EPA 910/9-83-106C
United States Region 10
Environmental Protection 1200 Sixth Avenue
Agency	Seattle WA 98101
Water Division	_ 		 September. 1984
v>EPA Water Quality Management
Program for Puget Sound
Managing for Long-term
Cumulative Effects

Prepared for:
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Region 10
Prepared by:
Jones & Stokes Associates, Inc.
1802 136th Place NE
Bellevue, Washington 98007
Jones & Stokes Associates, Inc.
2321 "P" Street
Sacramento, California 95816
September, 1984
US. EM UBWW ซ*0N 30 MflWU

Approach to Management	vii
Short-Term Management Approach	vii
Recommended studies	viii
Mass Loading	viii
Biological Effects	x
Recommended Improvement in Monitoring Activities	xi
Summary	1
Background	1
Elements of Water Quality Management	2
Development of a Comprehensive Management Program	2
Scope of This Report	4
Prior Work Effort	4
Objectives of This Report	6
General Approach to Investigating Long-Term Effects	6
Need for Holistic Approach	7
Usefulness of Compartmentalized Approach	7
Other Considerations	10
Summary	13
Introduction	13
Current Status of Water Quality Problems in	14 >
Puget Sound
Temperature, Dissolved Oxygen, Salinity,	and pH 14
Nutrients	14
Bacteria and Viruses	14
Sedimentation and Dredge Spoil Disposal	15
Heavy Metals	15
Naturally-Occurring Hydrocarbons	16
Synthetic Hydrocarbons	16
Priorities for Water Quality Management	16
Specific Management Objectives and Data Needs	17
Types of Solutions	18
Summary	21
Rationale	21
Current Discharge Practices
Point Sources	/24 )


Nonpoint Sources	26
Accumulating Contamination in the Receiving	27
Approach to Toxicity Testing	28
.Effluent Testing	29
Sediment Testing	30
Summary	3 5
Introduction	35
Products of Current EPA/WDOE-Funded Research	35
Toxic Contamination of the Urban-Industrial	35
Bacterial Contamination of Shellfish	38
Program Management and Coordination	38
Products of Current NOAA Efforts on Long-Term	39
Products of Current Metro Investigations	40
Priorities for Recommended Studies	40
Meeting Priority Data Needs	44
Information Required for Urban Embayments	44
Information Required for the Central Basin	46
Summary	49
Rationale	49
Selection Criteria	49
Preliminary List of High Priority Pollutants	50
Rationale for Pesticides	51
Rationale for Polychlorinated Biphenyls	52
Rationale for Chlorinated Benzenes	53
Rationale for Chlorinated Butadienes	53
Rationale for Chlorinated Ethylenes	54
Rationale for Polychlorinated Dibenzofurans	54
and Pentachlorophenol
Rationale for Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons	55
Rationale for Selected Metals	56
Summary	fil
High Priority Pollutant Lists by Geographic Area	co
Urban Runoff y v ftrea
Rivers Discharging into Urban Embayments	5^
Industrial Survey
CSO Effluent
Municipal Treatment Plant Survey
Atmospheric Flux	'0

Historical Spills, Dumps, and Locations of	72
Contaminated Sediments
Septic Tank Leachate	73
Summary	75
Rationale	75
Puget Sound Circulation Model	78
Central Basin Circulation Model	80
Pollutant Reactions at the Freshwater/Saltwater	81
Compartmental Distribution and Fate Processes for	82
Pollutants in Sediments
Solids Settling Model	84
Advection of Organic Compounds in the Surface	85
Organic Pollutant Fate Processes	87
Other Basin Models	89
Summary	91
Introduction	92
Approach to Biological Impact Studies	92
Rationale for Recommendations	92
Test Species and Biological Communities	94
Body Burdens, Sediment Concentrations, and	97
Incidence of Disease
Long-Term Bioassays with Young-of-the-Year	99
English Sole
Benthic Invertebrate Communities	102
Rockfish Survey	105
Summary	109
Approach to Monitoring Programs	109
General Requirements of Monitoring Programs	110
Monitoring Specific Pollutants	111
Monitoring Plankton	111
Monitoring Benthos	111
Monitoring Fish	111
Comprehensive Monitoring Program for Puget Sound	112
Rationale	112
Objectives	113
Existing Programs that Provide a Base for	113
Outline of the Comprehensive Monitoring	115
Recommended Ancillary Activities	122
Briefing Meetings Between Monitoring Agencies	122
1 1 1

Development of a Monitoring Manual	123
Calibration Between Analytical Labs and	124
Development of a Puget Sound Data Base Center	124
Taxonomic Standardization	125
Evaluation of Existing Monitoring Programs	126
Intensive Surveys	126
Metro Seahurst Baseline Study	126
Metro Toxicant Pretreatment Planning Study	127
Puget Sound Air Quality Monitoring	127
Proposed 301(h) Monitoring Programs	128
Nf>DES Monitoring and Analysis	129
WDOE River Monitoring	130
WDOE Marine Water Monitoring	131
USGS River Monitoring	132
Basic Water Monitoring Program	133
Shellfish PSP Monitoring Program	136
Shellfish Coliform Bacteria Monitoring	139

Figure	Page
1-1 Relationship Between Beneficial Uses,	3
Management Agencies, and Environmental Data
1-2 Management Activities and Issues	5
1-3 Data Needed for Water Quality Management	8
1-4 Subject Areas in the systematic Analysis and	9
Management of Puget Sound Water Quality
3-1 Short-Term Management Approach	23
3-2 Contribution of Long-Term, Cumulative Effects	25
Approach and Short-Term, Case-by-Case Approach
6-1 Toxicity Data for a Chemical Species	64
9-1 Location of WDOE Water Quality Monitoring	following
Stations in Study Area	116

Tabic	Page
4-1	Recommended Studies by Type and Approximate	42
Degree of Priority Based on Need for Data
4-2	Recommended Studies Ranked by Approximate	43
Degree of Priority Based on Timing
6-1	Rivers Discharging to Urban Embayments or	67
Draining Urban Areas
8-1	Recommended Species for Future Studies	95
9-1	Monitored Resources and Monitoring Activities 114
in Puget Sound
9-2	Generic 301(h) Waiver Monitoring Program for	116
Small Dischargers
9-3	Recommended Sampling Stations	119
9-4	Pollutants Monitored in Mussel Tissue	134
9-5	Basic Water Monitoring Program Stations	135
9-6	PSP Monitoring Program Testing Areas	138

Approach to Management
Effective water quality management practices are predicated
on: 1) full knowledge of current environmental conditions, and
2) the ability to predict how programs and management decisions
will impact the environment. Water quality managers need data
that link pollutant loadings with adverse effects on biota and
beneficial uses of resources. Data demonstrating these linkages
are currently sparse.
This report describes a management approach focusing on
long-term, cumulative effects of management decisions and
activities in Puget Sound. It recommends an approach to improve
data availability and usefulness, describes research needed to
bridge critical data gaps, and recommends improvements to on-
going water monitoring programs.
The principal management question is: What are the long-
term cumulative effects of pollutant discharges on the ecological
health and beneficial uses Puget Sound? Two facts are readily
apparent: First, complex issues and processes are involved, and
an individual's or agency's expertise and responsibilities are
often too narrowly focused. The complexity of the situation
versus the limitations of a single-issue approach have impeded
remedial actions. An effective approach to management must occur
within a holistic, interdisciplinary framework. Second,
complexity requires manageable units of research. A
compartmentalized approach is acceptable if the various
activities are designed, coordinated, performed, and interpreted
within the holistic framework. An active, interdisciplinary,
interagency forum must coordinate this approach to effectivly
manage water quality in Puget Sound.
Existing knowledge can be used to identify several high
priority management objectives and needs. 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. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the
Washington State Department of Ecology (WDOE) are giving these
management issues high priority. Highly toxic synthetic organic
compounds and diseased fish in urban embayments are also high
priority problems contributing to long-term, cumulative effects.
Specific management objectives should include: defining both
existing and developing water quality problems; identifying
pollutants of greatest concern; evaluating risk to human health
and marine organisms from long-term, chronic exposure to
toxicants; determining the fate of pollutants discharged into

Puget Sound; and identifying environmental conditions that
precipitate management action. 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 biological and potential public health problems
associated with these pollutants,.
Short-Term Management Approach
Until sufficient data are obtained that link pollutant
loading to adverse effects on res6urcesป water quality managers
must make decisions based on existing or quickly obtainable data.
Reasonable judgments based on best available data can be used to
develop a "preponderance of evidence" approach to decision
making. This short-term approach requires knowledge of current
pollutant loadings, the accumulating pollutant reservoir
(historic input) in the sediments, and the relationship between
current and historical input. The short-term approach is based
primarily on chemical data and acute (short term) biological
testing of current pollutant input and the accumulating pollutant
reservoir. Management decisions can be made at any point in the
evaluation process. 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, even though acute biological testing
of the nearfield receiving water may not indicate high toxicity.
The short-term approach continues to be a valuable approach
to water quality management but is limited in predicting long-
term effects resulting from chronic exposure to pollution in
Puget Sound. Thus, an approach is needed to develop a
technically sound data base that permits assessment of long-term,
cumulative effects.
Recommended Studies
Studies needed to obtain critical data on long-term,
cumulative effects are generally classified as either 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. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) and the Municipality of Metropolitan
Seattle (Metro) are also contributing knowledge to certain
aspects of toxic contamination of urbanized embayments.
Bass Loadipg.
Sources and amounts of pollutants discharged into Puget
Sound are not well understood. Loading data are essential for
water quality management in specific locations (e.g., urban
embayments) and of Puget Sound as a whole. Prior to carrying out

