Bays. Several sampling areas should be
located in heavily polluted areas in each bay as well as in
offshore deeper waters. The dredge disposal site in Commencement
or Elliott Bay should also be considered for inclusion in the
study. Because pollutant adsorption is affected by sediment
grain size and organic content, areas of different sediment
characteristics should be considered to provide a wider range of
information. If possible, the study should include a site known
to become anaerobic on a seasonal basis.
Sampling and analysis should include all high priority
pollutants identified in Chapter 4 of this report. The study
design should address the potential benefit (versus cost) of
sampling twice - once during winter and once during summer.
The water column (just above the bottom, for both dissolved
and particulate phases), bottom sediments (top layer), and
benthic infauna should be analyzed to determine concentrations of
high priority pollutants. Pollutant species (ionic state or
isomer) should be determined when possible or applicable because
this often determines mobility and toxicity.
in situ water column analyses should also be made to
determine DO, pH, conductivity, salinity and temperature.
Laboratory analyses should include total dissolved and total
suspended solids for water. Sediment should be analyzed to
determine composition, volume, activity of microbial organisms,
and redox conditions. Sediment grain size, total organic carbon
content, reduced sulfur content, pH, Eh, oxygen concentration,
and any other factors believed necessary to define/understand
sediment processes should also be analyzed. Data collection and
analysis should follow recognized standard procedures. Analysis
should be completed by an EPA-certified laboratory.
Upon completion of data collection and analysis, a report
should be prepared that: 1) describes speciation and compartmen-
talization for each pollutant in each sediment type; 2) describes
sediment and water column characteristics at each location; and
3) discusses reactions occurring within each sediment type and

the degree to which these are responsible for pollutant
biotransformation or mobilization from sediments to water column
or interstitial water.
Benefits to Water Quality Managers. An understanding of
fate processes in the marine environment, particularly the
microbial and chemical activity in the sediments, is basic to
understanding bioavailability to organisms and transport of
pollutants via release to the water column. Understanding of
sediments in at least two of the most contaminated embayments
will provide important information on biotransformation/bio-
degradation ability, which in turn will help to determine long
range assimilative capacity in these embayments. These data will
be of value in developing action levels for sediment contamina-
tion, predicting the potential for toxic effects, identifying
trends in pollutant accumulation and flux, and predicting
loadings from major bays into the Central Basin.
Solids Settling Model
Need. Several models are available that describe particle
settling in marine waters. In general, these models either simply
assign a settling velocity to the particles, or compute a velocity
based on Stoke's Law and include this component in the transport
equations. The difficulty with either approach is that particle-
particle interactions are ignored. Particles with diameters
below about 10 urn often coagulate to form larger particles. The
two dominant parameters controlling coagulation in waste plumes
are particle concentration (after initial dilution) and turbu-
lence of the receiving water (Morel and Schiff 1980). Thus, the
size of fine organic particles is not conservative and is subject
to coagulation, which is controlled by the stochastic process of
particle collision.
It is not clear whether coagulation processes must be
included in the Puget Sound water quality model. Previous
models, such as Hendricks (1978), have obtained reasonable
results without directly modeling coagulation processes. It may
be only necessary to use particle settling velocities in the
water quality model that reflect speeds of coagulated particles.
Two approaches are thus available: 1) develop particle settling
algorithms that describe coagulation processes or, 2) develop a
test to measure settling velocities representative of coagulated
Particle settling velocity is usually measured in a column
of water under quiescent conditions and with little concern for
the initial concentration of particles in the test column. This
procedure is not adequate because initial particle concentration
and turbulence must adequately simulate coagulation processes in
Puget Sound.

1.	Describe coagulation and settling characteristics of
solids in seawater.
2.	Determine whether the Puget Sound water quality model
should use measured settling velocities or incorporate
a coagulation algorithm to describe particle settling.
Methodology. A literature review should be performed on
algorithms that were developed to describe particle coagulation
processes and on settling velocity measurements techniques under
controlled turbulence conditions. Contact should also be made
with NOAA, EPA, and the Southern California Coastal Water
Research Project (SCCWRP) to review ongoing studies.
The decision to adopt the coagulation algorithm or settling
velocity approach should be made based on cost differences in
subsequently using the model and the expected accuracy of
results. If adopted, the algorithm will be based on equations
developed in the literature with minor modifications made as
necessary. Similarly, the specifications of the settling veloc-
ity procedure, if adopted, will be based on existing literature
and will specify the apparatus, procedure, and test data
Benefits to Water Quality Managers. The data developed
with this model are needed as input to the transport models so
that depositional rates and environments can be reliably
Advection of Organic Compounds
Need. Past mass balance studies and estimates of transport
and dispersal through advection have concentrated primarily on
nutrients or heavy metals. There is little information
concerning concentrations, transport, and dispersal of organic
priority pollutants. Most organic compounds are expected to
adsorb readily to particulates. Larger particulates are likely
to settle in the vicinity of the discharge in the absence of
turbulence or strong currents, but any suspended particulate
matter and associated pollutants at embayment mouths have the
potential for advection to adjacent water masses. There is a
need to determine whether advection plays a significant role in
the distribution of organic priority pollutants in Puget Sound.
1. Determine the extent to which organic priority
pollutants are transported by advection in various
Puget Sound basins.

2. Evaluate the need for additional organic pollutant
monitoring in ambient waters.
Methodology. Sampling should be programmed around a "worst
case" advection scenario. Water samples should be obtained
during periods of strong flow in the following areas: at the
mouth of Bellingham Bay, Skagit Bay, Everett Harbor, Elliott Bay,
Commencement Bay, Budd Inlet, and Sinclair Inlet; mid channel of
Puget Sound off West Point; and mid channel of Hood Canal off
King's Spit. Only a single sampling is anticipated at each
location. If measurable quantities of organic priority pollu-
tants are found, it may be desirable to sample additional areas
such as Seahurst, Admiralty Inlet, Tacoma Narrows, Saratoga
Passage, and other major passages.
Water samples should be taken on an outgoing tide, both a
few feet below the surface and at mid-depth if possible, to allow
for differences due to water layering. Current speed and direc-
tion should also be measured at each sampling depth.
An analysis should be made for all the high priority organic
pollutants identified in Chapter 4 of this report. Organic
compounds are expected to exist primarily adsorbed to particu-
lates, with the exception of chlorinated ethylenes (found
primarily in the dissolved fraction). Sample collection should
follow approved standard procedures, and analyses should be
conducted by an EPA-certified laboratory.
Benefits to Water Quality Managers. The study will allow a
preliminary determination of whether significant organic
pollutant advection exists between water masses. This informa-
tion is also necessary for pollutant mass balance determinations
within individual areas and for development of pollutant
transport models. In addition, it will allow an assessment as
to which, if any, of the high priority pollutants should be
added to the existing WDOE marine monitoring program.
Organic Pollutant Fate Processes
Need. Any analysis of the fate of organic pollutants must
recognize that their behavior is often highly nonconservative.
Incorporation of a conservative pollutant into a water quality
model is relatively simple; the model must keep track of all
sources of the pollutant and the advective dispersion of the
pollutant throughout the modeled system. Incorporating
nonconservative organic priority pollutants into a water quality
model is a much more complex process. In addition to advective
transport, many organic pollutants are subject to chemical and
microbial degradation, photodecomposition, and volatilization.
For example, tetrachloroethylene degrades to tri-chloroethylene,
cis-l,2-dichloroethylene, vinyl chloride, 1,1-dichloroethylene,
and trans-dichloroethylene. As a further complication, most

organic compounds readily adsorb to particle surfaces. Thus, a
water quality model of organic priority pollutants must model the
compounds partitioning between the dissolved and the adsorbed (or
solid) state. If partitioning and chemical transformations are
included, a water quality model can then simulate organic
pollutant advective transport in the dissolved state and
dispersion and settling of adsorbed pollutants, as well as take
into account degradation and evaporative losses.
Objectives. The general objective of this study is to
review the literature on partitioning coefficients and rate
coefficients for degradation and evaporation processes for
organic and inorganic priority pollutants. Specific objectives
1.	Compile available coefficients for evaporation,
chemical and microbial degradation, photodecomposition,
solubility, octanol-water partitioning, and solids-
water partitioning for high priority pollutants in
Puget Sound.
2.	Determine which processes are most significant in
modifying pollutant concentrations.
3.	Estimate the percentage of each high priority pollutant
expected to be adsorbed onto particulate matter in
Puget Sound.
4.	Determine which pollutants should be included in the
water quality model.
5.	Develop algorithms to describe the behavior of high
priority pollutants in Puget Sound, if appropriate.
Methodology. Konasewich et al. (1982) present an evaluation
of the processes affecting the transport and distribution of
chemical pollutants in Puget Sound. The report reviews available
data on rates of photodecomposition, evaporation, chemical
degradation (hydrolysis), sediment adsorption, and other
processes for a large number of organic and inorganic pollutants.
Callahan et al. (1979) also provide a great deal of information.
The literature should be reviewed to determine whether additional
rate coefficients are available for the preliminary list of high
priority pollutants identified in Chapter 4 of this report.
The available coefficients for processes affecting organic
and inorganic pollutant concentration will be presented with
emphasis given to the solids-water partitioning coefficient for
the high priority pollutants identified in Chapter 4. A
sensitivity analysis will then be performed to determine the
processes that are most significant in determining pollutant
concentrations in Puget Sound. Recommendations will then be made
to include organic pollutants in the Puget Sound water quality
model or to simply consider all, or some percentage, of each
pollutant to be irreversibly adsorbed onto particle surfaces.

Benefits to Water Quality Managers. The study will
determine the feasibility of incorporating high priority organic
pollutants into the Puget sound water quality model.
Other Basin Models
Highest priority for water quality modeling is currently
focused on the Central Basin. Recommendations for modeling other
basins are provided in Appendix C.

Chapter 7
Jones & Stokes Associates, Inc. (1983) identified several
categories of biological data that were necessary to link
pollutants with adverse impacts on biota. Critical information
needs include: bioavailability and bioaccumulation of toxicants;
distribution of toxicants in biota; metabolic processing of
pollutants; and dose-response relationships. Existing data
sources were then reviewed for pertinent data on fishes, benthic
invertebrates, and plankton. The analysis of these data left
major questions unanswered in all of these types of biological
A "shopping list" of needed data is easy to compile if no
consideration is given to the importance of the data or to the
priorities inherent in its collection. It is difficult to assign
priorities to projects, knowing that the resources available for
supporting these studies are limited. The recommendations in
this chapter focus on two broad management needs: linking
pollutants to observed biological effects (particularly sublethal
effects), and providing data that can be used to develop action
level criteria for future management activities. In Chapter 9,
an interim approach is proposed for making decisions, using other
kinds of biological data (focusing on acute toxicities). The
data obtained in the interim and the data obtained through
studies recommended in this chapter together provide a comprehen-
sive, increasingly sophisticated, systematic analysis of
biological effects of pollution.
It appears that benthic organisms and demersal fish
demonstrate suspected pollution-induced diseases or population
changes more often than pelagic biota. Therefore, recommended
studies should focus on benthic and demersal species. Exposure
of benthic biota to pollutants can be by way of contaminated
sediments, contaminated food, or contaminated water. The
recommended studies, therefore, should test hypotheses that would
examine which of these pathways leads to pollutant-induced
disease or population changes.
Once significant exposure pathways are identified, it
becomes possible to identify pollution concentrations that can be
used by water quality managers to predict the impacts of changes
in waste management and to establish action level criteria.
Concentrations of toxicants in the water column are often
transient and require frequent measurement. Concentrations in
sediment and biota, on the other hand, integrate pollutant levels
over time. Concentrations in biota are particularly useful

indicators of bioavailability of compounds that are not readily
metabolized or depurated. It is unlikely that water quality
criteria alone will be effective in managing water quality in
Puget Sound. Management decisions may need to be based on
toxicant concentrations in sediments, or even in biota. The key
to this is linking these levels with documented adverse impacts
on biota or beneficial uses. Ideally/ the linkage should be
cause-effectf based on specific pollutants. This goal is pursued
by recommendations in this chapter. At the same time, practical
considerations indicate that decisions must also be made when
adverse impacts cannot be directly related to specific causal
agents. Therefore, priority must be given to determining whether
statistically significant relationships occur between incidence
of disease and body burdens of toxicants or concentrations of
contaminants in sediment.
The following topics have been identified as the most
important data gaps at the present time:
•	What are the mechanisms of uptake and bioaccumulation
of toxicants? Is the primary pathway of bioaccumula-
tion through direct contact with or uptake from the
sediments, from the water column, or through ingestion
of contaminated food?
•	Are observed body burdens statistically correlated with
levels of sediment contamination? Is there a
significant correlation between observed biological
conditions (e.g. disease) and body burdens or sediment
•	What role does exposure to toxicants, either in sedi-
ments or in prey organisms, play in the induction of
disease among demersal fish species?
•	What role do sediment contamination and organic
enrichment play in the structuring of benthic
invertebrate communities?
Major emphasis on biological effects studies has been placed
on the relationship between levels of pollutant in sediments and
biota and the incidence of disease. Consequently, major feedback
should occur between the studies of biological effects and the
study of compartmental distribution of pollutants and fate
proceses within sediments {Chapter 6).
Key Species and Biological Communities
Before describing recommended studies designed to address
these questions, consideration must be given to the selection of
key species and biological communities to be used. Previous
studies in Puget Sound have involved a wide variety of organisms

or community types. The studies recommended in this chapter,
however, have been directed toward only a limited number of
organisms in Puget Sound. Because of cost constraints,
laboratory or field investigations cannot be conducted on all
possible organisms that are potentially affected by a pollutant
A list of species or biotic assemblages that are most
appropriate for future study of pollutant impacts in Puget Sound
has been developed (Table 7-1). The following criteria have been
used in selecting key species for the recommended studies:
•	Trophic importance.
•	Commercial/recreational importance.
•	Numerical abundance.
•	Susceptibility or sensitivity to pollutant effects.
•	Probability of exposure to pollution.
•	Use in previous studies.
•	Adaptability to laboratory conditions.
There is a trade-off between selecting organisms that are
susceptible to pollutants and organisms that are likely to be
exposed to pollutants. Ideally, consideration should be given to
testing a variety of organisms. When funding resources are
limited, a practical alternative is to select a species that
occurs in polluted areas and is also known to demonstrate
pathologies or other biological phenomena suspected to be
The list in Table 7-1 should not be considered as all
inclusive, but should primarily serve as guidance for those
species that may be most appropriate. The recommended studies in
this chapter include English sole as the recommended test
organism. For any site-specific study, the local fauna should be
evaluated for their appropriateness. Alternatives can be
selected from Table 7-1. If none of these species is appropriate
because of habitat or faunal differences, alternative species
should be selected based on the previously listed criteria.
English sole and Dungeness crab are common in Puget Sound,
have been used in previous studies, and are adaptable to labora-
tory conditions. Moreover, English sole prefer depositional
environments and are therefore frequently exposed to impacts from
contaminated sediments, and display pathological conditions
thought to be induced by pollution.
Filter-feeding bivalve molluscs have been shown to be
valuable organisms for assessing the potential for bioaccumula-
tion of toxic substances. The bay mussel is commonly used in

Table 7-1.
Recommended Species for Future Studies
English sole (Parophrys vetulus)
Starry flounder (Platichthys stellatus)
Epibenthic Invertebrates
Dungeness crab (Cancer magister)
Bay mussel (Mytilus edulis)
Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas)
Infaunal Invertebrates
Macoma spp.
Littleneck clam (Protothaca staminea)
Butter clam (Saxidomus giganteus)
Amphipod (Rhepoxynius abronius)
Polychaetes (Capitella capitata and Abarenicola pacifica)

testing bioavailability of toxicants. The Pacific oyster is
included in the recommended species list because of its past use
in the oyster larvae bioassay, a technique that has undergone
considerable development as a sensitive toxicity test.
Infaunal invertebrate communities are highly susceptible to
sediment-related impacts. The use of infaunal assemblages is
recommended because of their trophic importance. Compared to
fish or plankton populations, it is relatively easy to
quantitatively sample infauna and assess temporal and spatial
changes in response to environmental perturbations. Many
infaunal species are also well suited for use in laboratory
bioassays. Many amphipods are important in structuring infaunal
communities and as food for fishes. They are also relatively
sensitive to the magnitude of sediment deposition and to sediment
contamination when compared to other infaunal groups such as
molluscs and polychaetes. Thus, the continued use of amphipods
in assessing effects in indigenous assemblages and for use in
bioassays is recommended. The phoxocephalid amphipod
(Rhepoxvnius abronius) has been used in previous studies and,
although bioassay techniques may require further development, its
use is recommended for future research programs. Infaunal
species (e.g., Macoma spp. or Abarenicola spp.) may also be of
value in assessing bioaccumulation or in conducting life cycle or
sublethal bioassays.
Rodv Burdens. Sediment Concentrations, and Incidence of Disease
Need. A considerable body of data indicates that certain
pathological conditions among demersal fish species occur in
higher prevalence in polluted urban estuaries than in less
polluted areas of Puget Sound. While the etiology of these path-
ological conditions is unknown, these data suggest that these
conditions may be initiated by or associated with exposure of
fishes to environments contaminated with various organic toxi-
cants and heavy metals. There is a definite need to determine
whether accumulation of toxicants in the sediments directly or
indirectly affects benthic biota or can be associated with
pathological conditions.
Previous investigators (e.g. Sherwood and McCain 1976;
Malins et al. 1982) have assumed a linkage between the toxicants
and pathological conditions, and have attempted to examine the
body burdens of suspect toxicants in diseased fish and compare
these with body burdens of healthy fish. All such attempts to
date have been inadequate, however, at least partially because of
the small numbers of fish examined. Furthermore, certain organic
pollutants found in the habitat (e.g., polycyclic aromatic
hydrocarbons) can be metabolized by fishes and, therefore, may
not be found in high concentrations in fish tissues even if they
are the causative agent for the observed disease. To ascertain
whether there are significant correlations between the occurrence

of pathological conditions in these fishes and environmental
levels of toxicants, it will be necessary to: 1) collect and
analyze sufficient numbers of diseased and healthy fish, along
with other data from polluted and known unpolluted areas, so that
appropriate statistical tests can be applied to the data;
2) identify pollutant loads in the environment as well as in body
1.	Determine whether statistically-significant
correlations exist between the occurrence of fish
disease, high body burdens, and environmental
concentrations of certain toxicants.
2.	Determine whether sediment concentrations of certain
toxicants can be used to predict the incidence of
disease or bioaccumulation.
Methodology. Past studies of fish pathology in Puget Sound
have concentrated on two flatfish species, English sole
(Parophrys vetulus) and starry flounder (£latichthys StellatUS).
English sole from the polluted urban estuaries of Puget Sound
have been shown to have a higher prevalence of disease,
especially liver neoplasms (McCain et al. 1982), and are
therefore recommended for this study.
Sufficiently large numbers of English sole should be
collected in trawls in areas of known sediment contamination so
that there is a reasonable expectation of obtaining a substantial
number of diseased specimens. It would be desirable to collect
fish from various urban areas (e.g., Hylebos Waterway, Commence-
ment Bay, Duwamish River, Sinclair Inlet, Port Gardner) as well
as from several control areas far removed from anthropogenic
sources of pollutants (e.g., Hood Canal, San Juan Islands, or
outside of Puget Sound if necessary). Thorough quantitative
analysis of sediment constituents must occur at all sampling
stations. Sampling effort can be reduced if this study is
combined with field work conducted on effects of contaminated
sediments on benthic invertebrate communities.
Considering the very low prevalence of most diseases in
areas far removed from known sources of chemical contaminants, it
is unlikely that significant numbers of diseased fish would be
collected from the control areas. The concentrations of toxi-
cants in healthy fish from these areas may be compared, however,
with the concentrations in apparently healthy fish from the
contaminated urban areas. These data will help determine whether
body burden or sediment contamination is a better predictive
indicator of the incidence of pathological abnormalities.
Furthermore, the data may later be useful in addressing the
potential existence of a time lag between exposure and appearance
of pathological symptoms.

All specimens should be examined both macroscopically and
microscopically for the presence of fin erosion, skin tumors, and
liver abnormalities. Work in the North Sea indicates that bottom
fish that contain body burdens of certain chemicals are unable to
produce viable gametes (von Westernhagen et al. 1981). NOAA is
sponsoring a study of the ability of Platichthys stellatus in San
Francisco Bay to produce viable gametes and embryos (Mearns
pers. comm.). Progress of this study should be monitored. If
the effort seems warranted, tests of reproductive success of
English sole should follow protocols being developed at Lawrence
Livermore Laboratories (Spies pers. comm.). Past studies (Maiins
et al. 1980, 1982; McCain et al. 1982) have shown that other
pathological abnormalities (e.g., lesions of the gill, kidney,
spleen, and gall bladder, as well as certain cardiac abnormali-
ties) either occur at low frequencies, or the geographical
distributions of fish with these conditions are not clearly
associated with polluted urban areas. Hence it is unlikely that
sufficient numbers of fish with these conditions would be
collected for analysis of these pathological abnormalities.
Replicate fish from each area should be selected at random
from each group of fish with a specific disease type. Many fish
may have symptoms of more than one disease (e.g., both skin
tumors and hepatomas), and hence could serve as samples for more
than one analysis. Tissue samples (at a minimum, muscle and
liver tissue) should be taken from each fish for chemical
analysis. It should be noted that the fish must be of sufficient
size so that a sample of the liver may be analyzed microscopical-
ly for lesions and leave enough tissue (i.e., several grams at a
minimum) for chemical analyses. The chemical analyses should
include those organic toxicants and metals deemed to be of
primary concern based on sediment chemistry. Replicate fish
should also be selected at random from the group of fish having
no disease symptoms, and then should be similarly analyzed. Data
from all analyses should be normalized to eliminate age and size
differences between fish. Furthermore, tissue concentrations of
lipophilic compounds should be normalized for percent lipid
content of the tissues. Stomach content of test fish also should
be analyzed to evaluate potential dietary influences on fish
Statistical analysis of the resulting data should be
designed to detect significant correlations between the occur-
rence of a specific disease and tissue or sediment concentrations
of toxicants identified in the sediment analyses. Particular
attention should be given to possible correlations between the
occurrence of liver abnormalities and elevated liver
concentrations of the pollutants.
Benefits to Water Quality Managers. This study is designed
to quantitatively identify reasonable relationships among the
kinds and amounts of toxicants in sediments or in English sole,
and the incidence of specific pathological abnormalities. Such
correlations should not necessarily be taken as proof that a
given toxicant was responsible for initiating the disease, but

they, in conjunction with other related studies, may suggest
which chemical contaminants are most likely associated with the
initiation of these diseases. Furthermore, the study will
ascertain whether levels of sediment contamination or body
burdens of toxicants are adequate indicators of the incidence of
pathological abnormalities. The results of this work are
essential to the design of laboratory tests to examine cause-
effect relationships. These data will help identify biological
problems associated with pollutants now occurring in urban
embayments, and also can be used to determine whether action
levels can be established for pollutants in sediments or English
sole. As noted in Chapter 3, work is currently underway on
elements of the recommended study.
Long-Term Bioassays with Youna-of-the-year English Sole
Need. Ample evidence exists to indicate that demersal fish
species inhabiting polluted urban areas of Puget Sound have
higher concentrations of certain organic toxicants in their
tissues than do similar fish in less polluted areas of the Sound
(e.g., Malins et al. 1980, 1982; Gahler et al. 1982). A
considerable body of data also indicates that these same demersal
fish species display higher prevalences of a number of pathologi-
cal conditions in the urban areas than in background or control
regions of Puget Sound (e.g., McCain et al. 1982). While in each
case the end result is clearly defined, the mechanisms are
largely unknown. In the case of bioaccumulation, it is not known
whether the primary pathway is uptake from the water, contact
with sediments, or ingestion of contaminated food. In the case
of the various pathological conditions (e.g., fin erosion, skin
tumors, hepatomas, and other liver abnormalities), their etiology
is as yet undetermined. In each case, sampling natural popula-
tions of these fishes is not likely to reveal the exact
mechanisms of these phenomena. Laboratory experimentation,
combined with field data collected as part of the preceding
recommendation, is probably the only way to resolve some of these
difficult questions.
McCain et al. (1982) exposed English sole to contaminated
sediments from the Duwamish River and to control sediments from
the Snohomish River for 3 months in a laboratory bioassay. In a
separate experiment, they exposed English sole to contaminated
sediments from the Duwamish River and to control sediments from
Port Madison for 2 months. There were no significant differences
in mortality or histopathological changes between fish exposed to
contaminated and presumed control sediments in either experiment.
McCain et al. (1982) noted that in each experiment, the so-called
control sediments were found to be contaminated. The Port Madison
sediments had high concentrations of chlorinated butadienes,
while the Snohomish River sediments had high concentrations of
PCBs and pesticides. They concluded that if similar experiments
were to be conducted in the future, the control sediment should

be free of such contaminants, even if it is necessary to search
beyond Puget Sound for uncontaminated sediment.
McCain et al. (1982) also concluded that the length of
exposure in these experiments may not have been sufficiently long
to permit the development of various histopathological conditions
observed in naturally-occurring English sole in contaminated
environments such as the Duwamish River. It is also possible
that the Duwamish sediments used were not highly contaminated,
since they were collected in the upper portion of the industri-
alized part of the Duwamish River, rather than in the lower
portion where the concentrations of certain synthetic organic
compounds are known to be higher. Sherwood and Mearns (1977)
found that 13 months were needed before symptoms of fin rot
appeared in mid-sized Dover sole. Enlargement of the liver and
fin rot appeared much more quickly in young-of-the-year, perhaps
because of the increased surface:volume ratio (Mearns pers.
An additional problem with these experiments to date is that
all fish were fed relatively uncontaminated food organisms
collected in nonurban areas, whereas naturally-occurring fish may
ingest contaminated prey in the polluted urban estuaries, such as
the Duwamish River. If food is the primary pathway for uptake of
these substances, especially those important in the initiation of
disease, this may explain the failure to induce histopathological
conditions in the experimental fish exposed to contaminated
Despite past failures to induce pathological conditions in
demersal fish species exposed to contaminated sediments, or to
elucidate the dominant pathway of pollutant uptake, the experi-
mental technique still holds promise for the investigation of
these subjects. Attention must be given, however, to experimen-
tal design in order to maximize the power of discrimination among
the possible alternatives.
1.	Ascertain the primary pathway of bioaccumulation in
demersal fishes.
2.	Investigate the possible role of contaminated sediments
and/or food in the initiation of various pathological
conditions in those fishes.
Methodology. It is recommended that further experimentation
be conducted along the lines of McCain et al. (1982), but with
important refinements. It is suggested that the recommended
bioassays be separated into two phases: a pilot or preliminary
phase in which the efficacy of the procedures will be tested
using only Duwamish River sediment and control sediment; and a
second phase in which the procedures, if deemed to be appropriate
will be applied to the testing of contaminated sediments from
other areas of Puget Sound. The question of whether contaminated

food plays an important role in bioaccumulation or disease
induction should be answered during the pilot study so that this
aspect may be included or reduced in scope in later studies as
McCain and co-workers at the Northwest and Alaska Fisheries
Center in Seattle will soon begin a series of bioassays using
English sole to test the toxicity and bioaccumulation potential
of contaminated sediments from the Duwamish River, relative to
control sediments collected from Hood Canal. In a sense, the
studies recommended herein are modifications of the studies about
to be undertaken by McCain and co-workers.
It is recommended that the proposed exposure time of young-
of-the-year be increased from 4 months to a minimum of 6 months.
In order to determine the magnitude of sediment contamination
required to elicit a given response, it is recommended that
similar bioassays be conducted using dilutions of the contami-
nated sediment with control sediment so that young-of-the-year
fish are exposed to 100, 30, 10, and 1 percent contaminated
sediment, as well as to control sediment (0 or <<1 percent
contamination). Parallel bioassays should be conducted with
one group receiving only uncontaminated food (e.g., amphipods,
the deposit-feeding clam Macoma spp., and/or the filter-feeding
clam Protothaca staminea) and the other fed with contaminated
food. All food items should be subsampled and chemically
analyzed to verify purity/contamination. Hence, in the pilot
study there will be a minimum of 10 separate treatments: five
concentrations of contaminated sediments (including control
sediment) and exposure to either contaminated or uncontaminated
prey. Prey species should be the same for all treatments.
A sufficiently large number of English sole should be used
in each treatment so that even with a certain amount of
mortality, a reasonable number of replicate fish (e.g., 5-10) may
be sacrificed at regular intervals (e.g., monthly) throughout the
course of the bioassays, for assessment of any histopathological
changes and for measurement of the bioaccumulation of pollutants.
If, after this initial pilot study, it is apparent that the
ingestion of contaminated prey has little influence on either
mortality, bioaccumulation, or disease induction, then bioassays
in the second phase of this study may omit the additional
complication of having to obtain or prepare a contaminated food
supply for the fish. If, on the other hand, it appears that the
observed effects are significantly enhanced by the use of
contaminated food, then subsequent bioassays using sediments from
other areas of Puget Sound should include the feeding of
contaminated prey to the English sole. Recommended areas for the
collection of contaminated sediments include the Hylebos
Waterway, Commencement Bay, Sinclair Inlet, and Port Gardner.
Testing organisms on clean sediments spiked with certain
toxicants at concentrations similiar to urban embayments may be
very useful in interpreting the results of this study. Testing
spiked sediments may clarify etiology of some of the observed

pathologies, and will be valuable background information for
establishing links between biological effects and specific
pollutants at environmental concentrations.
Benefits to Water Quality Managers. The experimental design
will provide data that will identify the route of biological
uptake of toxicants. This information will help focus subsequent
work on pollutant effects on the marine communities. By exposing
the fish to serial dilutions of contaminated sediments, insight
will be gained into the potential benefits of reducing sediment
concentrations of suspect toxicants. Action level criteria may
be tentatively identified as well. The experiment is not
designed to address causal agents in disease induction; however,
the data will be useful in generating hypotheses and in
association with other research activity.
Benthic Invertebrate Communities
Need. The deposition of solids from waste discharges has a
high potential for impacting benthic invertebrate communities
because these organisms live in direct contact with bottom
sediments. Studies of animal-sediment interactions have
demonstrated that the physical and chemical characteristics of
marine sediments play a key role in structuring marine benthic
communities (Gray 1974). Studies by McGreer (1982) in the Fraser
River Delta (north of Puget Sound) indicated that the degree of
copper contamination was the major factor affecting distribution
of the infaunal bivalve Macoma balthica. The benthos may also be
important in affecting the distribution of contaminants in
sediments by processes such as bioaccumulation, biodegradation,
and bioturbation (Swartz and Lee 1980; Lee and Swartz 1980). The
macroinvertebrate benthos are also important from a trophic
perspective since they are key food items for many demersal
fishes and may form key links in detrital food webs.
Past studies in Puget Sound have provided limited evidence
for determining how benthic community structure is affected by
toxicants near waste discharges (e.g., sewage and pulp mill) or
contaminated areas (Commencement Bay waterways). Seattle Metro's
TPPS program is conducting work of this nature around the West
Point sewer outfall. In some cases, these effects were
attributed to toxic influences of contaminated sediments.
Laboratory sediment bioassays have also identified a number of
areas in Puget Sound where sediments are associated with acute
mortalities in benthic infaunal species. However, interpretation
of results from these studies has been controversial. Major
limitations of some studies are:
•	Restricted spatial extent.
•	Incomplete taxonomic identification.