mass loading studies, a preliminary list of high priority
chemical compounds must be developed. The preliminary list
developed for Puget Sound as a whole includes: pesticides, PCBs,
halogenated aliphatics (e.g., CBDs), monocyclic aromatics,
polychloripated 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. Development of localized area lists is a logical
outgrowth of this.
Recommended studies pertaining to critical data gaps in mass
loading are:
•	Development of high priority pollutant lists for local
geographical areas.
•	Documentation of pollutant loading from urban runoff.
•	Documentation of pollutant loading from urban rivers.
•	Documentation of pollutant loading from industrial
•	Analysis of CSO effluent volume and composition.
•	Documentation of pollutant loading from municipal
treatment plants.
•	Documentation of pollutant loading from atmospheric
•	Review of historical spills, dumps, and locations of
contaminated sediments (including dredge spoils).
•	Identification of problems associated with septic tank
Quantification of pollutant loadings will enable water
quality managers to focus 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, fate, and biological effects studies.
Transport and Fate
Once pollutants have entered Puget Sound, knowledge of their
transport and fate is essential to impact prediction.
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. Mathematical models representing 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.
•	Examination of advection of organic compounds in the
surface microlayer.
•	Description of organic pollutant fate processes.
Biological Effects
Critical information linking pollutants with adverse impacts
on biota is sketchy or has not been developed. Effort should be
focused on two broad management needs: linking pollutants to
observed biological effects, and developing action level criteria
germane to management decisions. Four 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 sediment 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
Initially, emphasis is placed on identifying statistically
valid correlations between pollutant levels and adverse
biological effects that may not be cause-effect linkages. Action
levels can be identified based on these correlations, 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
Recommended Improvements in Monitoring Activities
Monitoring programs are necessary to identify change in
environmental conditions in Puget Sound. A review of current
monitoring efforts in Puget Sound reveals the need for a compre-
hensive monitoring program that would enable water quality
managers to detect and document environmental change, including
that resulting from cumulative actions taken in Puget Sound.
A comprehensive monitoring program must be able to show
trends in: 1) pollutant levels in the water column, sediment,
and biota; 2) pathological conditions that are implicated as
pollutant-induced; and 3) composition of biota in appropriate
locations and in a manner reflecting management concerns and
beneficial uses. Several existing programs (e.g., WDOE marine
monitoring and Metro's TPPS and Seahurst baseline programs)
provide a basis for the recommended comprehensive program.
In addition to the comprehensive program, several additional
activities for coordinating monitoring efforts are recommended:
•	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 and efficiency of
data from the various monitoring agencies.
Recommended changes to existing monitoring programs are
aimed at improving their value to water quality managers and
incorporating them into the comprehensive monitoring program.

Chapter 1
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Washington
State Department of Ecology (WDOE) are developing a water quality
management program for Puget Sound. A major program goal is to
better coordinate regulatory efforts among responsible agencies
through intra- and interagency review of policies, programs,
plans, and specific research efforts. This report outlines a
management approach that addresses the long-term, cumulative
effects of various management decisions and activities affecting
Puget Sound.
The primary objective of managers is to determine what is
the long-term, cumulative effect of pollutant discharges on the
ecological health and beneficial uses of Puget Sound. The issue
involves complex questions which may transcend any individual's
or agency's expertise and responsibilities. Narrowly focused,
single-issue approaches will not work. An effective approach to
management must occur within a holistic, interdisciplinary
framework. However, because the issues are complex, a breakdown
of the necessary research into manageable units is acceptable as
long as the various activities are designed, coordinated,
performed, and interpreted within the holistic framework. An
active, interdisciplinary, interagency forum must use this
approach to accomplish effective water quality management of
Puget Sound.
The perception of Puget Sound as a relatively pristine body
of water has changed during the last few years, primarily because
of newsworthy items such as designation of Commencement Bay as a
Superfund site, discovery of diseased fish in urban embayments,
and closure of commercial shellfish growing areas. These events
have stimulated intensive effort to maintain the Sound as a high-
quality environment. This includes an effort by EPA, in
association with WDOE, to develop a more comprehensive,
coordinated water quality management program specifically
designed for Puget Sound.

Elements of Water Quality Management-.
Water quality management arises from three interacting
elements: the public, regulatory agencies, and environmental
(technical) data needed to support regulatory decisions. The
relationships between these three elements are diagrammed in
Figure 1-1.
The public determines beneficial uses of Puget Sound and is
the driving force behind the management process. Many beneficial
uses are officially recognized through legislation as designated
(protected) uses of Puget Sound. Other uses of the Sound are
also permitted (e.g., use as a receiving water for wastewater
disposal). Legislation may not recognize these as beneficial,
but the practices are permitted as an economical benefit to
society. Thus, the public derives both designated (protected)
and permitted (unprotected) uses of Puget Sound resources.
Beneficial uses vary over time and by location, depending on
social trends. They arise from the existence of a particular
resource and public interest in the resource. In some cases,
beneficial uses may be in direct conflict with each other and may
change over time. In general, beneficial uses are derived from
the availability of various resources and activities, including
fish, shellfish, wildlife, recreation, commerce, and navigation.
Technically, state water quality standards encompass all
protected (designated) benefical uses under current legislation
and implementing regulations.
Implementing regulations are established by the executive
branch through regulatory agencies. Regulatory agencies also
develop management tools that maintain or protect beneficial
uses. In all cases, regulatory and management programs must
operate within the legal framework established by the public
through the legislative branch.
To accomplish their mission, regulatory agencies must have
knowledge not only of how the regulated system operates but n w
their decisions/tools affect the beneficial uses of resource.
Environmental data also help describe the status of beneficia
uses. Finally, by calling for certain types of data, regulatory
agencies influence the availability of data.
Development-, of a cฐmPrehensive Management Program
EPA and WDOE are developing a comprehensive water quality
management program for Puget sound. Active environmental
regulatory programs to control and prevent water pollution are in
place; nevertheless, the existence of serious water quality
problems in certain areas indicates that a more comprehensive
approach is warranted.
The program includes intra- and interagency review of
policies, programs, and plans, as well as specific task work
assigned to consultants. Several regulatory activities and


pollution issues have been targeted as key features of a
comprehensive management program for Puget Sound (Figure 1-2).
Scope of This Report
This report describes technical work needed to provide
environmental data to regulatory agencies. It focuses on the
issue of long-term cumulative effects of pollution (Figure 1-2)
and not on other aspects of the overall program review depicted
in Figure 1-2. The report outlines data that would allow EPA and
WDOE to improve current methods of decision making (case-by-case
evaluation based on the preponderance of evidence) and gradually
change to a more comprehensive evaluation. The goal is to make
decisions based on an understanding of how specific pollutants
are linked to adverse effects on resources, and how various
management actions will affect pollutants and resources.
Achieving this goal will take time, perhaps 3-5 years, for
significant results.
Prior Work Effort
The first phase of this work effort coordinated the
compilation of data and information from numerous interacting
agencies and individuals. The resulting report (Jones & stokes
Associates, Inc. 1983) describes the roles of agencies
participating in water quality management, and the data presently
needed to make management decisions versus the data now
available. The findings are summarized in Appendix A.
So far, no clear link has been verified between specific
pollutants and damage to biota or beneficial use. Nevertheless,
the evidence indicates that urban and industrial development has
had an adverse effect on the ecology and, hence, the beneficial
uses of Puget Sound. Several topics requiring immediate action
have been identified for long-term water quality management.
These cricital data needs are:
•	Sources and loading of high priority pollutants.
•	Descriptions of the environmental fates of pollutants,
including the modeling required to predict solids
deposition areas, relationships between dissolved
pollutants and suspended solids, and pollutant transfer
to organisms.
•	Biological effects of high priority pollutants
following long-term (chronic) exposure.
•	Information on long-term trends.
Until major gaps in the understanding of these topics are
bridged, water quality managers must recognize that regulatory
decisions cannot focus on specific agents that cause adverse





NOTE: This report deals with long-term, cumulative effects.

impacts on biota or beneficial uses. Decisions, therefore, may
not be as effective and efficient as the public desires.
Objectives of This Report
In the first phase of this work effort, it was noted that
regulatory agencies desire to approach water quality management
in Puget Sound from the perspective of how the sum total of their
operations affect water quality in Puget Sound. This differs
from the current practice of making decisions on a case-by-case
This situation demonstrates the immediate need for a
holistic, well-coordinated water quality management program for
Puget Sound. The approach is holistic at two levels: in terms
of interdisciplinary research effort and in terms of cumulative
effects of overall management effort. Activities necessary to
implement a comprehensive program are identified in this report,
which was formulated using the following objectives:
•	Emphasize the importance of building holistic,
ecological conceptualizations into water quality
research and management activities.
•	Provide a working document for the use of water quality
managers, technical experts, and citizens groups that
focuses attention on the needs, objectives, and
required data.
•	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, increasing
the value of data provided to decision makers.
General Approach to Investigating Long-Term Effects
Wastewater, groundwater, and surface runoff discharged into
Puget Sound contain pollutants that are toxic or otherwise
harmful to fish and wildlife, and potentially harmful to humans
who take food, economic, or recreation benefits from the Sound.
The principal question is: What is the cumulative, long-
term effect of pollutant discharges on the ecological health
and beneficial uses of Puoet 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.

Need for Holistic Approach
The need for technical data and information in water quality
management is accepted by almost everyone. The gathering of
specific kinds of data, however, often falls short because it is
often limited by an individual's expertise, responsibilities, and
budget. To compensate for this, a holistic (interdisciplinary)
approach is needed. This report stresses urgently needed data
within the holistic framework outlined by Figure 1-3. The
holistic approach requires an intensive, deliberate,
interdisciplinary effort to link pollutant loadings to adverse
effects on biota and beneficial uses. It also requires a basic
understanding of the social environment and the fundamental
principals of ecology and physics governing the Puget Sound
Usefulness of Compartmentalized Approach
For a holistic approach to be effective, broad
interdisciplinary questions must be divided into manageable,
specific tasks. A compartmentalized approach is acceptable as
long as the various research efforts are designed, carried out,
and interpreted within the holistic framework.
Figure 1-4 is a schematic illustration of how the Puget
Sound ecosystem can be divided into manageable units (compart-
ments) for research and investigative effort. Within each
compartment, specific questions can be posed for research and
investigation. Figure 1-4 is a basic conceptual model of how
pollutants move through the Puget Sound ecosystem. A systematic
analysis of water quality concerns occurs in each compartment as
a result of one or more recommendations presented in this report.
Initially, pollutants 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 5 of this report a preliminary list of pollutants
representing the highest level of risk to Puget Sound biota is
identified. The locations and amounts of high-risk substances
discharged from both permitted and nonpermitted sources must be
more completely known if plans and actions are to produce
effective abatement. Chapter 6 identifies methods for refining
the preliminary list and for acquiring a more accurate account of
loading for high-priority pollutants and certain other
Many toxic chemicals discharged into the Sound are either
bound to particulate matter or will be bound in a relatively
short period. These contaminated particles eventually will be
deposited in the sediments. Other toxic chemicals may be highly
lipophilic and reconcentrate at the water surface in association
with oil and grease constituents in the waste discharge.
Dissolved chemicals also may be accumulated by biota, and some of
the adsorbed load may redissolve as ionic conditions change.
Until accurate estimates of loading and mass accumulation in






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source: Modified from White pers. comm.



bottom sediments and surface layers are made, the proportional
fates of specific, relatively conservative pollutants wil1 be
speculative. Chapter 7 recommends methods of describing how
dissolved pollutants 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
sediment, biota, or the ocean require identification and
description. A high priority is placed on the transfer of
pollutants from sediment to biota and also on the resulting
effects on biota. It is recommended for the near term that three
general types of studies be done: 1) screen biota for
biฉaccumulation of selected pollutants; 2) identify the
mechanism(s) by which biota acquire harmful levels of toxicants;
and 3) test biota to identify pathologies associated with or
caused by the bioaccumulation of specific pollutants
(Chapters 8 and 9). One outcome of these studies may establish
sediment and body burden standards for selected toxic substances.
A comprehensive, long-term monitoring program is required to
record ecological changes attributable to water quality
management. Intensive monitoring of areas receiving the greatest
loads of pollutants should 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 9). Human food (e.g., clams, fish, and waterfowl) must
be monitored to assure safety of the public.
pnlicv-LeveL Considerations. This report focuses on the
acquisition of environmental data. Environmental data, however,
are of limited value unless they influence regulatory activities
(Figure 1-1). EPA and WDOE are currently evaluating management
structure, interagency coordination, and major regulatory
programs as part of the overall management program development
process (Figure 1-2).
Institutional—Considscflfcionsป The prevailing passive system
of communicating ecological data is inefficient and ineffective
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, one solution is to
establish a central library for all Puget Sound data resources
published and unpublished, using automatic data processing
combined with an index of materials accessible to off-site
computer terminals. Any reports produced with public money

should be deposited in the library. Moreover, such a library
should be professionally staffed to assist its users.
Collection of sound ecological data for water quality
management 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 implemented by regulations, a Memorandum of
Understanding (MOU), or recognition of mutual interests. Because
of cetain needs, projects and programs are often developed by
individuals and small groups. Their needs 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 water quality management research. Such a
forum should include representatives of all appropriate technical
disciplines, management agencies, dischargers, governmental
bodies, consultants, and public groups willing to responsibly
participate. Independent operation as a grant-funded, nonprofit
corporation directed by major funding entities may serve the
public and avoid single-issue biases.

Chapter 2
In Puget Sound, high priority should be given to the lona
term effects of highly toxic synthetic organic compounds
diseased fish in urban embayments, impacts on bottom sedimentq
from municipal and industrial wastes, and the problem of
decertification of shellfish growing areas. Specific management
objectives should include: defining existing and developing
water quality problems; identifying crucial toxicants; evaluation
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
require management action. Within these objectives, priority
also is applied to obtaining data from urban embayments and
Central Basin pollutant loading, deposition and retention of
pollutants within these areas, biological and potential public
health problems associated with pollutants in these areas, and
developing action levels.	'
The fundamental objective of resource managers is to protect
and maintain beneficial uses of the resource. As described in
the fiist Phase of work (Jones & Stokes Associates, Inc. 1983),
society determines what are beneficial uses To a great extent,
society also determines what should be considered adverse to
beneficial uses. The major role of scientists is to describe
resource status and provide data and guidance on how to protect
and maintain beneficial uses.
dRneeific objectives can be identified, managers must
have adequate knowledge of the current status oฃ the resource.
VH., nn mpans complete or conclusive, scientific data
slthฐu?h bynฐ	Associates, Inc. 1963) that reasonably
describethe status of water quality problems in Puget Sound.
aescriDe cne	now working toward refining the
underBtanding of ซter quality problem (Figure l-2>.

Qrrpnt: status of Water Quality Problems in Puget Sound
Tpmperatnre. Dissolved oxygen. Salinity, and pH
Temperature, dissolved oxygen, salinity, and pH may be
altered by human activities near or on localized shallow marihe
embayments with poor flushing characteristics. In Puget Sound,
these 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 serious problems in the near future, other than in
localized ereas.
Nutrient loading to Puget Sound may be beneficial if the
resulting increase in plant productivity contributes to larger
stocks of valuable fish, shellfish, or wildlife, without
undesirable side effects. Ecological systems are generally
resilient and able to accommodate mild fluctuations in nutrient
levels. Excessive nutrients, however, 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 environmental damage results 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 and Viruses
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 some commercial
shellfish growing areas because of unacceptable levels of fecal
coliform bacteria in the water, in rural areas, unacceptablv
high fecal coliform bacteria in the water is likely to be canspH
by nonpoint sources such as overloaded septic tank leach
livestock, or wildlife In urban areas, shellfish are exceed ^
potentially harmful pathogens found in untreated domestic
wastewater. Shellfish in urban areas are also exposed to
toxicants, but few toxic organic compounds have action
criteria established for shellfish. The absence of feca1
coliforms in water near urban areas does not mean that shell
from these areas are uncontaminated by pollution. shellfish

Sedimentation,and Dredge Spoil Disposal
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 is of great 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
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 the 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 the
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 times
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

Naturallv-Occurrina Hydrocarbons
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 for relatively 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 Puget Sound organisms; others are
probably taken up by organisms, but are readily metabolized.
Whether metabolization results in detoxification or in more toxic
byproducts is unclear, however. Some of these compounds are
carcinogenic/ mutagenic, or teratogenic at low concentrations and
require priority consideration as a water quality problem.
Synthetic Hydrocarbons
This is a category of compounds for which organisms rarely
have evolved defensive or detoxification mechanisms. This fact
alone qualifies these compounds as a water quality problem of the
highest priority. Diversity and production of synthetic
hydrocarbons have increased dramatically since World War II.
Within the last decade, a number of them 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
Organisms and ecosystems are capable of adjusting to certain
environmental levels of most naturally-occurring pollutants.
Adverse impacts are often reversible or at least amenable to
abatement or clean-up activity. Clear exceptions to this are
those water quality problems involving synthetic organic
compounds, especially those that are lipophilic and hazardous to
human health or marine life at low concentrations. 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 problems occur
in urbanized embayments, particularly around the Central Basin.
These geographic areas should receive high priority in locating
sites for research, investigations, or monitoring.
In setting priorities, water quality managers must not only
consider technical information but also the 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. The
latter two issues are undergoing separate review by EPA and WDOE
and are not major topics of this report.
The issues of pollution by synthetic organic compounds and
other toxicants and the incidence of diseased fish in urban
embayments are also significant concerns from the perspective of
understanding long-term cumulative effects because concentrations
in the environment may be at levels that do not cause acute
toxicity or lethality but do cause sublethal effects at long-
term, chronic exposure. Thus, toxicants are of concern in the
overall water quality management program (Figure 1-2) from the
perspective of problem definition, abatement, and remedial action
in the near term and from the perspective of long-term cumulative
Specific Management Objectives and Data Needs
In reviewing the current status of water quality in Puget
Sound, specific management objectives become apparent:
•	Define the nature and extent of existing and developing
water quality problems associated with toxicants in
Puget Sound.
•	Identify toxic pollutants of greatest concern in Puget
•	Determine whether marine organisms supporting
beneficial uses of Puget Sound are at unacceptable risk
due to toxicant exposure, particularly those toxicants
known to be acutely toxic, carcinogenic, mutagenic, or
teratogenic at low concentrations.
•	Determine the fate of pollutants discharged into 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 urban embayments
from various point and nonpoint sources?
What are the depositional areas for contaminated
What is the extent of pollutant retention within
the bays?
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 pollutants?
Each of these needs will be addressed by recommended studies or
monitoring programs described in subsequent chapters of this
Types of Solutions
The recommendations in this report should provide water
quality managers with improved tools for regulating 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 permits and implement pollution abatement
Solutions to water quality problems can arise in either the
technological or the social/political arena. Regulatory action
by water quality management agencies influences and is influenced
by activities in both arenas (Jones & Stokes Associates, Inc.
1983). In the social/political arena, the role of water quality

managers and regulatory agencies is focused primarily on data
collection and dissemination, and appropriate enforcement.
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.
Following public education, some solutions can be implemented as
enforceable regulations. 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
Until sufficient data are obtained that link pollutant
loading to adverse effects on resources, water quality managers
must make decisions based on existing or easily obtainable data.
Reasonable judgments based on the best available data can be used
to develop a "preponderance of evidence" approach to decision
making. This short-term approach requires knowledge of current
pollutant loadings, the accumulating pollutant reservoir in the
sediments, and the relationship between current input and
sediment concentration (historic input). The short-term approach
is based primarily on chemical data and acute biological testing
of current pollutant loadings (point and nonpoint) and the
accumulating reservoir of pollutants.
To persuade a discharger that costly abatement or clean-up
measures are necessary, it i^imperative that water quality
managers have data that link pollutant discharges to observed
adverse effects on the ecological health or beneficial uses of
Puget Sound. At present, water quality managers cannot truly
verify these linkages. Although the data base is continuously
improving, it may be a few years before enough data are
accumulated to provide critically needed answers. It may be even
longer before specific chemical pollutants can be identified as
causal agents requiring regulatory action as certain levels are
exceeded in the environment.
Water quality managers meanwhile must rely on existing data
and acceptable investigative tools even though the data do not
link pollutants to adverse effects. Such data are useful as long
as results are interpreted as warning signals. For example,
discovery of high concentrations of toxicants in sediments or
pathological conditions in biota provides convincing evidence
that an intensive evaluation of environmental quality and waste
management practices is in order. Best available data and
reasonable judgments can be used to develop a "preponderance of
evidence" approach to decision making. This is the major
approach in current use. Unfortunately, using best available
albeit incomplete data involves the risk that a given management
decision may prove not to be the optimum choice.