•	Lack of concurrent measurement of physical-chemical
sediment characteristics.
•	Potentially significant differences in experimental
protocol and statistical treatment of data.
•	Sampling in areas that may not receive significant
inputs to the sediments because of good flushing
characteristics around the outfall.
Because of these limitations, the currently available information
does not provide for an adequate characterization of existing
effects of various waste discharges on benthic communities. From
a predictive standpoint, the available data are also insufficient
for establishing a relationship between the degree of sediment
modification by contamination (e.g., change in copper content) or
organic enrichment, and the resultant changes in abundances of
key species or overall community structure. It is not anticipa-
ted that these problems will be readily resolved. Nevertheless,
there is a need to understand how benthic communities respond to
toxicants in the environment. A survey based on consistent
sampling and analytical methods is needed. The resulting data
can be used to focus on more detailed investigations and to
assist in the generation of testable hypotheses. Some elements
of this work plan are in progress (Chapter 3).
1.	Document benthic community structure in contaminated
areas and in reference areas.
2.	Examine effects of organic enrichment, changes in
sediment particle sizes, and toxicants on benthic
3.	Compare results of field surveys and results of
laboratory bioassays, and determine whether bioassay
results can be used to predict responses of indigenous
4.	Develop qualitative and, if possible, quantitative
relationships between the degree of sediment
modification and the response of benthic invertebrate
Methodology. The recommended study can be accomplished by a
coordinated effort involving laboratory and field investigations.
The overall study approach would involve a synoptic sampling of
sediments at a variety of locations throughout the Puget Sound
system. During program design, consideration must be given to
the flushing characteristics of the discharge location. Examples
of generic kinds of sampling areas include:

•	Near sewage discharges (both large and small
discharges, in both erosional and depositional
•	Near industrial discharges (pulp mill, ASARCO smelter).
•	Areas subject to complex industrial contamination
(e.g., Duwamish Waterway, Hylebos Waterway).
•	Deep water areas potentially subject to sediment
•	Reference areas (several kinds, in areas far from
contaminant sources).
Much of the sampling effort can be reduced if this study is
combined with the field study on English sole.
The following types of samples would be collected at each
•	Three-to-five replicate samples for characterization of
infaunal communities.
•	One subsample for analyses of metals.
•	One subsample for analyses of organic contaminants.
•	One sample for use in determining grain size and in
sediment bioassays.
The infaunal samples should be screened with a 0.5-mm mesh
sieve, but no larger than 1-mm mesh. The study program should
include a brief analysis of the information loss resulting from
selection of 1-mm mesh screen. Organisms should be identified to
the lowest practicable taxa, generally to species.
Biological field data should include:
•	Species richness, evenness (J), and Shannon-Wiener
diversity (H1).
•	Abundance of dominant species.
•	Abundance of major taxonomic groups (e.g., Amphipoda,
•	Infaunal Trophic Index (ITI).
The analytical approach should attempt to relate observed
biological conditions to sediment variables. Analytical
techniques may include simple and multiple regressions,
classification analysis, principal component analysis, and
multiple discriminant analysis.

Sediment bioassays should be conducted on sediments from at
least 10 selected sites. Experimental protocol and design should
be appropriate for statistical analyses of the data. The
selected sites should represent the major contaminated areas of
Puget Sound and at least two reference areas. Consideration
should be given to the sediment bioassays described in Chapter 9.
At a minimum, the bioassays should include an acute toxicity
test, (perhaps with the amphipod Rhepoxynins abronius). and use
of a more sensitive test such as sperm or oyster larvae bioassays
For each site, bioassays should be conducted on full strength
sediment and on three dilutions (30, 10, and 1 percent) with
sediment from an uncontaminated reference site. Control
bioassays should also be conducted on the reference sediment.
Benefits to Water Quality Managers. The results of the
sediment bioassays should be compared with the abundances of
major organism groups as sampled in the field survey. Emphasis
should be placed on a determination of how the relative sediment
toxicity correlates with sediment chemistry, grain size, and
abundance of indigenous species. If such relationships can be
established, the results of serial dilutions of contaminated
sediment can be used to predict the response of benthic communi-
ties to future changes in the degree of sediment contamination.
Rockfish Survey
Need. A study is needed to determine whether sport fish
associated with artificial reefs and fishing piers in urban areas
bioaccumulate toxicants and display pathological conditions
typically associated with polluted environmental conditions.
Previous investigations have collected and examined primarily
demersal fishes that inhabit the soft bottom of urban bays,
rather than fishes that inhabit urban rocky reef habitats.
Gahler et al. (1982) have examined a few nondemersal fish from
Commencement Bay, but the sample size was inappropriate for
drawing conclusions.
1.	Determine whether rockfish in urban areas have
accumulated toxicants and display pollution-associated
pathological conditions.
2.	Determine whether rockfish in urban areas warrant
inclusion in future monitoring or research programs.
Methodology. Although public fishing areas exist at
essentially every urban area, the Old Town dock in the western
portion of Commencement Bay and the Seattle public fishing pier
in Elliott Bay are recommended as initial test locations. Both
locations are in large urban areas, readily accessible to many
fishermen, and are near an artificial reef. A relatively

pristine reef habitat, perhaps in the San Juan Islands, is
suggested as a control location. Quillback rockfish (Sebastes
malioeil) and copper rockfish (Sebastes caurinus) are recommended
as test species because of their abundance, widespread distribu-
tion, and fairly sedentary nature (Buckley pers. comm.).
Before sampling the rockfish, divers should assess the size,
number and distribution of the rockfishes expected to be sampled.
Based on their observations, samples of rockfish should be taken
by hook and line, monofilament gill or trammel net, spearfishing,
localized use of quinaldine, or any combination of the above.
Spearfishing and quinaldine may work best for younger fishes.
Rockfish sampling should be sufficiently extensive to allow
statistical comparisons of toxicant accumulation between urban
and control sampling areas. Since bioaccumulation will increase
with exposure time until a steady state is reached, the age of
each rockfish should be determined as an indication of relative
length of exposure. It should be noted in sampling design that
quillback or copper rockfish give birth in April or early May to
pelagic young that may or may not settle out within the birth
area (Moulton 1977). It is likely that sufficient numbers of
young rockfish will not appear on the reef until one year of age
and, for this reason, the initial toxicant uptake by juvenile
fish cannot be examined.
Statistical analysis should begin with the comparison of
body burdens as a function of lipid content in three age groups
of fish: young (<4 years), middle age (4-8 years) and old
(2. 9 years) fish. Researchers should note that the methodology
of rockfish age determinations is being reviewed (Bargmann pers.
comm.). If a relationship between age and toxicant body burden
does exist, the statistical tests between urban and control
sampling areas should be conducted for each age group. If no
relationship exists, then the data may be pooled. Testing for
bioaccumulation between three age groups will require more fish
to be analyzed than if the data were pooled. The list of high
priority pollutants identified in Chapter 4 of this report should
be included in the analysis. Any observable fish diseases should
be identified and compared to catch location, age, and toxicant
After completion of the toxicant bioaccumulation assessment
at Commencement and Elliott Bay public fishing areas, a decision
can be made to continue or forego a similar investigation at
other urban fishing areas. Urban fishing areas, e.g. near
Everett or Bellingham Bay, may provide additional information on
the question of human ingestion of rockfish containing toxic
Benefits to Water Quality Managers. These data will help
characterize the extent of pollution impacts on sport fish in
urban areas. Rockfish and groundfish (e.g. English sole) occupy
different habitats and feed on different organisms in the same
water body. If the data indicate that body burdens of pollutants

in rockfish are substantially different from body burdens of
groundfish in the same area, one can develop laboratory and field
studies that would help identify the linkage between exposure
pathway and uptake mechanism.
Squid Survey
Need. A recent investigation of the Southern California
Bight indicates squid may be particularly susceptible to
bioaccumulation of certain heavy metals. In comparison to 17
pelagic species off Southern California, market squid (Loligo
opalescens) contained some of the highest concentrations by wet
weight of Ag, Cd, Cu, Zn, and Se (Schafer et al. 1981). In
contrast, organic contaminants such as PCB and DDT and other
metals such as As, Cr, Mg, Pb, and Ni were comparable to or below
those concentrations reported for other pelagic species. An
explanation for the relatively high concentrations of particular
metals found in squid is not available. Relatively low levels of
PCB and DDT contamination are also surprising because squid have
a fairly high lipid content relative to other pelagic species,
and should readily bioaccumulate lipophilic halogenated
Within the last four years market squid have become an
increasingly popular sport species in Puget Sound, especially in
urban areas where lights attract squid to the surface. Squid may
be commercially harvested in the near future (Goodwin, pers.
comm.). Because squid is an increasingly popular food source and
is a species with potentially high bioaccumulation ability for
some pollutants, data are needed to determine whether toxicant
concentrations in squid from urban embayments pose a hazard to
human health.
Objectives. Determine whether squid in urban areas have
accumulated toxicants at levels posing hazards to human health.
Background. Although squid surveys have not been conducted
in Puget Sound, squid are found throughout most of Puget Sound
and are generally captured at night by fishermen utilizing a
light source as an attractant. Sport fishing for squid occurs
from October to February and spawning of two-year-old squid
occurs from January to May (Goodwin pers. comm.). Squid spawn in
a variety of locations, in water as shallow as 6-18 m in depth
(Goodwin pers. comm.) and may even spawn on pier pilings in urban
areas such as Elliott Bay (Chew pers. comm.). Squid egg cases
are deposited on solid substrate in Puget Sound (Goodwin pers.
comm.) and on mud and sand substrate in California (Ally pers.
comm.). Deposition of egg cases on contaminated substrate may
provide a source for toxicant bioaccumulation. It is generally
believed that squid return to spawn at the location of hatching,
but investigations have not confirmed this hypothesis. After
spawning, the two-year-old squid die.

Methodology. Market squid should be sampled from one or two
urban embayments for comparison to squid from a reference
location. Two recommended test locations are the Seattle public
fishing pier in Elliott Bay and the Old Town Dock in Commencement
Bay. The use of a squid jig and a fishing pole should be
sufficient to capture squid.
Sufficient numbers of squid should be obtained for statisti-
cal comparisons between test and control groups. Since age,
i.e. exposure time, may affect bioaccumulation results, the squid
should be divided into two distinct size classes, if possible,
and then tested for toxicant bioaccumulation. If age does have
an effect on bioaccumulation, then test and control groups should
be compared at each age class. If age does not have an effect on
bioaccumulation, then the age classes may be pooled. The list of
high priority pollutants identified in Chapter 4 of this report
should be included in the analysis.
Benefits to Water Quality Managers. These data will help
determine whether the developing squid fishery could be impacted
by existing waste management practices. In particular, levels of
toxicants can be identified, and associated risk to human health
can be estimated.


Chapter 8
Approach to Monitoring Programs
There is a continuous need to measure and record water
quality characteristics of Puget Sound to provide knowledge about
trends. The general purpose of a monitoring program is to detect
and track changes in specific environmental conditions over tijne.
Confusion between monitoring programs, investigations, and
research activities frequently occurs. Investigative activity
and research (hypothesis testing) are only secondary aspects of a
well-designed monitoring program. Water quality monitoring
typically provides data relevant to achievement of regulatory
standards, long-term characterization of an environmental
parameter, or input to specified data programs.
The purposes of a monitoring effort obviously affect the
type of program and selected methodologies. Water quality
managers typically have one of two objectives in mind when
implementing a monitoring program. In some cases, the purpose is
to monitor a wide array of parameters to see how the environment
changes over time. In other instances, the purpose is to focus
on a specific problem or activity and see how the environment
responds over time. In all cases, the initial step in monitoring
is to clearly state the questions that the monitoring program
must answer. It is particularly important that the questions be
well defined and specific. For example, it is difficult to
design a long-term monitoring program that will answer the
question whether arsenic is affecting biota until the question is
broken down into specific questions that are amenable to measure-
ment. Once specific questions and subsidiary objectives are
defined, water quality analysts can determine how the needed data
are to be obtained, interpreted, and reported.
Two major weaknesses of monitoring programs are: failure to
consider the time element, and failure to distinguish between the
two types of monitoring programs identified above. Too often a
wide array of environmental data are collected and then analyzed
to try and determine if certain waste discharge practices are
harming the environment. No initial effort is made to ascertain
whether the observed data can clearly answer the question. Fre-
quent failure to link monitored parameters to questions about
waste discharges leads to unnecessary regulatory and public

General Requirements of Monitoring Programs
Water quality conditions occur as a result of complex
chemical/physical/biological processes peculiar to the ecosystem.
The relationship of water quality conditions to beneficial uses
is also a function of these complex processes. Consequently, to
achieve a monitoring objective it is necessary to understand what
the influencing or controlling factors may be so that these can
be incorporated into the monitoring program. One does not
usually monitor ammonia, for example, without also monitoring pH
and temperature. The following is a brief summary of parameters
and processes that should be considered in developing a monitoring
program. In all cases, a competent statistician must be consulted
consulted during the planning stage to ensure that sampling design
and data analysis are amenable to statistical treatment.
Physical conditions such as pH and salinity significantly
alter speciation of most heavy metals and isomerization of many
organic compounds. Whether the pollutant occurs in the dissolved
or particulate state also has a major bearing on the ecologic
impact of the pollutant. If pollutants are adsorbed to particu-
lates, their availability to biota may be influenced by whether
they are associated with organic or inorganic fractions of
suspended solids. Depending on specific questions addressed by a
monitoring program, the sampling program may need to analyze such
There are theoretically sound arguments that organisms
stressed by low dissolved oxygen or other suboptimum conditions
in the habitat may be more susceptible to the effects of
pollutants; therefore, dissolved oxygen, pH, salinity, tempera-
ture, total suspended solids, and turbidity should be standard
parameters analyzed in any receiving water monitoring program.
Similarly, pH, Eh, and sulfide in the interstitial water of
sediments can play major roles in the bioavailability and
ecological impact of pollutants in sediments.
Meteorological conditions, nutrient availability, and
microscale current patterns play major roles in the structure and
functioning of plankton communities. Taxonomic information is
also important, since the structure of plankton communities is
significantly affected by interspecific competition in response
to local, small-scale variations in environmental parameters.
Benthic communities are significantly influenced by organic
content, grain size, and chemistry of sediments and interstitial
water. Proper taxonomic identification is also important,
especially for organisms that greatly influence community

structure or serve as major food sources for bottom-feeding fish.
If the examined pollutants are known to be lipophilic, the
percent lipid content of the biota and sediment is needed to
adequately interpret bioaccumulation and uptake data.
One of the most challenging aspects of monitoring fish
populations is determining whether the sampled fish are resident
or transient in the study area. If it is not known whether the
species under investigation are resident populations, the
monitoring program must include tagging studies or similar
methods to examine residence time in the study area. The sex and
age class or size class of organisms should be noted, especially
if it is suspected that one age class may be more susceptible
than another, or if the examined pollutants are lipophilic and
could be associated with yolk material. The percent lipid con-
tent of tissues or whole organisms is also needed to adequately
interpret the susceptibility of species to pollutant uptake and
bioaccumulation. Environmental conditions (salinity, habitat
type, temperature) known to influence distribution of fishes
should be documented in addition to those parameters affecting
speciation, molecular state, and activity of the pollutants
included in the monitoring program.
Comprehensive Monitoring Program for Puaet Sound
There is a need to know whether pollutant levels in Puget
Sound are increasing over time, and whether biological effects
are occurring that may be reasonably linked to changes in water
quality. Most existing or proposed monitoring programs are
either very localized in scope, or encompass a narrow set of
environmental parameters. There is no existing comprehensive
program that monitors trends in pollutant levels and biological
responses to pollutants in Puget Sound as a whole. There is a
need for such a program to provide water quality managers with a
mechanism to detect impacts resulting from the cumulative actions
taken in the Sound.
The comprehensive program must address the following
•	What are the trends for pollutant levels in the water
•	What are the trends for toxicants in the sediment?
•	What are the trends for body burdens of toxicants in

•	What are the trends for diseases or other pathological
conditions implicated as being pollutant-induced?
•	How are biota changing in Puget Sound over time?
Note that the last two questions do not address the causes of
changes in biota. The purpose of the comprehensive monitoring
program is to detect changes in environmental conditions. If
changes are detected, additional data analyses or work will be
required to ascertain whether these changes may be linked to
pollutants or to some other environmental parameter or event.
Furthermore, it should be noted that many of the recommended
studies in Chapters 5-7 will provide useful baseline data in
these subject areas. However, a monitoring program is needed to
describe trends in these subject areas.
Monitoring concentrations of pollutants in the water column
and sediments must be carried out on a Sound-wide basis. Concen-
trations in water are useful to water quality assessment, but are
susceptible to short-term, intermittent fluctuations and must
therefore be interpreted carefully. The biota selected for moni-
toring will vary to a certain extent between different areas of
Puget Sound. Monitoring concentrations of toxicants in biota
should occur on a Sound-wide basis, but selection of species must
consider: 1) role in the ecological community of the area,
2) exposure to pollutants, and 3) role in beneficial uses of Puget
Sound resources. Ideally, the monitored species will rate highly
in all three of these categories.
There are a number of existing data acquisition programs
(Table 8-1) that can be integrated with minimal recommended
modifications into an initial comprehensive monitoring program.
These programs include WDOE marine monitoring, Metro's TPPS
program and baseline Seahurst study, the mussel watch conducted
as part of WDOE Basic Water Monitoring Program, and DSHS
paralytic shellfish poison and fecal coliform monitoring programs.
The recommended changes to each of these are discussed later in
this chapter.
Several aspects of the WDOE marine monitoring program would
significantly contribute to the comprehensive program:
•	The 44 stations provide a reasonable coverage of Puget
Sound (Figure 8-1).
•	Considerable background data on conventional pollutant
parameters and heavy metal concentrations in the water
column have been collected to date.
•	The program currently operates smoothly and consis-
tently, although the absence of data from winter
months is a serious shortcoming.