For example, in the absence of data linking a specific waste
discharge component to an observed effect, a manager may use the
approach outlined in Figure 3-1. This approach requires
simultaneous investigations of two aspects of pollutant loading:
current loading (input) and historic input, i.e., the
accumulation of pollutants in the receiving water. Extensive
information on both is needed because, although current pollutant
loading may not acutely affect biota, it may contribute to long-
term damage. In other cases, effects may result entirely from
historical accumulation of toxicants and not from current
practices. This is more likely where point source contribution
has decreased through either NPDES compliance activity or the
banning and/or restriction of chemical manufacture or use.
The short-term approach uses chemical and acute bioassay
data. This approach typically cannot establish definitive
linkages between specific discharges (or chemicals) and effects
but provides important, basic information for making judgements
in a relatively short time. Acute response bioassay results must
be interpreted with care, and they should not be considered as
the final product of any survey or as direct proof of subacute
impacts in the environment. Rather, these tests should be
considered as warnings that adverse biological effects could
occur. Management decisions can be made based on available data
from any one of the steps portrayed in Figure 3-1, but decisions
should take into account information provided at all steps in the
process. For example, discovery in a wastewater effluent of a
chemical known to cause cancer at low concentrations may warrant
development or implementation of measures to control the
discharge, even though acute toxicity bioassays do not indicate
lethality. In the same way, discovery of a high concentration of
a carcinogenic compound in sediments may indicate a need to
stabilize or reduce concentrations in the environment by reducing
input, even though current concentration of the compound in the
effluent may not cause detectable effects. These situations
demonstrate the importance of understanding long-term cumulative
The order in which steps outlined in Figure 3-1 are taken
may vary depending on the specific situation. Where only a few
well-quantified pollutants are involved, chemical analyses may
dominate. Biological testing may be the starting point when
complex mixtures of chemicals are indicated and interactions
between pollutants are not understood. In most cases, both
chemical and biological data are warranted and must be obtained
The long-term, cumulative effects approach (which is the
main focus of this report) combines chemical data, physical
(oceanographic) data, and biological data in an effort to
understand the linkages between pollutants entering or
accumulating in Puget Sound and chronic adverse effects on biota.
Both approaches provide environmental data necessary for decision
making. They differ in time, immediate costs, the kind of data
that are incorporated into decision making, and often the level


of confidence in the decision. As these data become available,
management decisions can become more sophisticated, systematic,
and comprehensive. The general relationship between the two
approaches is illustrated in Figure 3-2. The comprehensive
monitoring program recommended in Chapter 9 serves to identify
problem are^s and assess recovery rates following remedial
Current Discharge Practices
Point Sources
Evaluation of a point source discharge should include the
following steps: 1) identify pollutant types and loadings
(concentration and flow volume) in the discharge; 2) compare
relative loadings of other sources in the region; 3) conduct
acute toxicity tests; 4) evaluate existing control measures and
enact, continue, or expand them as necessary; 5) compare current
inputs to concentrations in the receiving environment; and
6) continue systematic chemical and biological monitoring to
identify any change in effluent characteristics requiring further
Step 1 will identify substances in the discharge that may
produce significant biological effects at the concentration
level. It also identifies substances that should be monitored
concurrently 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 and chronic exposures.
Step 2 evaluates the relative impact of a source, taking
type of pollutant, concentration, and total loading into account.
This comparison helps determine the probable benefits of
alternative management decisions.
Step 3 is an acute response bioassay test using appropriate
test organisms and conditions. These are described later in this
Step 4 is a decision stage. Either Step 2 or 3 can dictate
establishment, continuance, or expansion of best available
technology economically achievable (BAT) or best control
technology (BCT), depending on the expected improvement and
condition of the receiving environment and legal constraints.
Step 5 is the comparison between current and historical
inputs of pollutants. Several questions must enter the
evaluation: is there evidence that historic input (sediment
chemistry) is impacting biota; is current input causing increased
levels of toxicants in the receiving environment; and will
decreases in input alter the chemistry or toxicity of the

. i.

Step 6 (continued chemical and biological monitoring) would
evaluate the success of management decisions and guard against
changes in effluent quantity or quality. This step actually
becomes part of long-term management.
If local nonpoint inputs are high, cleanup of point sources
without abatement of nonpoint sources could be insufficient to
ensure high water quality. Data obtained from the recommended
approach (Figure 3-2) will allow comparison of the relative
importance of current point and nonpoint discharges.
The importance of nonpoint sources of pollutants, especially
toxicants, to Puget Sound is difficult to determine at present
(Jones & Stokes Associates, Inc. 1983). However, even for short-
term management, it is important to better understand nonpoint
source contributions so that the effectiveness of management
actions can be predicted. This approach is also a major part of
the long-term water quality management plan for Puget Sound
(Chapter 6) .
Identification and reduction of nonpoint source
contamination should include these steps: 1) identify likely
nonpoint pollutant source types; 2) determine relative
contributions by input type; 3) estimate the benefits and
practicalities of remedial action and implement as necessary;
4) compare current inputs to quantities in the receiving
environment; and 5) monitor.
Step 1 identifies likely nonpoint pollutant source types.
This task can be initially reduced by treating riverine inputs to
Puget Sound as point sources. If the data indicate major
pollutant contributions from rivers (in terms of total loading,
not concentrations), source identification in the watershed then
becomes important.
Step 2 quantifies pollutant loading from each source type
(CSOs, erosion, feedlots, storm drains, etc.). Correct timing of
sampling is necessary, as first-flush pollution is important for
many nonpoint sources. Composite samples may correct for this
variation in some cases.
Step 3 evaluates the need for action and the
feasibility/practicality of cleanup for each source type.
Regulation of nonpoint sources is often difficult. Nonpoint
cleanup depends to a much greater extent on public education and
cooperation than point source cleanup. Best management practices
(BMPs) rather than permit/compliance enforcement systems are
normally used. Generic BMPs have already been developed by EPA,
WDOE, and local counties for many nonpoint sources. These are
often applicable with only minor modification. In some cases,
they may also require legislative backup through the development
of ordinances. Nonpoint source cleanup generally works best on a
drainage-basin or watershed-wide basis.

Steps 4 and 5 are identical to Steps 5 and 6 identified in
reference to point sources.
Accumulating Contamination in the Receiving Environment
Evaluating the effects of historical and steadily accumula-
ting contamination is as necessary to water quality management as
evaluating the importance of present pollutant discharge
characteristics. Sediments integrate both present and historical
water quality conditions and are a significant reservoir of
adsorbed toxicants. Sediments highly contaminated from past
practices may continue to adversely affect resident biota, and
these effects could be exacerbated by new pollutant inputs. The
following discussion will focus on sediments. Other reservoirs
also may be identified (e.g., the water surface microlayer) and
may require investigation.
Several steps may be required when assessing sediment
toxicity. These steps include: 1) locate suspected sites of
high contamination; 2) analyze physical and chemical properties
of sediments; 3a) survey local biota for potential pollution-
related problems, e.g., chemical body burdens and
histopathological abnormalities; 3b) perform acute response
bioassays on the sediments; 4) evaluate need for remedial action
based on chemical or biological tests; 5) compare results from
chemical and biological analyses of current inputs (point and
nonpoint sources) to the sediment analyses; and 6) monitor
sediment and local biota (part of the long-term management
Step 1 involves the location of suspected sites having high
contamination. These are likely to be in proximity to existing
outfall sites or in areas where fine materials would be expected
to settle out. Considerable effort is now underway to identify
these areas (Chapter 4).
Step 2 involves analyses of physical and chemical
characteristics of the sediment. Both analyses are important
because grain size and composition greatly affect adsorption of
contaminants. A true indication of contamination cannot be
determined unless both physical and chemical analyses are
Step 3 is actually composed of two parts. A survey of the
biota may be appropriate in some cases before acute toxicity
testing is undertaken. This effort may help in planning the most
appropriate biological testing procedure. Furthermore, data
acquired on body burdens of toxicants, etc. may be valuable in
interpreting bioassay results.
Step 4 may be necessary in situations where toxicants are
found in sediments at unacceptable levels or bioassays indicate
significant adverse effects in biota.

Step 5 compares and evaluates data from current point and
nonpoint sources and from the sediment (which represents current
plus historical inputs) to allow a determination of how current
input may be reacting in combination with the historical input to
affect biota in the area. This step is important because a
current discharge may not be harming organisms directly but may
be exacerbating conditions caused by historical discharges.
Step 6 establishes a monitoring effort to track the results
of remedial actions or the status of the receiving environment.
As during evaluation of present discharges, management
decisions c^n be made at various stages, 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 considering the analyses of current inputs and the store of
accumulated contaminants. It should be noted that several
elements of this work are now underway (Chapter 4).
Approach to Toxicity Testing
The assessment of the potential toxicity of substances is
usually determined using sensitive indicator organisms in short-
term acute response bioassays. Sublethal and chronic effects
(e.g., life cycle and reproductive effects) are presumed to
result from long-term, low-level exposures to substances
identified as acutely toxic. Although chronic effects are a
major concern, experiments designed to directly measure such
effects are difficult to perform, expensive, long-term, and
infrequently validated; thus, the reliance on short-term, acute
response techniques.
Since acute toxicity bioassays will be used in the near-
term, the selected bioassay(s) must meet the following criteria:
•	Since seawater chemistry may alter toxicity of some
substances, 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.
Effluent Testing
At this time, bioassays potentially appropriate for acute
toxicity investigations and monitoring effluents (current input)
•	The Pacific oyster embryo bioassay (Woelke 1972; ASTM
•	A mussel larvae bioassay following the same methods
(ASTM 1980).
•	The sperm cell toxicity bioassay (Dinnel et al. 1982;
Stober and Chew 1983).
•	A modified Ames test (Dexter and 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, for short-term water quality management
procedures, it is recommended that the Pacific oyster larvae
bioassay be the minimum required biological test for effluent
monitoring. This organism and test presently best meet the above
criteria. The sperm cell bioassay (Dinnel et al. 1982; Stober
and Chew 1983) should be given serious consideration as a
replacement to the oyster larvae bioassay once it becomes better
validated and more widely accepted. This test exhibits similar
or greater sensitivity to a wide variety of toxicants compared to
the oyster larvae bioassay. It can be performed, analyzed, and
interpreted in one day with the reading of results 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.
Sediment Testing
Ideally, one would like to be able to answer four major
questions regarding the potential toxicity of any contaminanted
•	Is the sediment toxic?
•	Are toxic chemical substances associated with sediments
taken up by organisms?
•	Can toxic chemicals in sediments and taken up by
organisms cause any adverse biological effects?
•	Can toxic chemicals be transmitted into the human food
Research into these questions is identified later in this report
as a priority for further funding. Meanwhile, relative to the
four questions, the state of the art appears to discourage the
use of chronic exposure bioassays as regulatory tools.
Management should, therefore, focus for now on results from acute
bioassays, physical and chemical data on the sediments, and the
general literature concerned with toxic effects.
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 specifics, but all generally assess potential sediment
toxicity through the testing of three "phases" of material
prepared from bulk sediment samples: 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 SP, SPP, and LP
preparations, with appropriate methodologies and
species as outlined below.
•	Bioassays should utilize established, standardized,
well-validated methodologies. Utilization of or
research into new techniques as part of the decision-
making process should be discouraged. Untested
experimental techniques are susceptible to challenge.
Although research into new techniques should be
encouraged and actively funded, it should not detract
from efforts required for interim monitoring and

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.
Solid Phase Acute Bioassays. Biological testing performed
with SP sediment samples is subject to two major confounding
factors that can affect interpretation of the results. First,
benthic organisms generally have very specific sediment
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 uninterpretable 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 between tests,
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 thawing.
•	All bioassays should include clean control (reference)
sediment, native control sediment (from which the test
organisms were collected) 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 toxicant preparation, 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 to assess
acute toxicity of sediments in Puget Sound (Swartz et al. 1982;
Pierson et al. 1982a, 1983; Chapman et al. 1982b; Stober and Chew
1983). Gammarid amphipods bury themselves in sediment, are
small, and are easily collected 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 Capitella capitata: the
species should be given consideration if the methodology can be
proven more appropriate and acceptable to the scientific
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 re-evaluate already collected data, and
retesting may not be necessary. The following information must
be recorded in any SP bioassay:
•	Particle size analysis on all control and test
•	Eh, pH, and ammonia concentration determinations, at
least at the beginning and end of the test period.
•	Chemical analysis for toxicants on all control and test
Suspended. Particulate Phase Acute Bioassays. 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 a short-term 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 worker
experience 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 any bioassay performed 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. kฃi&) salmon. Individuals
of these species can be tested while they are much smaller than
other salmoni(Js, thus allowing larger sample sizes and better
resolution of effects. If smolts of another salmonid species are
used, plasma sodium analyses should be performed prior to and for
at least 3 days following seawater entry to ensure that
successful smoltification has indeed taken place.
Liquid Phase Acute Bioassavs. LP bioassays can provide
indications of the potential acute toxicity of soluble chemical
contaminants in the sediment. LP bioassays can also be used as a
screening device for targetting suspect sediments. Several
organisms and techniques have been utilized, thereby gaining
general acceptance or have become sufficiently validated to allow
present consideration of their use in a management context.
These include many of the same organisms and tests outlined for
the monitoring of effluent discharges. The same criteria for
their use apply.

Chapter 4
Collectively, studies in progress will help identify problem
areas and address urgent data needs. Ongoing EPA/WDOE projects
investigate: 1) toxic contamination of the urban-industrial
bays, 2) bacterial contamination of shellfish, and 3) program
management and coordination. These are complimented by NOAA's
efforts on long-term effects and Metro's investigations of the
Central Basin. The remaining chapters of this report recommend
studies to obtain technical data necessary to support long-term
water quality management. Studies are ranked in this chapter
according to data priority.
Recommendations in the remaining chapters of this report
describe the work necessary to meet the specific data needs
outlined in Chapter 2. The recommendations begin to "flesh out"
the skeletal framework depicted in Figure 1-3. They address
those elements of Figure 1-3 found on the-left and bottom of the
diagram. Other work funded by EPA and WDOE (Figure 1-2) address
the remaining portion of the framework depicted in Figure 1-3.
Research is already underway on some of the recommendations,
some of which is funded by EPA and WDOE. Other elements are also
being addressed by other agencies. Research and investigation by
all agencies, organizations, and individuals may contribute to
knowledge of long-term, cumulative effects. The expected products
of major on-going work are summarized below. Collectively they
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 specific
management objectives and needs outlined in Chapter 2.
Products of Current EPA/WDOE-Funded Research
Toxic Contamination of the Urban-Industrial Bays
Better understanding is needed of the nature and extent of
toxic chemical contamination of bay sediments near major Puget
Sound urban-industrial areas. Current efforts 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. The
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 as well as Port Gardner, Sinclair Inlet, Bellingham
Bay, and the Four Mile Rock dredge spoil disposal site (in
Elliott Bay). Approximately 20 surface sediment samples in each
bay will be collected and analyzed to determine sediment grain
size and concentrations of selected metals, carbon-tetrachloride-
extractable organic matter, and organic carbon. Amphipod
bioassays will also be conducted on the same samples.
The results 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 was
conducted in the fall of 1983. The pathological analyses will be
incorporated with the results of the chemical and biological
analyses, and published in early 1985.
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 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 survey results is

expected by the summer of 1984. A more detailed, 2-year study
complementing 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 fpcused 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 10-15 chemicals known to exist and judged
most significant in Commencement Bay will be reviewed and ranked
in importance. The chemical and toxicological literature review
of priority toxicants from Commencement Bay is expected to be
completed in the spring of 1984.
Another activity designed to further understand the
significance of marine sediment contamination involves spiking
sediment samples with selected chemicals in various concentra-
tions and determining the resulting biological effect through the
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 successful, 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. Sinclair Inlet
sediments and chemicals will be used in this work. The expected
completion date is the summer of 1984.
Eventually, development of sediment quality criteria or
standards may be necessary to establish a specific bar.'r, 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.
Bacterial Contamination 
Sound water quality management also has been initiated. The
results will be helpful in understanding future institutional
needs and may be useful in defining the direction and 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.
Products of Current NOAA Efforts on Long-Term Effects
Various organizations within NOAA are involved in marine
pollution research. Two major programs important to
understanding long-term cumulative effects are the MESA program
(formerly under the Office of Marine Pollution Assessment, now
Ocean Assessments Division) and the long-range effects program
(Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory). The Northwest and
Alaska Fisheries Center also supports research on chemistry and
pathological issues in Puget Sound and contributes significantly
to understanding long-term, cumulative effects.
Work is now underway to synthesize the results of the MESA
program. The data will help develop models predicting the likely
fate and effects of pollutants and recovery rates following
implementation of specified control measures. An effort is also
being made to identify pollution-related issues, conflicts
between beneficial uses as a result of pollution issues, and
alternative solutions to these conflicts. Approaches to regional
monitoring activity are also being recommended.
The Northwest and Alaska Fisheries Center is also attempting
to identify which chemicals are causing biological problems in
Puget Sound. Under this 2-year effort, sediment samples from two
areas 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. Additional field investigations are also being
conducted to identify problem areas and field test analytical
The NOAA long-range effects program is a continuing program.
During the 83-84 fiscal year the program focuses on flushing
characteristics of Puget Sound as well as associated problems in
sedimentation characteristics. Specific issues under
investigation are:
• Settling velocity of particles in situ.

•	Intrusion of water over the Admiralty Inlet sill and
its role in transport of resuspended material in the
bottom layer.
•	Mass balance budget for certain heavy metals.
•	Age dating of sediment cores from topographic lows to
complement existing data (collected only at topograhic
highs) .
•	Whidbey Basin as a source of relatively clean
Plans also are underway to investigate the surface microlayer as
a reconcentration zone and significant transport route for
organic compounds.
Products of Current Metro Investigations
Two investigations conducted by Metro may provide useful
data for understanding long-term, cumulative effects. One of
these is the Toxicant Pretreatment Planning Study (TPPS), and the
other is an investigation on rerouting the Renton treatment plant
wastewater to either the Seahurst area or to Duwamish Head.
The TPPS field investigations were completed in early 1983.
The raw data provide valuable information on pollutant loading in
the Metro service area and on sediment chemistry in Elliott Bay
and the Central Basin.
In addition to providing valuable data on physical
oceanography/ investigations of the proposed Renton treatment
plant outfalls in Puget Sound may provide significant baseline
data for future monitoring efforts (Chapter 9).
Priorities for Recommended Studies
Studies in Chapters 6-8 are designed to provide information
that water quality managers must have to evaluate current
environmental conditions and long-term, cumulative effects of
regulatory decisions. The recommendations do not provide answers
to all questions relevant to water quality impacts. There are
many technically interesting questions which, if answered, would
be useful to water quality managers.
The recommendations provided in Chapters 6-8 are considered
high priority needs as determined through an initial screening
process. In general, priorities are assigned in response to the
following critical data needs in descending order of importance:
1. A need to identify the toxic chemicals entering or that
have entered Puget Sound.

A need to protect human health.
3.	A need to estimate relative loading of toxic chemicals
by source.
4.	A need to understand availability of toxicants to
5.	A need to understand how toxic chemicals move through
Puget Sound.
The rationale underlying the ordering is that the greatest need
is to determine which pollutants are entering Puget Sound and at
what quantities. It is easier to predict on a theoretical basis
what damage these pollutants.may cause than to predict what may
be the causes of an observed adverse change in biota or
beneficial uses. Ultimately, there is a need to understand dose-
response relationships, but priority is placed on first
understanding bioavailability and uptake mechanisms so that dose-
response investigations can be properly designed.
Furthermore, the studies have been selected because their
results are likely to provide technically sound data that can be
used to predict water quality impacts and make management
decisions. Costs of each recommendation were not factored into
the establishment of priorities. Funding constraints clearly
will influence data acquisition but do not alter the need for the
Highest priority is given to those studies deemed urgent or
critical in meeting management objectives and data needs
(Chapter 2). Recommendations are classified by the general
categories of pollutant loading, transport and fate, and
biological effects of pollutants. Within each category, some
recommended studies are judged more critical to decision making
than others. Priority criteria within each category are
identified in the appropriate chapters. Table 4-1 summarizes the
types of recommended studies and their priority based on need for
data within each category. Monitoring program recommendations
are not included in Table 4-1 but are treated separately in
Chapter 9.
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 4-2 ranks 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 4-2 may not reflect the overall need to
fill specific information gaps as in Table 4-1. As decisions are
made on which studies should be undertaken, consideration should
be given to the need for the data (Table 4-1) and how the
information from that and other studies can be integrated
(Table 4-2) .