Table 8-1. Mcnitored Resources and Monitoring Activities in Puget Sound
Source management t
Permitted discharges
State hazar-
dous waste
NPDES pro-
ICRA regula-
standards of
toxic l pre-
local 301(h)
Dredge spoil
Ncnpermitted dis-
Rivers and streams
Nearfield receiving
General receiving
Basin manage-
ment plans
(Section 208)
Major rivers
44 marine
water sta-
Local 301(h)
Basin manage-
ment plans
(Section 208)
Service area
West Point
Dredge spoil
Uptake (, bioaccu-
Habitat & biota
Local 301(h)
Permit review
West Point
West Point
Permit review; West Point
local 301 (h) outfall
waivers *
Dredge spoil
PSP & con-
forms in shell-
fish & growing
Permit review
Permit review
Status of benefi-
cial uses
Atmospheric fallout
Management &
EMRs, inspec- Delegated to
tions, per- WDOE
plant in-
•May vary widely; most 301 (h) wiaver applications are under review.

~ •
ll I
Location of WDOE water quality monitoring stations in study area.

•	The program is directed by a public agency.
•	Data storage and access is systematized.
Seattle Metro is conducting extensive research in the Central
Basin as part of the TPPS program and the Seahurst baseline
study. These studies cannot be considered as monitoring programs,
but they provide important baseline data for a relatively large
area of the Central Basin.
The other existing monitoring programs (Table 8-1), while
not extensive, add data on pollutant loading or biological
communities and organisms. These programs could be integrated
into the comprehensive monitoring program. Furthermore, work
underway by EPA and WDOE (Chapter 3) will provide valuable data
for beginning the program. Monitoring also will be implemented
in the near future as part of the 301(h) waiver program. The
301(h) monitoring program could potentially provide a substantial
amount of data for review and evaluation if waivers are granted
in Puget Sound. Areal coverage and value of the data depend on
the number of applications that are approved and the monitoring
program that is developed for each discharger. Applications have
been received from dischargers located in most areas of Puget
Sound, except Hood Canal and the San Juan Islands. The proposed
generic monitoring program (Table 8-2) indicates that a broad set
of environmental categories could be included in the majority of
the monitoring programs. Wide variations or substantial
deviations from the generic model would seriously handicap the
value of these data for comprehensive monitoring program
The following is a brief outline of the recommended
comprehensive monitoring program. It is organized by subject
area. It is anticipated that not all elements will be included
in a comprehensive program. The following is presented for
consideration in final program design.
Trends in Pollutants in the Water Column. This element
should be carried out throughout Puget Sound. The recommended
design is basically that of the WDOE marine water quality
monitoring program. Consideration should be given to the
following changes:
•	Monthly sampling should also occur during winter
months, at least at the stations south of Admiralty
•	General requirements of monitoring programs, as
described earlier, must be reviewed to identify
additional parameters that must be measured.
•	Heavy metals must be included in the program.

Table 8-2. Proposed Generic 301(h) Waiver Monitoring Program for
Small Dischargers (<5mgd) During 5-Year Life of Waiver
Nuitber of
Weekly, at minimum
Conventional pollutants
Once in 4th yr 1
Priority pollutants and pesticides
Receiving water
4 times per yr 2
5 at 5m depth
DO, pH, temperature, salinity,
turbidity, and Secchi disc
Receiving water
4 times per yr2
Fecal coliform
Initially and in 4th yr
Grain size, volatile solids, ccntnunity
structure analysis
Once in 4th yr
Priority pollutants and pesticides
occurring in the effluent
Animal tissues3
Once by 4th yr
Priority pollutants in the effluent
At least once in 4th yr
Ccrrtpared to reference ccmunity
NOTES: 1 During dry weather.
2Every other month, Spring-Fall.
3Livers frcm flatfish, if high concentrations found in sediment or effluent.

•	High priority organic compounds should be included if
it can be shown that levels are detectable in the water
column (see recommended study in Chapter 6).
•	Water column analysis for pollutants should
differentiate between dissolved constituents and
suspended particulates.
Trends for Toxicants in the Sediment. This element should
be carried out throughout Puget Sound. Sediments are functional-
ly divided into three major strata, two of which may not be long-
term sinks for pollutants. A top, thin layer may be subject to
frequent resuspension and movement resulting from currents. In
most cases, this layer is only a few (1-3) cm deep. A second,
middle layer is not readily disturbed by current activity, but is
subject to biological reworking and (in some areas) to infrequent,
unusual, or seasonal events resulting in large-scale sediment
transport. The depth of this layer is highly variable. In deep
water, it may extend to a depth of 10-15 cm, but in shallow water
erosional areas the depth may be greater. A third, deeper layer
is generally stable and represents a permanent or long-term
pollutant sink. Concentrations of toxicants in the upper two
layers reflect ambient or recent water quality conditions, and
should be monitored. Concentrations in the deeper layer reflect
historic water quality conditions.
Data exist that can be used initially to design this
monitoring program. Broad-scale maps of sediment types have been
prepared by the Washington Department of Fisheries (WDF) as part
of a survey of mariculture sites. Metro, as part of the TPPS
program and the Seahurst baseline study, has examined concen-
trations of heavy metals and organic priority pollutants in
sediments from the Central Basin, and will release these data
soon. These data include concentrations in deep sediment layers,
which need not be sampled again. A number of intensive surveys
have been conducted by various agencies that have included
analyses of bottom sediments in local areas. Additional work is
underway by EPA (Chapter 3).
The data sources and maps described above can be used to
identify likely station locations, especially in the Central
Basin. Sampling stations should be established in an array of
sediment types in urban embayments. To the extent possible,
station locations should correspond with established WDOE marine
monitoring stations. The recommended minimum array of stations
is found in Table 8-3. Samples should be collected at the
sediment surface and at a depth of 10 cm at each station once
every 3 years. Sediment samples should be analyzed for
interstitial Eh, pH, sulfide concentration, organic content, and
concentrations of all heavy metals, and designated high priority
organic pollutants (Chapter 4).
In areas potentially subject to estuarine influence, salinity
range should also be determined, and sampling frequency initially
should document seasonal changes in sediment characteristics.

Table 8-3. Locations of Recommended Sampling Stations
General Sampling Area
Port Angeles Harbor
Bellingham Bay
Port Gardner
Elliott Bay
Sinclair Inlet
Commencement Bay
Budd Inlet
Specific Sampling Site
PAH 003a
BLL 006a
PSS 008a
Duwamish Head No. 10*5
Point Turner No. 3^
Old Tacoma No. 13*5
Olympia Shoal No. 3^
Admiralty Inlet	ADM 001a
Port Susan	SUZ 001a
Nisqually Reach	NSO 001a
Designations correspond to existing monitoring site for the
State Surface Water Quality Program.
k Designations correspond to those used by Malins et al. (1980, 1982).

The sampling frequency can be adjusted as sediment dynamics near
the estuary are determined. Sediment traps should be deployed at
selected locations to monitor sediment settling rates over time
and the types and quantities of toxicants adsorbed to the
settling material.
Trends for Biota. Details of this element will vary between
different regions of Puget Sound. Monitoring trends in body
burdens of toxicants, incidence of disease or other pathological
conditions thought to be related to pollution, and species
composition in Puget Sound are closely related topics. Sampling
and analysis in some cases will simultaneously address more than
one of these topics, therefore, the recommended programs are
combined here and presented as one unit. It is not intended that
every species in Puget Sound be monitored. The following
suggestions should be considered if organisms from one of the
following groups are included in the program for a particular
area. Furthermore, it should be noted that there is a two-fold
purpose to this element of the program: 1) develop an "early
warning" system for detecting potential biological problems, and
2) monitor trends in selected biota.
Rooted Vegetation. Effort should be made to monitor
populations and body burdens. Sampling populations should occur
once a year in the latter half of the growing season. Monitoring
stations should be located in selected urban embayments and in at
least two areas displaying little pollution. Relative abundance#
percent cover, or an appropriate measure of distribution should
be noted. Chemical analyses for high priority pollutants
(Chapter 4) should occur once every two years.
Plankton. Effort should be made to monitor popula-
tions. Sampling should occur at least once a year, preferably
quarterly, at WDOE marine monitoring stations (Figure 8-1) repre-
senting urban embayments and major basins. In addition to the
general requirements described earlier in this chapter, monitoring
should include levels of chlorophyll a and primary productivity.
Benthos. Effort should be made to monitor populations,
body burdens, and incidence of pathological conditions. Sampling
for population monitoring should occur at least once a year in
the late summer or fall. Recommended locations should correspond
to sediment monitoring stations (Table 8-3). Community analyses
must take into account the general requirements described
earlier, and the procedures outlined earlier in a recommended
study on benthic communities (Chapter 7).
Body burdens of toxicants should be measured once every two
years. The organisms chosen should include a range of feeding
types and species of commercial or recreational importance.
Species for consideration include: a mobile epibenthic predator
such as Dungeness crab (Cancer magister). a filter-feeding
bivalve such as the littleneck clam (Protothaca staminea) or the
butter clam (SaxidQlflUS aiaanteus). and a deposit-feeding bivalve

(e.g. Ma coma sp.) or polychaete (e.g. Abarenicola sp.). All high
priority pollutants (Chapter 4) for the area should be measured.
Data are needed on sex, size, weight, and lipid content of the
organisms examined. Complementary data on bioaccumulation may be
provided by WDOE's BWMP.
Pathological examinations should be limited to crustaceans
once every two years. Emphasis should be placed on parasitic
infections and lesions of the exoskeleton, gills, hepatopancreas,
and excretory organs. Routine monitoring of tissue abnormalities
in bivalves is not recommended because only necrosis of the
digestive tubules has been observed in Puget Sound (Malins et al.
1980, 1982). Consideration may be given to examining parasitic
infections of bivalves.
To minimize variation in the data, all sampling should occur
at the same time of year, and a standard size range or age class
of each species should be chosen. Enough specimens should be
collected to ensure an acceptable level of precision in measured
parameters. A pilot study may be necessary to determine minimum
sample sizes. It is recommended that technicians follow standard
EPA analytical methods. Handling of biological specimens and
histopathological techniques should follow methods used by Malins
et al. (1980, 1982). Technicians performing histopathological
analyses should be trained by qualified personnel and follow
standardized procedures. Similar recommendations apply to fish
and marine birds and mammals.
Fish. Effort should be made to monitor populations,
body burdens, and incidence of pathological conditions. Recom-
mended locations should correspond to sediment monitoring stations
(Table 8-3). Population monitoring should occur at least once a
year, and take into consideration reproductive condition or
recruitment to the population. In addition to the general
requirements described earlier, appropriate data to calculate
catch-per-unit-effort must be reported.
Tissue levels of high priority pollutants should be deter-
mined in demersal species (e.g. English sole) annually. A wide
spectrum semiquantitative pollutant scan should be conducted on
selected species every other year. To the extent possible,
analysis should focus on a particular size range or age class.
In all cases, data should be normalized to percent body lipid
At each annual sampling period, selected representatives of
all species should be visually examined for gross pathological
conditions. Examination of fin rot, skin, and liver lesions or
tumors, and parasitic infections should occur once every two or
three years.
Marine Birds and Mammals. Population monitoring of
marine birds can be obtained from data generated by local
birdwatching groups, e.g. Christmas bird counts by the Audubon
Society. Once every two or three years, body burdens of high

priority pollutants should be examined in resident adult birds
and in yolk material.
Monitoring of marine mammal populations should be limited to
population censuses and observations of birth defects during the
pupping season. Monitoring of body burdens or pathological
conditions should include apparently healthy, as well as moribund
or dead individuals, or should not be attempted at all.
Recommended Ancillary Activities
Semiannual briefing meetings are recommended for represen-
tatives of all agencies carrying out monitoring efforts.
Potential agencies that would be involved include EPA, WDOE,
Metro, COE, NOAA, DSHS, USGS, and PSAPCA. Other resource
agencies (e.g. USFWS and WDF) may also benefit from participation.
The purpose of the meetings would be to communicate the monitor-
ing progress made since the last meeting and outline future work
efforts. This would provide an understanding of the total
monitoring being done in Puget Sound. The scheduling of meetings
should consider the various fiscal years of the agencies so that
activities of other agencies could be considered in budget
preparation. One useful outcome of the meetings would be an
updated list of Puget Sound monitoring programs. This could be
included as an appendix in the monitoring manual proposed in the
next section.
The development of a procedural manual would provide
guidance and develop a framework of uniformity between programs.
The manual would include acceptable methods for sample collection
and storage, analytical techniques, quality assurance, and data
reporting for specific substances. It is recommended that such a
manual be developed and made available to all groups performing
monitoring programs in Puget Sound. A periodically updated
appendix of the ongoing monitoring programs and contact persons
would provide a useful reference. It is recognized that in
certain cases monitoring programs are inflexible in that
methodologies may be specified by regulations. Suggestions as to
major topics to be covered in the manual follow.
Recommended Procedures. The recommended procedures section
should contain a description of the elements of a monitoring
program, questions that should be considered during program
design, and recommended procedures for sample collection and
analysis. For example, elements of a monitoring program would
possibly include:
• Statement of objectives.

Explanation of how methods will meet objectives.
Design of program.
Data verification procedures.
Data analysis procedures.
Data reporting procedures.
Questions to be addressed during program design could include:
•	What are the program objectives?
•	How can the program be designed to provide input to
other programs?
•	How can the program be designed to use data from other
•	Are background data or controls necessary to obtain
meaningful data?
•	Will the collected data meet the program objectives?
•	Are there any site-specific features that could
influence the program?
The recommended procedures for sample collection and analysis
could reference other manuals such as standard Methods for the
Examination of Water and Wastewater. This section should stress
the importance of documenting the procedures followed for data
collection and analysis. This documentation should accompany the
Data Presentation. Standardized data presentation would
greatly facilitate the combination and analysis of data from
different monitoring programs. The manual should recommend units
of measure, and methods for summarization, storage, and distribu-
tion of the data. Units of measure should be consistently metric
(including flow data).
The presentation of the data in summary documents with
statistical information is normally more meaningful than raw
data. The manual should recommend that summary documents be
required as part of the monitoring program. Annual or seasonal
summary periods with means, ranges, standard deviations, sample
number, and confidence levels could be included as appropriate.
If more detailed information is required, the complete data set
should be stored where it can be easily retrieved. The manual
should discuss the various storage media and the advantages and
disadvantages of each. Examples of storage media that could be
included are computer tape on agencies' systems, STORET,
microfiche, bound documents, and loose-leaf documents.

Advantages might include retrieval speed, selective retrieval,
availability, storage space, and flexibility. The distribution
of the summary documents should be recommended by the manual.
Agencies that have expressed interest in a data summary and
appropriate libraries should be notified of the availability of
summary documents.
Recommended Parameters for Special Types of Studies. This
section of the manual would discuss the major types of monitoring
programs and the parameters which should be included in the
programs. Many of these parameters are discussed in this chapter
as general requirements of monitoring programs. The major types
of programs may be cataloged as: mass loading, receiving water
quality, sedimentation and sediment composition, biological, and
There are several analytical chemistry labs in the Puget
Sound area. A calibration and comparison of analytical
techniques between the major labs is recommended. This would
allow different data sets to be properly compared and combined.
Identical samples could be submitted for analysis along with a
procedural questionnaire to be completed by lab personnel. A
comparison and evaluation could be prepared and appended to the
monitoring manual discussed earlier.
A large volume of information on Puget Sound exists but is
scattered among numerous agencies and libraries. The establish-
ment of a Puget Sound Data Base Center is recommended. This
center would collect reports, summary documents, maps and other
forms of information concerning the Puget Sound environment.
This collection would be very useful to managers and researchers
in that a significant amount of information on Puget Sound would
be available at one location. If document copies are not
available for the center, a computerized location catalog could
be developed as part of the Center's resources.
Locating this center within an existing facility would be
more cost effective than setting up a new library. It also would
allow researchers easy access to related information.
Because of the diffuse nature of the taxonomic literature
and the inherent difficulties in identifying many benthic
invertebrate species, taxonomic standardization is an important
part of a regional biological monitoring program. Past studies
of benthic invertebrate communities in Puget Sound have varied
considerably in their level of taxonomic detail, from
identification of only Infaunal Trophic Index (ITI) taxa
(generally at family level) to species-level identifications.

Although some biotic groups have been subjected to attempts at
regional standardization (e.g. Staude 1980), most have not.
It is expected that sampling of benthic infaunal assemblages
will be an important component of regional 301(h) monitoring
programs. Such monitoring programs may be conducted by
individual dischargers or by their consultants. In addition,
benthic infauna have been monitored in industrialized areas by
NOAA, and should be an important group in a comprehensive
monitoring program for Puget Sound. if such data are to be of
value in comparing existing biological conditions, the taxonomic
identities of species should be consistent among monitoring
The objectives of a taxonomic standardization program would
•	Improvement of the overall level of taxonomic expertise
in the Puget Sound area.
•	Standardization of names used for each Puget Sound
These objectives could be accomplished by the following
•	Compilations of the taxonomic literature on Puget Sound
•	Development of taxonomic keys for select taxonomic
•	Publication of a list of taxonomic experts for each
•	Maintenance of a centralized reference collection of
species organized by taxon.
•	Periodic meetings of regional taxonomists to discuss
specific problems, compare identifications, and attend
presentations by local experts.

Evaluation of Existing Monitoring Programs
In this section, existing monitoring programs are evaluated
for their ability to address the needs of water quality managers
(Chapter 2) and to fit in with objectives of the proposed
comprehensive monitoring program. Specific objectives originally
giving rise to the program are not included as evaluation
criteria. It may be that a program is quite suitable for its
original purpose, but unsuitable for the criteria used here.
Programs that provide useful data as currently implemented or
proposed are presented first, followed by programs with
recommended changes.
Background. WDOE, EPA, and the COE conduct a number of
intensive surveys directed toward assessing specific problem
areas. The studies are generally short term and site-specific,
and address such problems as assessing effects of an outfall,
determining wasteload allocations, or evaluating effects at a
dredge spoil disposal site. WDOE's Ecological Baseline and
Monitoring (ECOBAM) program, the longest intensive survey, lasted
approximately 7 years and terminated last year. This study of
Everett Harbor evaluated water quality changes in the harbor as a
result of the upgrading of pulp and paper industry discharges.
WDOE also monitored biota by use of live box fish assays and
settling plates (primarily to determine diversity and biomass)
(Bernhardt pers. comm.; Determan pers. comm.). EPA and WDOE
recently conducted a joint investigation of Everett Harbor that
analyzed sediments for priority pollutants and investigated
abnormalities in fish. Other areas that have also been studied
include Commencement Bay and the Duwamish Waterway.
₯alue to Water Quality Managers, intensive surveys are
useful to the manager responsible for remedial actions for a
problem. Because of their specificity and generally short
duration, these surveys should not be considered an integral part
of a regional monitoring network, but may provide valuable
information for designing a monitoring program. Furthermore, the
surveys provide data that address some of the management needs.
No changes are recommended for short-term problem-solving surveys
due to the purpose and goals of these surveys.
Background. Metro is conducting a baseline study near the
proposed Seahurst outfall. The study includes investigation of
the water column, oceanography, subtidal and intertidal habitat,
microbiology, virology, and fisheries. Work is being conducted
throughout the southern half of the Central Basin.
The water column study investigates temperature, salinity,
oxygen, nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and silica), chloro-
phyll, particulate matter, zooplankton, phytoplankton, and

phytoplanktori productivity. The intertidal and kelp bed study
characterizes the infauna, epifauna, microflora, and macrof1 ora.
The sediment samples are analyzed for metals, toxic organic
compounds, petroleum hydrocarbons, and nutrients. Organisms
collected with the sediments are also identified. Bacteria and
virus levels in water, sediment, and shellfish are also examined.
The fisheries study includes collections and health determinations
of pelagic and demersal fish.
baseline study will partially meet some of the identified water
quality needs for the Central Basin of Puget Sound. This
baseline study can be used in the future to assess trends in
species composition and environmental levels of pollutants in the
Central Basin.
Background. This 3-year Metro program ended in September
1983. One of its objectives has been to identify the sources of
toxic pollutants entering Metro wastewater treatment plants.
During the study, representative industries were screened for all
priority pollutants and for other compounds of possible interest
that are present in concentrations of 1 ppb or greater. A list
of compounds of concern is being generated from this effort, and
is expected to contain approximately 25 compounds (Simmler pers.
comm.). Information was also gathered on mass loading of
pollutants from riverine input and surface runoff. The study
also examined concentrations of toxicants in sediments of the
Central Basin off the Seattle metropolitan area. Bioassays were
also conducted on sediments from selected stations.
Value to Water Quality Managers. Mass loading data and
sediment chemistry analyses will be valuable to water quality
managers as background data necessary for monitoring program
design. Chemical analyses conducted on sediments from the
Central Basin will be of use in monitoring trends in contamina-
tion levels. In combination with the Seahurst baseline study,
sediment chemistry of the Central Basin is documented for a wide
area. Analysis of deep cores provides background data that need
not be sought in the comprehensive monitoring program. The
bioassay results should be used with caution. They indicate
areas where more thorough analysis may be appropriate.
Background. The Puget Sound Air Pollution Control Agency
(PSAPCA) has established several air quality stations in Pierce,
King, Snohomish, and Kitsap Counties. Parameters potentially
impacting Puget Sound through wetfall and dryfall and monitored
by PSAPCA include suspended particulates, nitrogen oxides,
hydrocarbons, and lead. Most organic priority pollutants are not
monitored. Measurements of concentration in the atmosphere are
taken several times a month and summarized in an annual report.
Two other air pollution agencies monitor air quality in other
The results from this

counties adjacent to Puget Sound, but their programs are not as
extensive as PSAPCA's.
Value to Water quality Managers. The transport of
pollutants in the air and the pollutant flux into the Sound has
not been quantified for most pollutants. The PSAPCA monitoring
program provides a mechanism for further investigation and
quantification of this nonpoint pollutant source. It will not be
useful to water quality managers until data are available that
document the contribution of airborne pollutants to mass loading
in Puget Sound and its subareas. A study (recommended in Chapter
5) to examine loading from the atmosphere is necessary before
appropriate changes in the program can be identified.
Background. Several municipal wastewater treatment plants
have applied for waivers from secondary treatment, as allowed by
Section 301(h) of the Clean Water Act (CWA). If the waiver is
granted, the applicant must "establish a system for monitoring
the impact of the discharge on a representative sample of aquatic
biota" (P.L. 95-217). EPA Region 10 has developed a generic
monitoring program that would be required of applicants with
discharges less than 5 mgd (Table 8-2). The generic 301(h)
monitoring program is proposed as an initial guideline; substan-
tial modifications for each discharger may occur, depending on
the volume, quality, and location of a discharge. More extensive
monitoring programs will be developed for larger discharges. A
much larger and more detailed program has already been developed
for Metro's West Point treatment plant, if their application is
The proposed monitoring programs would sample six environ-
mental compartments: effluent, receiving water, benthic popu-
lations, sediment, animal tissues, and fishes. Monitoring of
these compartments would be conducted at established times within
the 5-year duration of the waiver. The proposed frequency and
parameters are summarized in Table 8-2.
Currently, 301(h) waiver applications have been received
from 28 municipalities with discharges in the Puget Sound study
area. These applications are being reviewed on a case-by-case
basis by EPA and WDOE. Individual monitoring programs would be
developed as each waiver application is approved.
Value to Water Quality Managers. Data gathered during the
proposed 301(h) monitoring programs may be used in addressing
some identified water quality management needs for Puget Sound as
a whole. Furthermore, major elements of the comprehensive
monitoring programs are reflected in the generic 301(h) monitoring
program. Knowledge of deposition areas, environmental trends,
and health of the biota could result from the monitoring surveys.
Significantly more information will result from larger, more
detailed programs.

The real value of these programs to water quality managers
will largely depend on the implementation schedule and the
completeness of the data requested from the various dischargers.
The application review process is time consuming and waivers will
be issued as they are approved. This will stagger monitoring
effort schedules among dischargers and could complicate the
integration of resulting data sets. This potential problem would
be alleviated by preplanning schedules and program content within
the total program rather than by individual discharger. The
initial guideline for program design appears useful with the
possible exceptions of surveying priority pollutants in the
effluent and bioaccumulation in animal tissues. It is impossible
to determine trends when sampling frequency is limited to only
one event. The sampling frequency for monitoring receiving water
is designed to monitor during periods when volume of riverine
discharge is less likely to obscure discharge effects. The
drawback of this sampling regime is that marine water quality
parameters during winter remain unknown because the existing WDOE
marine monitoring program does not operate in winter months.
Background. The NPDES permit program is designed to abate,
and eventually eliminate, discharge of pollutants that would
significantly degrade the water quality of the receiving waters.
WDOE is responsible for the administration of Washington's
program and issues discharge permits on a case-by-case basis.
Based on established effluent and receiving water quality
criteria and the permit application, WDOE establishes permit
conditions. Effluent parameters to be monitored, data collection
and analysis techniques, monitoring frequency, and reporting
schedules are specified as permit conditions. Monitoring is
carried out by the permit holder with the results filed at the
appropriate regional WDOE office as discharge monitoring reports
Recommended Changes. Recommendations for this program
include administrative changes, a list of additional permit
conditions to be considered before permit renewal, and DMR
storage procedures.
A major problem identified in the administration of the
program is the expiration of permits and the delay in renewal. A
discharger is required to notify WDOE prior to the current
permit's expiration date. If a permittee submits a letter
confirming that no changes in the discharge are expected during
the next 5 years, the permittee is not required to submit a
reapplication form (Springer pers. comm.). In such cases, due to
limited agency resources, the permit is extended until action is
taken by WDOE or until the discharger notifies WDOE of pending
changes (Kievit pers. comm.).
As NPDES permits are renewed or extended, it is recommended
that the following permit conditions be considered as local
additions to the national requirements, as appropriate:

•	Require submittal of an additional checklist that
identifies and estimates concentrations of all
pollutants that may occur in the discharge. Existing
forms do not contain requirements for analysis of most
priority pollutants or pollutants of local concern
(e.g. PCDFs).
•	Require continuous measurements of the discharge
•	Require monitoring of effluent using standard methods
specified in Chapter 9.
•	Require scheduled composite sample monitoring of high
priority pollutants (listed in Chapter 4) that are
identified as potentially occurring in the effluent.
•	Require use of a standardized report form that
establishes common terminology and units.
•	Require annual summaries of DMRs, with appropriate
statistical information.
These modifications of the present system should improve the
quality of mass loading information gathered under the NPDES
program. The changes also will provide useful information to
Puget Sound water quality managers on trends in mass loadings
from point sources.
After WDOE receives a DMR, the information should be entered
into a data base on the WDOE computer system. This would greatly
ease data retrieval and expedite use of the data. Also, permit
compliance verification with automatic noncompliance notices
could be incorporated into the computer program. Annual summa-
ries by dischargers would not be necessary if DMR data are stored
in an accessible automatic data system.
Value to Water Quality Managers. The NPDES monitoring
program should provide pollutant source data from numerous point
discharges to Puget Sound. These data can be used to determine
relative pollutant loadings and tentatively identify problem
areas. It also can be used to evaluate pollutant source control
and pretreatment programs and to evaluate the proportional signif-
icance among several discharges of the same pollutant. At the
present time, it is difficult to identify toxic constituents in
the wastestream of most permittees, and loading measurements are
very rare.
Background. The WDOE surface water quality monitoring
program has been ongoing for several years under authority of
RCW 90.48.250. The program includes a large network of fresh and
saltwater monitoring stations. A discussion of the marine

monitoring program is given in the next section. The objectives
of the surface water quality monitoring program are:
1.	Obtain long-term water quality data to document
maintenance of water quality classification.
2.	Provide a regular check for problem identification and
subsequent investigation (Haines pers. comm.).
The freshwater network is composed of 94 river stations.
Included in this network is the Basic Water Monitoring Program
(BWMP) and 23 federally operated stations. WDOE monitors the
freshwater stations monthly for temperature, dissolved oxygen,
pH, specific conductivity, nitrogen (nitrate, nitrite, ammonia),
phosphates (ortho and total), fecal coliform, turbidity, color,
and suspended solids. A few stations are also used to monitor
COD, water hardness, and total and dissolved cadmium, chromium,
copper, lead, mercury, and zinc. The U.S. Geological Survey
(USGS) monitors the federal stations every other month for the
above list of parameters and silver, arsenic, barium, cobalt,
iron, manganese, selenium, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium,
chloride, sulfate, fluoride, silica, alkalinity, sodium
absorption ratio, fecal streptococcus, dissolved solids, total
and dissolved organic carbon, phytoplankton, and chlorophyll.
COD is not included and some variation in parameters occurs
between USGS stations. Monitoring of BWMP stations is divided
between WDOE and USGS. WDOE obtains USGS data on request, and
stores all data on the WDOE computer and on EPA's STORET system.
At the end of the year, a summary of water quality data and flow
data is compiled by WDOE.
Recommended Changes. It is recommended that selected high
priority pollutants (Chapter 4) be included in the analyses at
each station at least over the course of one year, to provide
baseline information and identify potential problem areas.
Sampling for these pollutants could then be reduced to those
areas where problems are shown to exist.
Value to Water Quality Managers. The data gathered on
rivers discharging to Puget Sound can be used in determining
pollutant loading. The data also can be used to identify loading
trends. Correlations between loadings and upstream land uses may
be used for future land use planning and predicting water quality
Background. Monitoring of the 44 marine stations of WDOE's
surface water quality monitoring program follows a different
procedure from the river stations discussed above. The
objectives are the same for this part of the program. Four
marine stations are designated as part of the BWMP network. All
monitoring is conducted by WDOE. Grab samples are collected
monthly from April through October. During poor weather months
(winter) sampling is not attempted because WDOE uses small

seaplanes for transportation and sample collection. Summer
storms may also prevent sample collection. Marine water is
normally analyzed for conventional pollutants including:
coliform bacteria, turbidity, salinity, conductivity, pH,
nitrogen (nitrate, nitrite, ammonia), and phosphates (ortho and
total). At some stations sulfite waste liquor, chlorophyll a,
and/or arsenic are also monitored. Samples are collected on the
surface and at 10 m; occasionally a 30 m sample is also
collected. Fecal coliform is only analyzed in the surface water
sample. The data are reviewed by WDOE and stored on the WDOE
computer and in the EPA STORET system.
Recommended Changes. The recommended changes to this
program would greatly improve the value of this program to water
quality managers.
•	Monitor during the winter months, at least at all
stations in Puget Sound south of Admiralty Inlet. The
winter months are needed to establish accurate annual
trends and to identify seasonal variations. Freshwater
flow and sediment transport are very significant during
these months (Fredriksen, 1970) and may affect the
marine water quality in Puget Sound. Surface vessels
may be needed to collect and transport samples to
•	Include measurement of high priority heavy metals.
Inclusion of the heavy metal parameters would provide
background data for detection of water quality changes
and better data for estimating mass balance of these
pollutants. Monitoring should distinguish between
chemical species and metals in the dissolved and
particulate state.
Value to Water Quality Managers. This program establishes a
means for long-term observation of the water quality of Puget
Sound as a whole. This data base should be used in monitoring
environmental trends as well as existing conditions. The program
is currently hampered by failure to monitor during the winter, as
well as failure to monitor heavy metal concentrations.
Background. USGS conducts two monitoring programs that are
of interest to Puget Sound water quality managers: continuous
flow gaging stations, maintained on the larger rivers; and the
water quality monitoring done in conjunction with WDOE river
monitoring. The flow gaging program is part of the National
Water Data System operated by the USGS. Program objectives are
to collect hydrological data to determine annual variations in
national conditions and long-term changes in streamflow. Almost
all stations are gaged continuously with record tapes changed
every other month. The flow record often covers a number of
years but may not be continuous in terms of time or location.
Data are published annually by water year and stored on computer.