Table 4-1. Recommfended Studies by Type and Approximate Degree of Priority
Based on Need for Data to Eliminate or Reduce Significant
Information Gaps
Pollutant loading
High-priority pollutant lists
Urban runoff
Rivers discharging into urban
Industrial survey
Transport and Fate
Ccnpartmental distribution and
fate in sediments
Reactions at freshwater/
saltwater interface
Model of Puget Sound
Model of Central Basin
Solids settling model
Biological Effects
Body burdens, sediment concen-
tration, and incidence of
English sole bioassays
Rockfish survey
Pollutant loading
CSO effluent
Municipal treatment plant
Atmospheric flux
Pollutant Loading
Historical spills
Septic tank leachate
Transport and Fate
Mvection of organic compounds
Organic pollutant fates
Transport and Fate
Whidbey Basin model
Southern Puget Sound
Hood Canal model
Bellingham Bay model
Biological Effects
Benthic invertebrate

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

Monitoring programs (Chapter 9) will provide some data for
use in the recommended studies (Chapters 6-8). Although use of
these data is encouraged, it should be noted that the purpose of
a monitoring program is to document environmental conditions as a
function of time; therefore, the use of these data should be
carefully considered. The outcome of the recommended studies
will often influence the design and focus of monitoring programs.
Major exceptions include pollutant loading data obtained from
these programs.
Meeting Priority Data Needs
Specific data needs were summarized in Chapter 2. In
addition, Chapters 6-9 attempt to describe how each
recommendation meets certain management objectives and data
needs. The following is a brief outline of how the
recommendations meet the data needs outlined in Chapter 2. Names
of study recommendations are abbreviated as in Table 4-1 and 4-2.
Full technical descriptions are found in Chapters 6-9.
Information Required for Urban Embayments
What are the Loadings into the Bay From Various Sources?
This information comes from a combination of recommended studies
and recommended monitoring efforts. Recommended mass loading
studies (Chapter 6) providing these data are:
•	Industrial survey.
•	Rivers draining into urban embayments.
•	Urban runoff.
•	CSO effluent.
•	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.
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 7) 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.
•	Historical spills.
Probable depositional areas also can be identified by examining
existing sediment maps, as discussed in Chapter 9. Some intensive
monitoring programs also may have obtained useful data and should
be reviewed.
What is the Retention of Pollutants Within the Bays?
Recommended studies (Chapter 7) 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.
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. Better documentation of the relationship between
chemical and biological information is needed immediately.
Following this effort, causal mechanisms must be addressed.
Studies that will meet these needs (Chapter 8) are:

•	Body burdens, sediment levels, and incidence of disease
in English sole.
•	English sole bioassays.
•	Rockfish 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 9. Work currently underway by EPA will
provide useful data on the relationship between sediment
contamination and the incidence of disease.
What Action Levels 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. Management
action will require data from recommended studies and monitoring.
Preliminary planning work is currently underway. The studies
that address 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 9) 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
Information Required for the Central Basin
What are the Loadings Prom Major Urban EmbavmentB? This
data need can be addressed by the work outlined for the retention
of pollutants within the bays.
What are the Depositlonal Areas for Contaminated Sediments?
This data need can be approached with the same work outlined for
urban embayments.

Are There Biological.Problems in the Central Basin? Most of
this information will come from a comprehensive monitoring
program (Chapter 9). In particular, the recommended sediment and
bioaccumulation elements of the 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 unatJdressed. Part of this missing coverage could be
remedied by implementation of the recommended changes to these
programs (Chapter 9). 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 the urban embayments.

Chapter 5
A preliminary list of high priority pollutants has been
developed based on pollutant toxicity, carcinogenicity,
mutagenicity, teratogenicity, ease of detoxification,
persistence, bioaccumulation, degree of existing contamination,
and number and type of environmental compartments with known
elevated concentrations. The preliminary list includes:
1) pesticides, 2) polychlorinated biphenyls, 3) halogenated
aliphatics, 4) monocyclic aromatics, 5) polychlorinated
dibenzofurans and pentachlorophenol, 6) polycyclic aromatic
compounds, and 7) a few heavy metals. This preliminary list must
be modified as new data are obtained on loading, accumulation
in the environment, and potential biological effects.
Many chemical compounds are discharged into Puget Sound.
Some of these are very toxic in small quantities; others are not
known to be toxic. Before loading studies can be planned and
conducted (Chapter 6), the list of chemical compounds targeted
for evaluation should 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. Chapter 6 recommends
refining the preliminary list to specific chemical isomers or
chemical species in different areas of Puget Sound. As noted in
Chapter 4, EPA has already begun work on this data need.
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
as a starting point for an initial 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 .
Preliminary List 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 tetrachloroethylene.
•	Monocyclic aromatics: particularly chlorinated
•	Polychlorinated dibenzofurans and pentachlorophenol.
•	Polycyclic aromatic compounds: particularly
naphthalenes, fluoranthenes, benzofa]- and
dibenzofa]anthracene, benzota]pyrene; possibly pyrene.
•	fJpavy 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 6.

The danger in using a preliminary list is the tendency to
ignore unlisted compounds. A modified list is needed as new data
are obtained. Preliminary compounds were chosen because of their
existing or potential impact in the aquatic environment. Air
pollutant types were not considered except as they impact water.
A number of other compounds could be listed because of their
toxicity and/or ability to bioaccumulate, 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.
Rationale for Pesticides
Most priority pollutant pesticides are now either banned or
severely restricted. Input can be expected to continue to
decrease. However, existing concentrations of some persistent
compounds still may pose significant hazards to marine biota.
The potential hazards of certain banned compounds may not soon
decrease, primarily because of their persistence, continuing high
level of accumulation 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 most troublesome pesticide appears to be DDT and its
metabolites DDD and DDE. 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 Category 1
pollutants of concern in Konasewich et al. (1982) due to wide
distribution and relatively high concentrations in Puget Sound.
DDT was banned in the United States in 1972, so input should be
decreasing. 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, indicating 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 in other areas of Puget
Sound, indicating that contamination results from localized
Aldrin and dieldrin were banned from usage in the United
States in 1974. Endrin was restricted in 1979 to use in eastern
Washington? it is to be phased out of use by 1985 (Prandsen 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 carcin-
ogen (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
effluent, even though banned. They are extremely toxic to most
forms of life, including molluscs and other invertebrates (Sittig
1980). EPA criteria for aldrin (45 FR 79318-79341 [11/28/1980])
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
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 concentration
factors of 6,400 in marine fish (Sittig 1980).
Because data for aldrin, endrin, and dieldrin are limited,
ah assessment of the impact of these pesticides on Puget Sound is
not now possible. It is believed that initial work on Puget
-Sound biota and pollutants should include these three pesticides,
not only because of toxicity and persistence but to determine
their degree of presence and the extent of local hazard.
Rationale for Polychlorinated Biphenvls
Although their production has been terminated, polychlori-
nated biphenyls (PCBs) are EPA priority pollutants. Because of
their persistence, bioaccumulative ability, and nonvolatility,
they are considered Category 1 pollutants by Chapman et al.
(1982a). PCBs are also considered pollutants of concern by
Konasewich et al. (1982) because of widespread dispersion and
predominance in Puget Sound sediments and biota. They are also a
primary concern in this study because of 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, respectively.

Rationale for Chlorinated Benzenes
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 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 (45 PR 79318-79341 [11/28/1980]).
Rationale for Chlorinated Butadienes
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 exist 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 persistence,
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 a 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
(45 FR 79318-79341 E11/28/1980]). 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. 1962} and liver
concentrations in English sole of the Hylebos Waterway have been

noted at 8600, 410, 220, and 10 ppb for the hexa-, penta-,
tetra-, and trichlorinated butadienes.
Rationale for Chlorinated Ethylenes
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 bioaccumulate. Konasewich et al.
(1982) consider chlorinated ethylenes as Category 1 pollutants
because concentrations in water, particularly in Hylebos
Waterway, indicate continually occurring discharges. Chlorinated
ethylenes may be high priority pollutants because little is known
about levels in sediment and biota, or potential effects on
biota. Water concentrations at Hylebos Waterway are high (3 ppb)
relative to other reported concentrations in marine waters
(0.01 ppb). Although this level is as much as three orders of
magnitude lower than EPA guidelines (45 FR 79318-79341
[11/28/1980]), these data suggest that sediment and biota
concentrations may be higher than elsewhere in the marine
environment because of continued input.
Rationale for Polychlorinated Dibenzofurans and Pentachlorophenol
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. Preliminary
efforts in pollutant detection often focus on EPA priority
pollutants. This may be the reason that little local information
is now available for these compounds.
PCDFs detected in Puget Sound sediments are hexa-, penta-,
and tetrachlorodibenzofurans, although levels were not quantified
(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, PCP 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 PCDP compounds varies, depending on the number
and position of the chlorine atoms. Certain compounds have been
shown to be highly toxic to birds and mamm&ls, 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.
Rationale for Polvcvclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons
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, benzola]- and dibenzo[alanthracene, benzota]-
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 distribution and concentration
data are limited; therefore, existing data may not be
representative. Behavioral information of some compounds is also
limited. The PAH group was of primary concern in this study
because of the following: large number of compounds observed;
distribution; concentration in sediments, suspended matter, and
water; structure; properties; and health effects. Additional
sampling will undoubtedly indicate 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
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 benzofluoranthene 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 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. (197 9 in Konasewich et al.
1982) suggest that levels as low as 2 ppm in se-diments can affect
biota. Naphthalene compounds in Old Tacoma and Seattle Pier 54
were found to total approximately 2 ppm and 3.6 ppm, respectively
(Nalins et al. 1980).
Anthracene compounds are also numerous and of conspicuously
high concentration in sediments. Anthracene, benzo [a 1- 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[alanthracene
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. Dibenzo[al-
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[alanthracene, it is
likely to be more highly bioaccumulated (Callahan et al. 1979).
Both compounds are considered likely to be carcinogens
(Konasewich et al. 1982).
BenzofaIpyrene 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[alpyrene is a recognized carcinogen
and has been found in numerous locations in the sediment, water
column, and various invertebrates.
Rationale for Selected Metals
High concentrations of metals have been found in sediments,
water column, and biota, but no data exist regarding adverse
affects of heavy metals. Reduced to 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 an urgent data
need for heavy metals. Continued metal input is expected,
although improved effluent treatment practices have decreased
heavy metal mass loading relative to 10 years ago.
Lead. Lead is an EPA priority pollutant and is considered
by Chapman et al. (19 82a) as a Category 1 pollutant because of
its persistence, bioaccumulative ability, and nonvolatility
(Konasewich et al. [1982] and Crecelius [pers. comm.]). It is
also considered 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 7 90 ppm
(Malins et al. 1980). Lead is also bioaccumulated, and concen-
tration factors of greater than 2,500 have been noted for the
mussel Mytilus 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 (45 FR 79318-79341 [11/28/1980]).
Mercury. Mercury is an EPA priority pollutant. It 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 criteria
guidelines (45 FR 79318-79341 [11/28/1980]) recommend a maximum
concentration in water of 0.025 ppb (24-hour average), never to
exceed 3.7 ppb, for marine life.
Silver. Silver is an EPA priority pollutant. It 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. Silver is
persistent, bioaccumulative, and elevated in local water,

sediment, and biota. 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 (45 FR 79318-79341
[11/28/1980]) for saltwater life. No 24-hour criteria are
Copper. Copper is another EPA priority pollutant 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 guidelines (45 FR 79318-79341 111/28/1980]) 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 concentrations between 0.57 and 1270 ppb,
resulting in a calculated cupric ion concentration of 0.003-10
parts per trillion. Survival and duration of the larval stage
did not change over the range of test conditions, but larval
growth decreased at total copper concentrations above 60 ppb. in
Puget Sound, total dissolved copper ranges from 0.1 to 3 ppb
(Schel 1 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.), however, 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. Some evidence suggests bioaccumulation in
demersal fishes. Little is known about arsenic concentrations 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 water quality criteria for arsenic (45 FR 79318-
79341 [11/28/1980]) 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). 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);
therefore, 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 water quality criteria guidelines
for cadmium (45 FR 79318-79341 [11/28/1980]) are 4.5 ppm 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
criterion for protection of saltwater life (45 FR 79318-79341
[11/28/1980]) is 54 ppb (24-hour average), not to exceed 410 ppb
(recoverable inorganic selenium).