Recommended Changes. Changes that could yield valuable data
for Puget Sound water quality managers are presented below.
•	Establishment of additional gaging stations is
recommended for rivers that are not gaged downstream of
major confluences, such as the Stillaguamish River.
Ideally, all stations would be located near the river
mouth but upstream from the zone of significant tidal
influence. This would provide more useful flow data
for mass loading and hydrological studies. These data
are currently computed by routing down flow data from
the upstream gaging station.
•	Gaging stations and WDOE water quality monitoring
stations should coincide to the maximum extent
possible. Flow data and water quality data could then
be used with greater confidence to calculate mass
Value to Water Quality Managers. This program contributes
useful data that complement the WDOE program by measuring or
computing flow data and adding water quality monitoring stations.
Background. As part of the Basic Water Monitoring Program
(BWMP) conducted by WDOE, intertidal populations of mussels
(Mytilus edulis) are collected once per year for analysis of the
pollutants listed in Table 8-4. The BWMP is part of a national
program coordinated by EPA. Mussels are collected during a low-
tide period in late summer or early fall. The locations of
sampling stations for previous study years are shown in Table 8-5.
Note that during 1982, only the Commencement Bay station was
sampled. In the future, it is likely that four stations will be
sampled each year, including City Waterway in Commencement Bay
(Joy pers. comm.).
Recommendations. Because the BWMP is part of a nationwide
program, minor, but important, modifications are recommended.
•	It is recommended that the same sites be sampled every
year. Some consideration should be given to addition
of sampling stations near urban areas other than
Tacoma, e.g., Elliott Bay and Everett Harbor.
•	Consistency of sampling and analytical methods should
be maintained among states and over time within the
state. The BWMP should follow national guidelines (EPA
1977) for station location, sampling methods, and data
reporting. As national guidelines permit, mussels
should be collected from the same tidal height each
time. The results of the California "mussel watch"
program show that concentrations of cadmium, chromium,
aluminum, iron and manganese in mussel tissue vary in

Table 8-4. Pollutants Monitored in Mussel Tissue by WDOE
Chlorodane (4 isomers)
(X -BHC (hexachlorocyclohexane
Y-BHC "	(lindane)
SOURCE: Joy pers. comm.

Table 8-5. WDOE Sampling Stations, Basic Water Monitoring Program
Kayak Point
Port Susan
Pulali Point
Hood Canal
City Water Way
Commencement Bay
Carr Inlet
near Cromwell
S. Heron Island
Case Inlet
SOURCE: Yake pers. comm.

relation to tidal height (Stephenson et al. 1979;
Mearns pers. comm.).
•	Only 11 of the high priority pollutants recommended for
study (Chapter 4) are presently monitored by the BWMP
(PCBs are counted as a single pollutant). Monitoring
of all recommended high priority pollutants should be
•	Consideration should be given to transplanting mussels
from a clean area to a BWMP location and vice versa.
These mussels would be exposed for 10 weeks and
analyzed for body burdens of toxicants. Comparison of
field populations with transplanted test organisms will
provide more useful data on trends.
Value to Water Quality Managers. This program has the
potential of yielding useful data on the biological uptake of
pollutants, which would be useful in addressing some of the
identified water quality management needs. Furthermore, the data
can be used to identify trends in water quality parameters. The
data collected to date have been sparse, but could be used with
caution for local trend analyses. This particular program offers
opportunities to compare Puget Sound data with other national
program data.
The Washington Department of Social and Health Services
(DSHS) conducts an ongoing monitoring program for paralytic
shellfish poison (PSP) in Puget Sound. Additional information on
the distribution and abundance of the causative organism
Gonyaulax catenella and related toxin levels in shellfish is
available from short-term investigations by Nishitani et al.
(1979) and Nishitani and Chew (1979, 1980). Since these latter
studies are not being continued as full-scale monitoring efforts,
the following sections address only the DSHS shellfish PSP
monitoring program.
Background. The Washington Department of Health (now part
of DSHS) began testing for PSP toxin levels in shellfish in the
1930s, but a PSP monitoring program was not developed until 1957
(Nishitani and Chew 1982). Under the current program, DSHS is
responsible for coordinating sampling of shellfish, and measuring
amounts of PSP in the tissues. Most of the common species of
edible shellfish are included in the program, e.g., bay mussel
(Mytilus edulis)r butter clam (Saxidomus giganteus) r littleneck
clam (Protothaca staminea. Tapes -iaponica) . and Pacific oyster
(Crassostrea pigas). Other shellfish such as scallop (Pectin
spp.), cockle (Clinocardium nuttallii). soft shell clam (Mya
acenaria) and Olympia oyster (Qstrea lurida) are occasionally
tested for PSP. Sampling of recreational shellfish beds is con-
ducted by county health departments, whereas commercial shellfish
samples are sent to the DSHS laboratory by the commercial
operators (Lilja pers. comm.). Most county health districts

depend partly or entirely on public volunteers for collection of
shellfish. According to Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
regulations, harvesting areas must be closed when toxin levels
reach 80 ug/100 g of shellfish tissue. Counties are responsible
for closing recreational harvesting areas. DSHS orders the
closure of commercial beds when necessary. At a particular site,
closures may apply to only one or two species of shellfish, while
other species with acceptable levels of PSP continue to be
harvested. Contaminated shellfish are generally those species
that feed extensively on phytoplankton.
Tests for PSP in commercial shellfish areas are generally
conducted on a biweekly basis from April through October.
Certain commercial beds, which are harvested year round, are
tested on a regular basis throughout the year (Lilja pers.
comm.). Testing schedules for recreational harvesting areas vary
greatly, depending on the potential for contamination, the
relative number of users, the perceptions of the agency
responsible, and the capacity of the state testing laboratory.
When high levels of PSP are discovered in either a sport or a
commercial shellfish area, an intensive sampling schedule is
often initiated, e.g., weekly or occasionally more frequently.
PSP sampling areas are located throughout Puget Sound, with
a total of over 100 stations (Table 8-6). Approximately 60-70
percent of the samples come from recreational harvesting areas
(Lilja pers. comm.). Some of the large bays (e.g., Dungeness
Bay, Sequim Bay) have more than one sampling site. Each site
within a larger bay is not tested during each sampling period.
For recreational shellfish areas, the location of sites tested
vary greatly over time in relation to site use, potential
contamination, and submission of samples by public volunteers.
Permanent sampling locations have been established in commercial
shellfish areas. In addition, occasional testing of noncommer-
cial mussels (Mytilus edulis) in Southern Puget Sound is
conducted as part of an "early warning system." However,
concentrations of Gonyaulax and high levels of PSP toxin have
never been observed in the southern basin.
The present method of detecting PSP is the standard mouse
bioassay (AOAC 1975). The mouse bioassay is the only method
presently approved by FDA (Nishitani and Chew 1982). Since it is
an expensive, time-consuming test, the present capacity of the
monitoring program is limited by laboratory capabilities (Lilja
pers. comm.; Stott pers. comm.). Alternatives to the mouse
bioassay, including rapid commercial assays using High Pressure
Liquid Chromatography or field colorimetric tests, are being
developed, but none is presently available for use as a standard
technique in monitoring programs (Shimizu and Ragelis 197 9;
Sullivan pers. comm.). Alternative bioassay methods are now
being researched in various labs. Two that show promise are a
housefly bioassay, under development at the University of
Southern California (Ross pers. comm.), and an antibody bioassay,
under development by Biometrics Systems Inc. (Guire pers. comm.).

Table 8-6. Locations of Shellfish Testing Areas, PSP Monitoring Program.
Commercial Harvest Areas
Sport Harvest Areas
Dungeness Bay
Sequim Bay
Discovery Bay
Port Townsend Bay
Kilisut Harbor
Mystery Bay
Scow Bay
Oak Bay
Colvos Rocks
Port Gamble Bay
Penn Cove
Race's Lagoon
Port Susan Bay
Skagit Bay
Similk Bay
Samish Bay
Portage Bay
Hale Passage
Lurami Bay
Drayton Harbor
Point Roberts
Ship Bay - Orcas Island
Eastsound - Orcas Island
Hunter Bay - Lopez Island
Westcott Bay - San Juan Island
Open Bay - Henry Island
Agate Passage
Liberty Bay
Kitsap County
Clallam County
Sport Harvest Areas
Pierce County
Dungeness Bay
Sequim Bay
Port Williams
Gray Marsh
Diamond Point - Discovery Bay
Jefferson County
Discovery Bay
Kilisut Harbor
Port Townsend Bay
Oak Bay
Thorndyke Bay
Bywater Bay
Mason County
Stretch Island
Hartstene Island Bridge
Budd Inlet
Henderson Inlet
Nisqually Reach
Dupont Dock
Ketron Island
Fox Island Bridge
Titlow Beach
Point Defiance
Browns Point
Gig Harbor
Mayo Cove
Vaughn Bay
King County
Alki Point
Normandy Park
Seahurst Park
Dash Point
Carkeek Park
Quartermaster Harbor
Foulweather Bluff
Agate Passage
Fletcher Bay
Manitou Beach
Fay-Bainbridge State Park
Eagle Harbor
Yukon Harbor
Illahee State Park
Blake Island
Miller Bay
Dyes Inlet
Murden Cove
Skiff Point
Manchester State Park
Snohomish County
Warm Beach
Hat Island
Island County
Penn Cove
Doublebluff Beach
Columbia Beach
Holmes Harbor
Baby Island
Satchet Head
Camano Island State Park
Manaco Beach
Ala Spit
Woodland Beach - Camano
Snatelum Point
Useless Bay
Cultus Bay
Elger Bay
Harrington Lagoon
Skagit County
Guemes Island - Burrows Bay
Sinclair Island
Similk Bay
Samish Bay
March Point
Hat Island
Cypress Islnad
Whatcom County
Chuckanut Bay
Birch Bay
Larabee State Park
Drayton Harbor
Bellingham Bay
Cherry Point
Sandy Point
San Juan County
Cattle Point - San Juan
Garrison Bay - San Juan
Spencer Spit - Lopez
Mackaye Harbor - Lopez
Shoal Bay - Lopez
Mud Bay - Lopez
Fisherman Bay - Lopez
Squaw Bay - Shaw
Pile Point - San Juan
Guthrie Cove - Orcas
Decatur Island - South Er
Sucia Island - West Side
Buck Bay - Orcas
Mitchell Bay - San Juan
SOURCE: Lilja pers. comm.

Recommendations. For the most part, the existing sampling
program is adequate; the current program has an excellent record
for protecting the public. Since the beginning of the program in
1957, there have been no reported cases of PSP from shellfish
commercially harvested in Washington (Nishitani and Chew 1982).
However, the program is not formalized. Formalization of a
specific sampling strategy and concurrent measurement of water
quality parameters are recommended.
In addition to the current data reports, the following data
analyses are recommended:
•	Minimum, mean, and maximum PSP level for each shellfish
species at each site.
•	Correlation analyses of water quality parameters (e.g.,
salinity, nutrient levels, temperature of surface
water) with PSP levels for selected primary sites.
•	Time series comparisons of PSP levels at adjacent sites
to identify spatial and temporal progression of high
PSP incidence.
Data analyses should be directed not only at immediate monitoring
requirements (i.e., protection of the public through harvest
closures), but also at potential predictive models that might
allow accurate forecasts of PSP incidence.
Value to Water Quality Managers. The cause of Gonyaulax
catenella blooms and resulting levels of the toxin is not clearly
understood. If a water quality parameter is linked to the
blooms, this data base would provide substantial information on
water quality trends. Until such a link is determined, the PSP
monitoring program data are limited to public health objectives.
If measurement of some water quality parameters were added at the
time of collection, these data could be used in establishing
associated water quality conditions and trends.
Background. DSHS is responsible for monitoring the quality
of shellfish from commercial harvest areas. The program is
primarily oriented toward commercial clams, mussels, and oysters.
DSHS only occasionally tests recreational shellfish samples
collected by county employees or volunteers.
The shellfish/coliform monitoring program is part of the
National Shellfish Sanitation Program, a cooperative venture
among federal, state, and industry representatives since about
1925 (Stott pers. comm.). The program in Washington state
monitors fecal coliform bacteria in the water column and in
shellfish at commercial growing areas. Shellfish tissue samples
are examined weekly at processing plants, and additional
monitoring is performed at the wholesale and retail levels (Lilja
pers. comm).

The field program does not maintain a routine sampling
schedule. Rather, intensive field surveys are conducted over a
4-10 day period in each area during the time of expected poor
water quality. Commercial growing beds covered by the coliform
monitoring program include those monitored for paralytic
shellfish poisoning (PSP) (Table 8-6) as well as other harvest
areas in Hood Canal and Southern Puget Sound (Lilja pers. comm.).
The field surveys form the basis for classifying growing areas
according to recommended guidelines established by the National
Shellfish Sanitation Program. These guidelines have been adopted
by the state and are based on coliform bacteria concentrations in
the water column. There are no established federal criteria for
bacteria concentrations in shellfish tissue in the field (Stott
pers. comm.), but state guidelines for tissue contamination have
been developed. Growing areas are classified as certified,
conditionally certified (e.g., area may be open only part of the
season), and closed.
Recommended Changes. The DSHS monitoring program for
coliform bacteria in shellfish is part of an established national
program. Significant improvement of the local program would
result from:
•	Establishment of empirical relationships between water
column concentrations of bacteria and tissue levels.
•	Coordination with the PSP monitoring program by
measuring Gonyaulax catenella concentrations in water
samples collected for the coliform program.
•	Establishment of a formal sampling and classification
program for recreational harvest areas.
Value to Water Quality Managers. The major benefit to the
comprehensive monitoring program is the documentation of trends
in shellfish contamination by bacteria. These trends will
demonstrate the effectiveness of WDOE programs to control
bacterial contamination in shellfish growing areas.


Chapter 9
Water quality managers must bridge major gaps in the data
needed to link pollutants to observed environmental degradation
and adverse impacts on Puget Sound resources. It may be a few
years before recommended studies provide data that will bridge
the more critical gaps. It may be even longer before specific
chemical pollutants can be identified as causal agents and
environmental action levels established.
The water quality manager meanwhile must rely on existing
data and acceptable investigative tools. Such data are useful as
long as one interprets the results as warning signals. Discovery
of high sediment concentrations of toxicants and pathological
conditions in biota is evidence that demands a closer evaluation
of the quality of the environment and current waste management
practices. Best available data and reasonable judgments can be
used to develop a "preponderance of evidence" approach to
decision making.
This approach requires simultaneous investigations of two
features of the environment: current loading of pollutants, and
the accumulating reservoir of pollutants. Information on both
features is needed. For example, current pollutant loading may
not directly affect biota, but may be contributing to adverse
impacts resulting from accumulating contaminants.
Evaluation of current input and accumulating materials must
include both chemical analyses and bioassays. Acute response
bioassay results must be interpreted with care. They should not
be considered as the final product of any survey, or as direct
proof of adverse impact in the environment. Rather, these tests
should be seen as warnings that adverse biological effects may
occur. Management decisions can be made based on data from any
one of the steps described below, but decisions must take into
account information provided at all steps in the process. For
example, discovery in effluent of a chemical known to cause
cancer at low concentrations may warrant development or implemen-
tation of the best available technology (BAT) that is economical-
ly feasible to control the discharge, even though acute response
bioassays do not indicate lethality. In the same way, discovery
of high sediment contamination by a carcinogenic compound may
indicate a need to stabilize or reduce concentrations in the

environment by reducing input, even though current input of the
compound alone may be unlikely to cause detectable effects.
As noted in Chapter 1, the interim management program is a
valuable part of the Puget Sound water quality management
program. The biological tests conducted here, in association
with the recommended biological studies of Chapter 7, will
provide data bridging critical gaps in the linkage of pollutants
to biological effects. The interim approach will gradually
change as data are obtained from the work described in Chapter 7.
The interim approach is based on reasonable judgments applied to
information obtained from chemical analyses, acute response
bioassays, and other available data. As the recommended studies
are completed, a more sophisticated approach can be taken as
linkage between pollutants and specific biological effects
(particularly sublethal effects) are identified.
Current Discharge Practices
Evaluation of a point source discharge should include the
following steps: 1) Identify concentrations of pollutants and
waste flow volumes in the discharge. 2) Perform biological tests
on the discharge. 3) Enact, continue or expand appropriate BAT
as necessary. 4) Continue chemical and biological monitoring on
a regular basis to help identify any change in discharge toxicity
that may require further action.
Step one is necessary to identify any compounds that can
produce significant biological effects at the concentrations
present. It also identifies compounds that concurrently should
be monitored in sediments and biota. Highest priority should be
given to synthetic organic compounds that are known or suspected
to be acutely toxic, carcinogenic, mutagenic, or teratogenic at
low concentrations (e.g. at tens of parts per million or lower).
Step two provides an assessment of the potential toxicity of
the discharge using sensitive indicator organisms in short-term
acute response bioassays. Sublethal and chconic effects (e.g.
life cycle and reproductive effects) are presumed to result from
long-term, low-level exposures to substances identified as
acutely toxic. Sublethal effects are a major concern; however,
experiments designed to directly measure such effects are
difficult to perform, expensive, long term, and poorly validated.
These features cause long-term chronic effect bioassays to fall
more into basic research rather than as field investigative
tools, thus, the interim reliance on acute response techniques.
The selected bioassayCs) must, in order to be useful in an
interim management context, meet the following criteria:

•	Since seawater chemistry may alter toxicity of some
discharges, the bioassay should be conducted on marine
or anadromous species in seawater. To prevent osmotic
shock, freshwater effluent should be tested at a
concentration no greater than 10 percent, or should be
mixed with ocean salts.
•	The test organism(s) must demonstrate the best possible
compromise of the following traits: sensitivity,
availability, and adaptability to handling and bioassay
conditions. Also, the life history and ecology of the
test organism(s) should be well documented.
•	The bioassay technique(s) should be standardized,
accepted, and well validated.
•	The test should require a minimum of special equipment
or skills.
•	Costs should be relatively low for the quality of data
•	The bioassay should define a discrete endpoint for
•	Results should be statistically interpretable (i.e.
from a well controlled experimental design).
Bioassays selected using these criteria will best meet immediate
management needs by effectively serving, in conjunction with the
chemical characterization, as a warning sign identifying partic-
ular toxic conditions requiring careful review.
At this time, bioassays potentially appropriate for toxicity
investigations and monitoring include:
•	The Pacific oyster embryo bioassay (Woelke 1972; ASTM
1980) .
•	A mussel larvae bioassay following the same methods
(ASTM 1980).
•	The sperm cell toxicity bioassay (Dinnel et al. 1982;
Stober & Chew 1983).
•	A modified Ames test (Dexter & Kocan 1981).
•	A mysid shrimp bioassay (EPA/COE 1977; Petrazzuolo
•	Bioassays using larvae of other crustaceans such as
Dungeness crab or pandalid shrimp.

All of these are relatively short-term tests having discrete
endpoints, generally accepted methodologies, and well-developed
protocols which thus far have seen relatively wide use.
Generally, it is recommended that the Pacific oyster larvae
bioassay be the minimum required biological test for effluent
monitoring under these interim water quality management proce-
dures. The organism and test presently are ranked as best
meeting the criteria set forth above. The sperm cell bioassay
(Dinnel et al. 1982; Stober & Chew 1983) should be given serious
consideration as a possible replacement to the oyster larvae
bioassay once it becomes better validated and more widely
accepted. This test exhibits similar, or more sensitivity to a
wide variety of toxicants compared to the oyster larvae bioassay.
It can be performed, analyzed, and results interpreted and
available in one day. A further advantage is that the reading of
the results is less subjective than for oyster larvae. WDOE's
Industrial Section currently uses a salmonid bioassay, using
65 percent effluent in freshwater (Springer pers. comm.). The
test could be modified by using post-smoltification fish in
seawater, however, consideration should be given to the
relatively more sensitive bioassays listed above.
Step three is a decision stage. Either steps one or two can
dictate establishment, continuance, or expansion of BAT or best
control technology (BCT), depending on the situation. The
results of chemical analyses of sediments from the receiving area
must also be considered in the decision. Current discharge
practices may not be harming exposed organisms directly, for
example, but they may be exacerbating conditions caused by
historical practices.
Step four (continued chemical and biological monitoring)
could be required if there were the possibility that the
composition or toxicity of the discharge would change. Monitor-
ing would provide information on the success of management
The relative importance of nonpoint source input of
pollutants, especially toxicants, to Puget Sound is difficult to
determine. Little information is currently available (Jones &
Stokes Associates, Inc. 1983). However, even for purposes of
interim management, it is important to know as much as possible
about nonpoint source contributions so that the effectiveness of
potential management actions can be predicted. This approach is
also a major part of the longer term water quality management
plan for Puget Sound (Chapter 5). The scope of the problem is
initially reduced in magnitude by treating riverine input to
Puget Sound as if it were a point source. If the data indicate
major pollutant contributions from rivers, evaluation of the
relative contribution of point and nonpoint sources becomes
important as a subsequent work effort in the watershed.

Effort to identify and reduce the potential for nonpoint
source contamination should be directed as follows: 1) Inventory
inputs of toxicants, and describe and quantify the constituents
at different times of the year. 2) Determine relative contribu-
tions by input types. 3) Estimate the relative need for and
practicality of remedial action (i.e. whether the source is
controllable). 4) Implement remedial action as possible. These
steps are more fully described in Chapter 5.
Without supporting effort on nonpoint sources, point source
dischargers could face costly regulation with no benefit to the
receiving environment, because local nonpoint inputs are major
contributors of the target pollutant. The data obtained from the
recommended approach will allow comparison of the relative
importance of current point and nonpoint discharges to potential
water quality problems.
Accumulating (Sediment) Contamination
Evaluating the effects of historical and steadily accumula-
ting contamination is as necessary to water quality management as
evaluating the importance of present discharges. As a reservoir
of adsorbed toxicants, sediment acts as an integrator of present
and historical water quality conditions. Sediments highly contam-
inated from past practices may adversely affect resident biota,
and these effects could be exacerbated by new inputs of
Several steps may be required when assessing toxicants
accumulating in the sediments. These steps include: 1) Conduct
physical and chemical analysis of the sediments likely to be
influenced by a discharge of interest, or at suspected sites of
high contamination. 2) Identify toxicants likely to be the most
critical based on their chemical and biological properties.
3) Survey the biota found in the area of the sediment samples,
including species composition, chemical body burdens, and
histopathological screening if appropriate. 4) Perform
biological tests on the sediments. 5) Compare results from
chemical and biological analyses of current inputs (point and
nonpoint sources) to the sediment analyses. 6) Enact, continue,
or expand BAT, BCT, or best management practices (BMP) as
necessary to stabilize or reduce loading. 7) Monitor sediment
and local biota, and continue biological testing, if required, to
help assess the effectiveness of management actions.
Just as during evaluation of present discharges, management
decisions can be made at various steps along this procedure,
depending on results. Significant findings from either the
chemical or biological analyses alone could dictate specific
actions. The most responsible and defensible management actions
will come only after consideration of results from analyses on
both current inputs and the store of accumulated contaminants.

It should be noted that elements of this work effort are now
underway Chapter 3).
Ideally, one would like to be able to answer three major
questions regarding the potential toxicity of any contaminanted
sediment to aquatic life. These include:
1.	Is the sediment toxic?
2.	Are chemical compounds that are associated with
sediments taken up by organisms?
3.	Can chemicals in sediments and taken up by organisms
cause any adverse biological effects?
Research into these questions has been identified earlier in this
report as being a priority for further funding. Meanwhile, the
state of the art does not seem to be such that bioassays designed
to identify sublethal or chronic effects can be used as regulatory
tools. Management should, therefore focus for now on results
from acute bioassays, coupled with physical and chemical data on
the sediments themselves.
Protocols have been developed to study the potential for
acute sediment toxicity (EPA/COE 1977; Pequegnat et al. 1981;
Pierson et al. 1982b; and Petrazzuolo 1983). These protocols
differ in some of the specifics, but all generally assess
potential sediment toxicity through the testing of three "phases"
of material prepared from the bulk sediment samples. These are:
Solid Phase (SP), Suspended Particulate Phase (SPP), and Liquid
Phase (LP) preparations. SP, SPP, and LP preparations have been
used in acute toxicity tests with a variety of indicator
organisms and methodologies. Guiding principles in conducting
sediment bioassays are:
•	Sediments should be tested as Solid Phase (SP),
Suspended Particulate Phase (SPP), and Liquid Phase
(LP) preparations, with appropriate methodologies and
species as outlined below.
•	Bioassays should utilize established, standardized,
wel 1-validated methodologies. Utilization of or
research into new techniques is not appropriate to
these interim recommendations. Although such
investigations should be encouraged, and indeed
actively funded, they should not detract from efforts
required for interim monitoring and management.
Those tests that have been or can easily be applied to Puget
Sound organisms, and that best meet the criteria given earlier in
this chapter, are summarized below relative to each phase.

Biological testing performed with solid phase sediment
samples is subject to two major confounding factors that can
affect interpretation of the results. First, benthic organisms
generally have very specific substrate preferences. The degree
to which these "preferences" may actually be requirements is not
well quantified for species that have been used thus far in
sediment bioassays. The testing of several different sediments
using a single test species without the use of rigorous controls
and appropriate validating experiments usually yields uninterpre-
table data. Second, fine sediments tend to accumulate toxicants
to higher levels than coarser sediments receiving the same
exposure, primarily because of the difference in surface area
available for adsorption. Clearly, sediment grain size can have
a two-fold role in influencing the outcome of sediment bioassays.
For these reasons, some specific recommendations are made
below which, together with good laboratory practices, are
necessary for data analysis and interpretation.
•	Ideally, sediments would be tested fresh; however,
there are situations where this is impractical. If
bioassay test data are to be compared, the methods
should be standardized. Under these constraints, the
optimum compromise is that all sediments (including
controls) should be stored frozen, and bioassays should
begin no later than 48 hours after the initiation of
•	All bioassays should include clean control (reference)
sediment, native control sediment (from which the test
organisms were collected, if appropriate) and a toxic
(negative) control sediment. Toxic (negative) control
material can be sediment known to be contaminated and
to produce quantified, repeatable, acute effects on the
test organisms, or can be manufactured by spiking
separate samples of the clean control (reference)
sediment with a standardized preparation of a toxicant,
as methods for such spiking become accepted and the
results repeatable. If spiking is done, a spiked
native sediment control should also be included.
Control sediments (toxic and clean reference) could be
kept as large stocks for use in various bioassays,
adding to the comparability between studies.
Several investigators have used gammarid amphipods under
various methodologies to assess acute toxicity of sediments in
Puget Sound (Swartz et al. 1982; Pierson et al. 1982a, 1983;
Chapman et al. 1982b; stober & Chew 1983). Gammarid amphipods
bury themselves in the substrate and are small and easily col-
lected in numbers sufficient for testing. Much debate centers
around the appropriateness of the various methodologies, species
used, interpretations of data, and the importance of controlling
for potential confounding factors such as particle size. Until a

scientific consensus can be reached regarding methodologies and
interpretations, the water quality manager is faced with a choice
for solid phase testing: either amphipod bioassays should be
performed in the interim and the data archived for possible re-
evaluation later, or some other more appropriate organism should
be tested in the solid phase. Presently, there is no other
organism that has been shown to be any more "ideal" for SP testing
than an amphipod species. Chapman et al. (in press) have used
Capjjt.ella capitata? the species should be given consideration if
the methodology can be proven to be more appropriate and
acceptable to the scientific community.
Since the results of any SP bioassay could be affected by a
variety of sediment parameters, as much information as possible
about any of these parameters is required. In this way, future
research into the importance of these potentially confounding
factors can be used to reevaluate already collected data, and
reperforming tests may not be necessary. The following informa-
tion must be recorded on sediments used in any SP bioassay:
•	Particle size analysis on all controls and test
•	Eh, pH, and ammonia concentration determinations, at
least at the beginning and end of the test period.
•	Chemical analysis on all control and test sediments.
SPP bioassays expose organisms to fine particulates and any
chemical contaminants bound to those particulates. Continuous-
flow experiments are most appropriate for SPP testing and for use
with larger organisms such as fishes and nonlarval bivalves or
crustaceans. Sublethal indices (e.g. growth of young mussels)
are easier to test for in continuous-flow SPP bioassays than with
other phase testing. However, sublethal tests are difficult to
interpret and usually involve a high degree of variability. The
criteria for use as an interim management tool are again best met
by performing short-term acute SPP bioassays on sensitive
Continuous-flow SPP bioassays have most often been performed
using smolts of various salmonid species. Smolts are relatively
more sensitive to pollutants and pollution-related stresses than
other salmonid life-history stages, but they are not among the
more sensitive species that could be used. The importance of
salmonids to the culture and economy of the Pacific Northwest,
together with their availability and the vast amount of experi-
ence workers have had in handling these organisms, makes them
appropriate for use in the testing program. It is necessary,
however, to ensure that the salmonids have actually undergone
successful smoltification prior to beginning any bioassay per-
formed in saltwater. This can be accomplished by using species
that are adapted to osmoregulation in seawater essentially from

hatching, i.e. pink (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha) or chum (Q. Keta)
salmon. Individuals of these species can be tested when much
smaller than other salmonids, thus allowing larger sample sizes
and better resolution of effects. If smolts of another salmonid
species are used, plasma sodium analyses, minimally, should be
performed prior to and for at least 3 days following seawater
entry, to ensure that successful smoltification has indeed taken
LP bioassays can provide indications of the potential acute
toxicity of soluble chemical contaminants in the sediment.
Several organisms and techniques have been utilized and have
gained general acceptance, or have become sufficiently validated
to allow consideration of their use in a management context at
this time. These include many of the same organisms and tests
outlined for the monitoring of effluent discharges. The same
criteria for their use apply.
Compatibility between results from biological tests applied
to discharges and to sediments is necessary; therefore, the
Pacific oyster larvae bioassay should be used at this point as
well. The sperm cell bioassay may be able to replace the oyster
larvae bioassay in the near future.