Chapter 6
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 pertaining to critical data gaps in
mass loading are:
•	Development of high priority pollutant lists for local
geographical areas.
•	Documentation of pollutant loading from urban runoff.
•	Documentation of pollutant loading from urban rivers.
•	Documentation of pollutant loading from industrial
•	Analysis of CSO effluent volume and composition.
•	Documentation of pollutant loading from municipal
treatment plants.
ซ Documentation of pollutant loading from atmospheric
•	Review of historical spills, dumps, and locations of
contaminated sediments (including dredge spoils).
•	Identification of problems associated with septic tank
Quantification of pollutant loadings will enable water quality
managers to concentrate on major inputs of pollutants. Mass
loading data significantly influence the focus and design of
transport/fate and biological effects studies.
A review cf the existing pollutant loading data (Jones &
Stokes Associates, Inc. 1983) revealed that pollutant loading
from many sources is poorly understood. Without accurate

knowledge of pollutant contributions from various sources,
effective pollution control decisions cannot be made.
The list of high priority pollutants presented in Chapter 5
generally provides the focus for the following studies.
Exceptions are noted. In all cases, pollutant loading studies
must evaluate the chemical species or isomeric forms in which
pollutants occur. The data, if possible, must distinguish
between pollutants in the dissolved and particulate state.
Data from pollutant loading studies significantly influence
studies on transport/fate processes (Chapter'7) and biological
effects (Chapter 8) by identifying and locating those pollutants
that should be investigated. Mutual feedback between pollutant
loading and biological effects studies is usually practical
because many of the studies are internally subdivided into
phases. Progress and results of early phases help define or
focus work in later phases.
The purpose of a mass loading study must be clearly defined
before initiation. Each study must provide data relevant to the
•	What pollutants (especially toxic chemicals) are being
discharged to Puget Sound?
•	What are the high priority pollutants in given marine
subareas, based on suspected biological effects and
suspected quantities either discharged or retained in
the area?
•	What are the major sources of high priority pollutants?
•	what are the relative loadings of high priority
pollutants for each identified or suspected source?
The pollutant loading studies presented below will provide a
better definition of the magnitude of the various pollutant
sources to Puget Sound. These loading studies provide
information enabling water quality managers to compare relative
loadings among sources and make cost-effective decisions
regarding necessary control measures or remedial actions.
High Priority Pollutant Lists bv Geographic Area
fJeed. The list of high priority pollutants identified in
Chapter 5 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 most
appropriate for monitoring or research analyses in localized
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 5 begins the development of more refined lists for
localized areas of Puget Sound. Pollutants listed in Chapter 5
should remain on 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 area.
Current research (Chapter 4) will provide valuable data for
certain areas, e.g., Commencement Bay. The lists 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 other pollutant loading
Semiquantitative estimates of pollutant loadings into
regional areas of Puget Sound can be developed using existinq
monitoring data from major dischargers and published national
average concentrations for discharger SIC numbers (SCS Engineers
1981). Alternative strategies may be needed for small municipal
dischargers not yet required to monitor concentrations of
priority pollutants in the effluent but nonetheless receiving
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 6-1. The oil-water partitioning
coefficient (Gossett et al. 1983) should be a major criterion for
developing regional lists of high priority pollutants.

ho) a
>,-5 i
rH V-i *H
6 ฐ ET
< -P o
U -U B
•H O -H
8-3-5 S
OH i O






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 form California State Water Resources
Control Board 1983.

The list or lists of high priority pollutants should be
developed as open file reports, i.e., reports constantly amended
as new information is obtained by water quality managers.
Benefits 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.
Urban Runoff
Need. Urban areas have many nonpoint pollution sources
contributing to urban runoff. Except for cities with combined
sanitary and storm sewers, urban runoff flows into Puget Sound
untreated and as nonpermitted point sources. WDOE has developed
an Urban Stormwater Management Plan (Grace 1983) that issues
general permits for stormwater discharge in an area. Some
pollutant loading data may eventually be generated by
implementation of this plan. The pollutant loading from this
source is potentially significant, and quantification of
pollutant loading is needed. A study of urban runoff has
recently been completed by the City of Bellevue 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
expected to have similar runoff characteristics.
2.	Collect data as needed from other urban areas to allow
estimates of loading from storm drain discharges.
Methodology, site characteristics of Puget Sound urban
areas 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
determined to differ significantly 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. Then, appropriate estimates of
pollutant loading for comparable Puget Sound urban areas would be
made. If significant urban areas of Puget Sound found
uncomparable to other studied areas, runoff analyses must be
performed to estimate pollutant loading.
Benefits to Water Quality Managers. The data obtained from
this work will partially fulfill a major data gap on the identity

of pollutants found in nonpoint sources. 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.
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 that drain 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 rivers that drain
urban areas usually encompass only conventional pollutants and a
few heavy metal parameters. Urban rivers normally contain higher
levels and a wider variety of pollutants than rivers draining
rural watersheds. Data are needed to identify and 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 Rivers.
Objectives. Determine pollutant loadings from rivers that
drain urban areas.
Methodology. Rivers that discharge to urban embayments or
drain large urban areas are listed in Table 6-1. Water quality
sampling should occur near the mouths of these rivers. The
stations should reliably represent net river discharge. Factors
to be considered include: location of major confluences; 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 5.
•	Loading data from major upstream dischargers.
•	Previous special studies that may reflect water quality
conditions in the river or watershed.
•	An initial, qualitative, pollutant scan to verify or
add to the list of high priority pollutants.

Table 6-1. Rivers Discharging to Urban Embayments or
Draining Urban Areas
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

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 9.)
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
contributions 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 that 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 to
Puget Sound. 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 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 streamy 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. These data are critical
to 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 prob'lem
CSO Effluent
Need. Nine cities that discharge to the study area have
combined storm and sewer systems; six of these (Bellingham,
Bremerton, Everett, Olympia, Port Angeles, Seattle Metro)
discharge into confined urban embayments. These systems contain
emergency overflow stations that provide a means to bypass the
treatment plant (i.e., discharge without treatment) during
periods of heavy rainfall. The pollutant loading from combined
sewer overflows (CSOs) is potentially significant during large
storm events. Limited information currently exists on discharge
quality and volumes. Seattle Metro is conducting a local CSO
study as part of its TPPS program, and recent facility plans of
Metro and Bremerton have quantified CSO flows and frequency of
flow events (Kievit pers. comm.). Pollutant concentration
information is needed to enable water quality managers to
calculate mass loading of pollutants from CSOs by area and to
evaluate any need for control measures.
Objectives. Estimate the loading of priority pollutants
from CSOs to Puget Sound on an annual or seasonal basis.
Methodology. The design of this study must be directed
toward characterization of CSO flows that would allow a loading
approximation without detailed monitoring of each CSO. CSOs to
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 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 cost-effective.
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 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 equally prescribed
methods for all dischargers. Treatment plants processing only
domestic wastewater and discharging 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 occurring 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. Significant loadings of certain pollutants in certain
areas are expected. An ongoing Metro study is investigating the
atmospheric contribution of heavy metals to the Central Basin of
Puget Sound. A recently completed study by the City of Bellevue
includes a partial analysis of dry and wet atmospheric fallout.
The data from these studies may be useful in designing this
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. The first step in this study would be a review
of existing PSAPCA data and data acquired by Metro and Bellevue
on air pollutants, concentrations, and deposition rates. 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 the atmosphere as a loading 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.
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. In particular, better data are needed for
dredge spoil disposal activities prior to state implementation of
a spoils disposal management program in 1972.
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.
Methods for conducting field investigations are described in
greater detail in Chapter 3, where evaluation of sediment
contamination is discussed.

Benefits to Water Quality Managers. This study would
provide a comprehensive documentation of events, locations, and
pollutants. The data would provide a framework for comparing the
relative impact of historical and current practices, and identify
potential clean-up areas.
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
is needed.
Objectives. Locate septic tank leachate plumes that could
contaminate shellfish.
Methodology. Location of plumes may be accomplished in a
variety of ways, depending on site-specific factors. Methods may
include infrared aerial photography, on-site visual surveys and
sampling, or use of a leachate detector such as one that has been
successfully used in EPA Region 5 (Kratzmeyer pers. comm.).
Infrared aerial photography is being used by WDOE in Pierce and
Kitsap Counties.
Benefits to Water quality Managers. Identification of
sources of fecal coliform input would allow adequate control
measures and recertification of local shellfish growing areas.

Chapter 7
Once pollutants have entered Puget Sound, knowledge of their
transport and fate 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. With increasing knowledge
of pollutant fate processes, water circulation models can be
refined. 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.
•	Examination of advection of organic compounds in the
surface microlayer.
•	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 be most
common in areas that accumulate pollutants; the ability to
predict depositional areas is necessary to identify geographical
areas requiring special attention.
Optimal long-term management of waste treatment and
receiving water quality is presently hampered by the inability to
quantify the controllingr interactive, physical, and biochemical
processes at work in Puget Sound. The Sound is a highly complex
system. The important vertical and horizontal circulation
processes are continuously modified by density structure, tidal
action, wind, surface heat exchange, internal mixing and

upwelling/downwelling near sills, and net advection due to tidal
pumping and fresh water discharges. The fate of pollutants is
primarily controlled by the above circulatory processes in
concert with a complex series of biochemical reactions and
absorption/tjesorption onto suspended particulates. The ultimate
destination of contaminated particulates may be far beyond the
immediate vicinity of the outfall or urban embayment source. For
example, recent investigations by NOAA have suggested a net
transport mechanism carrying polluted particulates from waste
sources in the Central Basin (i.e., Seattle and Tacoma) to a
common depositional area in Poverty Bay, east of Vashon Island.
The best approach for predicting fate of pollutants under
various waste management alternatives involves mathemathical
models. Modeling has become a standard waste management tool
throughout the U. S. over the last decade and is widely supported
by several federal (e.g., EPA, NOAA, FEMA, MMS, COE), state,
county, and municipal environmental agencies. A key advantage of
modeling is the ability to delinate and organize all important
data and processes that ultimately determine cause-and-effect
relationships between pollutant sources and resultant
water/sediment quality. This is especially true of Puget Sound,
which receives literally hundreds of individual waste discharges
and exhibits highly complex circulation behavior and interaction
between numerous sub-basins and embayments. Through the process
of calibrating and testing a mathematical model, the major
controlling factors and relationships are often clearly revealed
in a quantitative manner.
For example, during the EPA-funded Long Island (New York)
208 study, which occurred in one of the most densely populated
coastal areas of the country, it was found through data analysis
and model testing that 80-90 percent of coliform bacteria
observed in surface waters originated from nonpoint sources
(storm runoff) as opposed to point sources. Treatment plants
actually contributed the majority of nutrients. The model
quantitatively demonstrated the futility of attempting to control
coliform levels in the receiving waters through treatment plant
controls and identified the urgent need for a strong regional
management program for stormwater runoff control. Similarly,
model tests demonstrated that control of nutrient levels and the
resultant algal productivity impacts on dissolved oxygen could be
effectively achieved by implementing improved treatment at
certain key waste treatment facilities. This success story has
been repeated in almost every major urbanized estuary or harbor
throughout the U. S., including major modeling programs in Boston
Harbor, New York Harbor, the Potomac River/Chesapeake Bay,
Delaware River/Bay, Mobile Bay, and San Francisco Bay, to name a
Typical waste management questions readily addressed by a
comprehensive modeling program include:
• What is the retention time for pollutants in the water
column of urban embayments?