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Summary of Findings from First Phase of Work

This appendix is a brief summary of the findings of the
first phase of work (Jones & Stokes Associates, Inc. 1983). The
report described water quality management programs and data
needs, and evaluated the ability of existing data to meet data
needs of water quality managers.
Management Programs
Water quality managers have the necessary regulatory tools
to respond to, prevent, and abate pollution once it becomes
reasonably evident that a discharge/activity has an adverse
effect on beneficial uses or resources. Although a comprehensive
water quality management structure is operating in Puget Sound,
it is not fully integrated and coordinated with respect to the
acquisition and use of data and information. In particular,
research and monitoring efforts between, and occasionally within,
management agencies are not coordinated.
Data Needs for Water Quality Management
Water quality management is normally accomplished by various
statutory permit/enforcement programs. Ideally, water quality
management decisions should be made with full knowledge of the
direct and cumulative impacts expected to result from each
decision. Knowledgeable decisions require data of several kinds:
location and type of pollutant sources; quanitity of each
potential pollutant discharged; physical, chemical, and biologi-
cal processes affecting pollutant transport and environmental
fate; and toxicity/dose-response data for key species likely to
be affected. This information will allow a reasonable determina-
tion of the maximum loading a system can absorb before an
unacceptable biological impact occurs.
Because many ecosystem impacts are difficult to observe or
quantify, the term "unacceptable impact" is most effectively
defined as impairment of a designated beneficial use, or
alteration in the ability of certain organisms to survive, grow,
and reproduce. These represent key starting points in impact
assessment and resource management.
The data base should have two key features: it should
contain data that can demonstrate relationships between pollution
and effects on biota and beneficial uses; and it should be based
on a coordinated multidisciplinary (holistic) approach so that
data are compatible and consistent from study to study. Ideally,
the data should link specific pollutants to observed adverse

Available Data
With the exception of effluent analyses done as part of the
301(h) waiver applications for municipal discharges and as NPDES
permit compliance monitoring by a few selected industrial
dischargers, there are few data to describe sources and mass
loading of priority pollutants to Puget Sound. Loading for
nonpoint sources is not documented, partly because nonpoint
discharges are not permitted sources, but primarily because their
diffuse nature does not easily lend itself to source identifica-
tion, characterization, quantification, or monitoring.
The objectives of a modeling effort for Puget Sound are to
identify depositional areas for contaminated solids (fate of
solids) and to determine retention time of dissolved pollutants
and suspended solids (interbasin transfer, overall circulation
patterns, fate of solids). Although major concern is focused on
urbanized embayments, because of known or suspected pollution-
related impacts on beneficial uses, an overall Puget Sound model
is necessary to supply important general information on net
circulation, mass transport, and boundary conditions to drive
more detailed subarea models.
Major limitations of models that have been or are currently
being applied to Puget Sound include:
•	Dimensionality - Many of the models use 1-dimensional
formulations which represent over-simplified systems.
•	Spatial Resolution - Some of the formulations utilize
grids to break up the study area into workable units.
Many of the models lack grid flexibility. Detailed
information in certain areas is required, thus, lack of
grid flexibility severely limits the applicability of
some models.
•	Site-Specificity - Some of the models are site-specific.
The assumptions and basic equations used in the models
are only applicable to a certain area or water body
•	Verification and Calibration - Many of the models lack
adequate calibration and verification.
Three options exist for future modeling effort in Puget Sound:
revise an existing model of Puget Sound; modify and adapt a model
developed for a different water body; or develop a new model.
All require data for model development and calibration. A
substantial amount of data for use in circulation modeling is
available for many physical/chemical parameters in Puget Sound,

although it is not presented in an organized, comprehensive
format. The state-of-the-art model review identified a model by
Najarian et al. (1981) as the optimum existing technique for
application to Puget Sound as a whole. A model by Sheng and
Butler (1982) was identified as the optimum existing technique
for adaptation to the Central Basin. The latter is a 3-dimensional
leveled model that provides flexibility in grid layout. Both
models would not require major modifications for application to
Puget Sound.
A review of literature on properties, fates, sources, and
distribution of the 126 EPA "priority pollutants", petroleum
hydrocarbons, polychlorinated dibenzofurans, and particulates in
Puget Sound reveals numerous data gaps for most of these pollut-
ants. Behavior of many compounds, and even whole groups, is not
well understood. Behavior of an entire group often must be
inferred from behavior of a single compound, or of related
compounds, because compound-specific data are not available. In
addition, reactions are often site-specific, and much of the
known fate information is based on reactions in a freshwater
environment. Interactions in the marine environment in general,
and in Puget Sound in particular, are not well understood.
The lack of data on properties, sources, fates, and distri-
bution of many compounds does not mean that decision makers are
completely without information in these areas. Sufficient data
exist to permit reasonable judgements regarding properties,
fates, and probable distribution in the Sound. Certain compounds
appear to be of greater concern than others based on their acute
and chronic toxicity, their tendency for persistence and bioaccu-
mulation, and the degree and extent of local contamination Many
of the priority pollutants do not appear to be of local concern,
while other pollutants not considered as EPA priority pollutants
have greater local impact based on their prevalence and properties.
Compounds of most concern appear to be DDT/DDE, PCBs, chlorinated
aliphatics (including chlorinated butadienes [CBDs]), polychlori-
nated dibenzofurans, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons
(particularly naphthalenes, fluoranthenes, benzo(a)anthracene,
benzo(a)pyrene, and possibly pyrene and chrysene) and, to a
lesser extent, heavy metals. Others, such as aldrin/ dieldrin,
are of potential concern, but additional data are needed to
determine their status.
For the Puget Sound region, the most intensively studied
biological effects include organism abundances, toxicity, and
bioaccumulation. There is little or no information concerning
potential biological effects on behavior and reproduction.
Fishes have received the greatest study effort; however, con-
siderable work has also been conducted on assessment of toxicity
using benthos and plankton.

Studies have produced several kinds of information,
• Identifying (or failing to identify) effects on
indigenous biota.
•	Identifying tissue contamination and abnormal
pathological conditions in organisms inhabiting
industrialized areas.
•	Identifying probable relationships between contaminated
sediments and bioaccumulation, disease, and mortality
of Puget Sound organisms.
Although effects on biota (e.g., fin erosion, bioaccumulation)
have been implicated in field studies, information on quantitative
cause-and-effect relationships is lacking. For example, apparent
effects of the West Point sewage discharge have been detected in
local infaunal communities. However, the available information
does not adequately characterize the cause(s) of the observed
effects, and is clearly inadequate in establishing a quantitative
cause-and-effeet relationship.
Studies of bioaccumulation have demonstrated that various
contaminants (e.g., PCBs, CBDs, and several metals) occur in
elevated concentrations in Puget Sound biota. However, informa-
tion on uptake routes, intertrophic transfer, and depuration
rates is generally lacking. Moreover, quantitative relationships
between sediment or water concentrations and organism tissue
levels also are unavailable. In comparing body burdens of
certain compounds in fish from urbanized areas and fish in areas
presumed to be nonpolluted, conflicting data are usually observed.
Much of the confusion is due to improper or unverified reference
sites. However, the general condition is that heavy metals are
on the order of two- or three-fold greater in tissues of fish
from urban areas, whereas some synthetic organic compounds may be
as high as one or two orders of magnitude greater, relative to
presumed nonpolluted reference sites.
It is known that certain synthetic organics are toxic to
many organisms at low concentrations. Data from the literature
indicate that PCBs are taken up from sediments and from the water
column, and that PCBs induce some of the pathological conditions
observed in urbanized embayments of Puget Sound. These latter
observations, although obtained in laboratory conditions, are
indirect evidence that PCBs may be causing some of the observed
pathologies of fishes. This does not, however, constitute evidence
that PCBs are the only causal agent for fish abnormalities in
Puget Sound.
Overall, past studies in the Puget sound region have served
to identify the nature and location of probable biological
effects. Although some cause-and-effeet relationships are

suggested by available data, additional studies will be required
for the determination of quantitative relationships that are
useful for predictive purposes.
Monitoring Programs
The main function of monitoring programs is to identify
trends. Common limitations to existing monitoring programs make
it difficult to use these data to evaluate environmental condi-
tions, identify trends, or predict impacts of water quality
management decisions. Private studies often tend to provide more
in-depth data, but only for localized areas and over short
durations, which makes trend determinations difficult. However,
because of their greater detail, short-term studies may ultimately
provide data of greater value than that provided by routine water
column monitoring of a few selected conventional parameters.
Value of these studies would be enhanced if collection and
analysis procedures are standardized to allow comparison of study
results over time.

Methods for Adapting Models to Puget Sound

The following is a brief outline of steps necessary to adapt
the model of Najarian et al. (1981) to Puget Sound.
Modification of the Naiarian et al. (198]) model
formulation, required for adaptation to Puaet Sound. Modifica-
tions include incorporation of desired variables, (density
modifiers, temperature, and suspended solids processes), into the
conservation of mass equation and the equation of state. Associ-
ated sources, sinks, and decay or settling rates must also be
included in the formulation. These data will be provided by
other recommended studies that address solids processes in detail,
including settling characteristics, possible algorithms, and the
relationship between organic constituents and suspended solids
(sediment contaminant coefficients).
Selection of temporal and spatial resolution requirements
including specification of the time step and arid configuration.
For any model there is a tradeoff between spatial resolution,
time step, and the cost of running the model. The Najarian et
al. (1981) model uses a semi-implicit finite difference integra-
tion scheme that allows significantly larger time steps in the
dynamic integration. This is useful when dealing with water
bodies of extreme depth, as found in certain basins of Puget
Sound. In addition, this model allows for network branching to
account foe multiple, interconnected channels. Therefore,
appropriate model resolution based on water quality conditions
and waste sources, as well as hydrodynamic processes, can be
selected to provide various levels of needed detail.
Collection of existing data for calibration and
verification procedures. Two independent data sets are needed
for this task. Additional field observations are required to
adequately represent suspended solids and may be needed to
describe sill zone processes, depending on model sensitivity
results. Measurement of sedimentation rates by sediment traps is
considered to be the appropriate method of collecting model
calibration and verification data. A program of sediment trap
deployment throughout the Sound would be needed.
Calibration of the model. Calibration of the model involves
"tuning" the various empirically based coefficients on a site-
specific basis using one of the independent data sets. These
coefficients are influenced by system geometry, local eddy
behavior, bottom irregularities and vertical, sill zone mixing.
Thus, before application to Puget Sound, site-specific
calibration will be required.
Verification and application of the model. Once the model
coefficients are calibrated, the model is verified using a
different, independent set of prototype conditions to determine
whether the model accurately reproduces these observations.
After verification procedures have been completed, the model may
be used in a predictive capacity to calculate net transport,

general circulation, and boundary conditions for the sub-basin
Sensitivity analysis of the model. Sensitivity studies
should be performed to separately investigate the response of the
model to variation in the forcing mechanisms thought to govern
circulation in Puget Sound. Sensitivity studies will ensure that
the model is properly "debugged" and that there are no discrepan-
cies in the representation of physical phenomena. These studies
will offer insight into the understanding of the various forcing
functions (tides, winds, density, etc.) and indicate needs for
additional field data in on-going model testing.
The first set of sensitivity tests should be made for tidal
simulation in order to estimate the approximate bottom friction
coefficients. For these initial tests, density variations will
be ignored. A systematic series of model simulations will be
made varying the bottom friction coefficients to determine the
sensitivity of system response in terms of tide amplitudes and
phase variations throughout. Preliminary adjustment of bottom
friction coefficient will be made by comparing model results to
available in situ data.
The next set of sensitivity studies will investigate the
role of density-induced circulation on system-wide net flows.
The model will be run "diagnostically" by specifying the density
variations throughout from available prototype data, probably on
a seasonal average basis, as permitted by available data sources.
The results of these tests will be a series of runs showing the
capability of the model to simulate the net, long-term seasonal
circulation induced by the large-scale horizontal and vertical
density structure of the Puget Sound system.
Next, sensitivity studies of model response to vertical eddy
viscosity and diffusivity formulations and magnitudes will be
performed to assess the impact of various treatments on model
predictions. Empirically derived formulations related to such
parameters as depth, winds, vertical stratification, and water
velocity will be obtained from the literature, and will be
updated based on analysis of on-going model calibrations against
field data.
Finally, given a definition of the bottom friction and
vertical eddy viscosity formulations, a series of wind driven
simulations will then be performed. These studies will quantify
the response of channel waters to wind forcing and document the
response times that characterize the system.

Other Basin Models

Whidbey Island Basin Model
A separate 3-dimensional model of the Whidbey Island Basin
is considered of secondary priority. It would extend from
Possession sound on the south to Deception Pass on the north.
The model recommended is that by Sheng and Butler (1982), for the
same reasons as outlined for the Central Basin (Chapter 6).
Skagit Bay and Port Susan are areas within the Whidbey
Island Basin that receive major river discharges, as well as
exhibit extensive tidal flat areas. For these areas, a
2-dimensional, vertically averaged model with flooding and drying
capability should be applied (Taylor and Pagenkopf 1981), with
appropriate boundary conditions supplied from either the
laterally averaged model, or a 3-dimensional model of Whidbey
Island Basin.
Southern Puaet Sound Model
Southern Puget Sound is defined as that portion of Puget
Sound south of the Tacoma Narrows, This water body exhibits
vigorous tidal mixing, and receives freshwater runoff from the
Deschutes and Nisqually Rivers. Despite strong tidal mixing,
this water body exhibits local stratification near river mouths
and seasonal stratification in many areas due to the significant
depths that exist. In view of the channelized network nature of
this system, as well as the extreme depths of the main channels,
the best modeling approach is application of the 2-dimensional,
laterally averaged model by Najarian et al. (1981).
Budd and Totten Inlets represent the irregular network of
shallow channels that connect to Southern Puget Sound through
Pickering and Dana Passages around Hartstene Island. This
portion of southern Puget Sound is very shallow, and exhibits
local water quality stresses as evidenced by high algal and
zooplankton productivity. The MIT-DNM 1-dimensional network
model (Harleman et al. 1977) is ideally suited for representation
of this subsystem, because of its shallow, channelized nature.
Hood Canal Model
Hood Canal is also, by nature of its long, deep, and narrow
channels, most appropriately represented by the 2-dimensional,
laterally averaged model by Najarian et al. (1982). Furthermore,
Hood Canal normally exhibits distinct stratification due to
numerous rivers that discharge into this basin along its length.
The main features of hydrodynamics within Hood Canal are

therefore oriented along the vertical and longitudinal axis of
the system.
Bellingham Bay is a separate, semi-enclosed basin bordering
on the Strait of Georgia. This basin exhibits wide variability
in depth, with extensive tidal flat areas that alternately flood
and dry over the tidal cycle. Bellingham Bay receives major
freshwater runoff from the Nooksack and Samish Rivers. Because
of the relatively shallow nature of the system, as well as the
tidal flats, the most appropriate circulation model for
application to this area would be a 2-dimensional, vertically
averaged model with the capability to simulate flooding and
drying effects accurately and economically. Such a model is the
finite-difference model by Taylor and Pagenkopf (1981), which
could be applied to the system without modification.