•	What fraction of the pollutant load is deposited in the
sediments of urban embayments?
•	Where are the depositional environments in urban
•	What pollutant load of each urban embayment is
contributed to Puget Sound as a whole?
•	Where are the depositional environments in Puget Sound?
•	What are the effects on local or Sound-wide water
quality from regional changes in municipal/industrial
treatment requirements?
•	What are the effects on local or Sound-wide water
quality from regional implementation of stormwater
management options?
•	What are the effects on local water quality from
relocation of waste discharges?
Although the first four questions are concerned primarily
with embayment processes, 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
specific embayments requires that boundary conditions either be
specified or 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
conditions. The most cost-effective and logical approach to
assessment of long-term pollutant transport and fate is to first
develop systemwide predictive capabilities. A generalized system
model would be modified (as needed) and applied to major portions
of the Sound to define overall transport processes, interbasin
transfer, and boundary conditions for 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 or submodels could be used in
areas such as Commencement Bay to predict localized pollutant
A model should not be considered an "end" in itself.
Rather, it should be viewed as a management tool to be used in
conjunction with field observations and other conceptual models.
The recommendations do not rule out the use of other specialized
or site-specific models or analytical techniques. Instead, they
provide a much needed centralized tool to organize Sound-wide
information and the interactions of pollutants and processes in
and between the major urbanized embayments and sub-basins of the

That Puget Sound is a highly complex system cannot be
overemphasized. 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 criteria, at a minimum.
•	Must be dynamic, rather than steady state.
•	Mpst be capable of simulating both vertical and
horizontal physical processes.
•	Must conserve mass.
•	Must be theoretically sound, particularly for certain
physical processes for which empirical approximations
are necessary (vertical momentum and mixing, particle
behavior, etc.).
•	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 Puca, and the Strait of Georgia do not warrant
inclusion at this time. Waste inputs to 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 significantly increasing predictive
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.
Pngpf- fionnfl Circulation Model
Need. Of the over fifteen models previously applied to
portions of Puget Sound, none adequately describe 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 syste.mwide information for use in more detailed

formulations and to assess the sensitivity of model results to
variations of important driving variables and boundary
ObjectDevelop 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, a 2-dimensional, laterally-
averaged approximation is justified because of the generally
narrow and deep nature of Puget Sound. The most appropriate
study approach, therefore, should take advantage of the dominant
features of the system by matching these with the best use of
existing state-of-the-art modeling technology.
In earlier work (Jones & Stokes Associates, Inc. 1983), a
number of models were identified and reviewed to determine their
applicability to Puget Sound. The main purpose of that review
was to demonstrate that applicable modeling technology exists and
that appropriate generic models are available for ready
adaptation to the Puget Sound system with relatively minor
modifications. At the time of this model review, the model by
Najarian et al. (1981) was identified as one of the most
compatible existing 2-dimensional, laterally-averaged techniques
for application to Puget Sound overall. Other similar models
reviewed, especially if improved or updated, should not
necessarily be eliminated from further consideration. Adaptation
to Puget Sound of a 2-dimensional, laterally-averaged model
requires work designed to:
•	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
approximations 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
models. In addition, the model can be used to guide field
monitoring activities and to provide the capability for
assessment of region-wide waste treatment and water quality
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.
Objectives. Provide finer spatial resolution in the Central
Basin where the largest fraction of wastes is discharged.
Methodology, several 3-dimensional models were reviewed
previously (Jones & stokes Associates, Inc. 1983) to determine
their applicability to the central Basin. Based on the current
level of model development at the time of this review, the model
by Sheng and Butler (1982) was recommended due to an inclusion of
a number of desirable features, such as vertical and horizontal
grid flexibility and computational efficiency. Due to rapid
advances in the field of 3-dimensional simulation, however, other
similar or more advanced techniques may emerge and should also be
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 rf*tes inus.^ ฎ_lso be included in the formula-
tion. These data will be provided by other recommended studies.

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 5. 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 likely to result in significant biological
activity. These data are needed as input to the transport models
so that depositional rates and environments can be reliably
Compartments! PisteitHition and e
Processes for pollutantsin 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
deeper offshore waters. 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 incl.ude all high priority
pollutants identified in Chapter 5 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.
Water column analyses should also include temperature, DO,
pH, conductivity, salinity, and total suspended solids. Sediment
should be analyzed to determine composition and activity of
microbial organisms. Sediment grain size, total organic carbon
content, reduced sulfur content, pH, Eh, oxygen concentration,
and any other factors believed necessary to define or 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—ttaoag&iLS.. 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. An 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.
Sfllids 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 um often coagulate to form larger
particles. The two dominant parameters controlling coagulation
in waste plumes are particle concentration (after initial
dilution) and turbulence 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
only be 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 whether to adopt the coagulation algorithm or
the settling velocity approach should be 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
velocity procedure, if adopted, will be based on existing
literature and will specify the apparatus, procedure, and test
data presentation.
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 predicted.
Advection of Organic Compounds in the Surface Microlayer
The sea surface microlayer (the upper 0.05 mm of ocean
surface) has been recognized as a distinct microcosm that
provides habitat for biota that are often highly concentrated
compared to subsurface .biota only a few centimers below. In the
surface microlayer, bacteria are commonly enriched two to four
orders of magnitude, phytoplankton up to two orders of magnitude,
and zooplankton (including the eggs and larvae of many commercial
fishery species) up to one order of magnitude greater than lower
in the water column (Hardy 1982).
Significantly, the surface microlayer receives pollutant
inputs from the atmosphere and from buoyant particles.
Naturally-occurring lipids and fatty acids tend to concentrate in
the surface microlayer, causing the surface to be a
reconcentration point for lipid-soluble organic pollutants. For
example, Seba and Corcoran (1969) found that the surface
microlayer of Biscayne Bay, Florida, contained DDT concentrations
over 2,670 times the subsurface concentration. Metals also may
concentrate in the surface microlayer. Hardy et al. (1983) found
metals (Pb, Zn, Cu, Cd, and Fe) to be concentrated from 6-65
times greater than metals concentrations in the bulk waters of
Elliott Bay and Sequim Bay.

While the enrichment of lipids and fatty acids in the
surface microlayer is a natural phenomena, municipal sewage
outfalls can influence the layer's composition, in a study of
the City of Los Angel es Hyperion outfall and the County of Los
Angeles White Point outfall, Selleck et al. (1974) found the
surface concentration of grease and wax particles (mean diameter
of 1.3 mm) to be significantly increased over the outfalls
compared to control areas. Coliform bacteria were also enriched
(about 1,000 times) and were considered the best indicator of
outfall-derived contamination.
Need. The enrichment of bacteria as well as organic and
inorganic pollutants in the surface microlayer is of concern
because of two primary considerations: first, toxic pollutants
can be enriched in the surface microlayer to concentrations toxic
to buoyant fish eggs, larvae, and plankton as observed by Hardy
(pers. comm.) in Hylebos Waterway of Commencement Bay; second,
the surface microlayer could be advected shoreward, especially
during periods of onshore winds, resulting in unusually high
concentrations of contaminants and bacteria along the shoreline.
Such occurrences could present a direct hazard to humans and
intertidal shellfish. A limited review of the literature
revealed no consideration of this potential problem. Some data
on this problem are being collected for Metro (Word pers. comm.).
1.	Provide an evaluation (using the literature) of the
potential contribution of anthropogenic contaminants to
the surface microlayer of Puget Sound.
2.	Evaluate the potential impact to planktonic and
intertidal organisms.
3.	Develop a field measurement program to assess the
problem at specific sites in Puget Sound.
Methodology. The study must be able to determine if the
surface microlayer represents a significant pathway for transport
of pollutants from point and nonpoint sources to the intertidal
zone. The first-stage evaluation should provide the following:
•	An overview of surface microlayer processes and
characteristics, including the importance of this
microhabitat to the eggs and larvae of commerically
important marine organisms.
•	A compilation of available chemical and bacteriological
composition of the surface microlayer in Puget Sound.
Some of these data are being obtained by Battelle Labs
(Hardy pers. comm.) and for Metro (Word pers. comm.).
•	An estimate of the contribution of anthropogenic
contaminants from atmospheric and point sources.

•	An estimate of the potential flux of pollutants to the
intertidal zone due to wind transport of the surface
•	A proposed field program designed to test key
assumptions in the above estimates and to directly
measure the flux of selected bacteria and chemical
contaminants to the intertidal zone. The measurement
program should be designed to provide data
representative of exposures to persons engaged in
recreatioanl activities along the shoreline and to
intertidal molluscs.
Phase two of the program will be to conduct the proposed
field studies.
Benefits to Water Quality Managers. The surface microlayer
may be a zone for potential impact to buoyant fish eggs of
commercially important species and may be a significant transport
pathway for bacteria and chemical contaminants contributed by
point and nonpoint sources. The surface microlayer is a region
not considered in conventional water quality analyses. Water
quality models usually provide predictions that are averaged over
the water column or over a layer usually several meters thick.
Also, the transport of the surface microlayer is wind dominated,
which is not the case for the rest of the water column in Puget
Sound. The significance of the surface microlayer as a pollutant
transport route should be evaluated to determine if further
consideration is warranted.
The significance of the surface microlayer to the eggs of
commercially important fish species in Puget Sound is not clear,
so the need to monitor the surface microlayer cannot presently be
established. The significance of the surface microlayer as a
transport pathway should similarly be evaluated with regard to
water quality management programs.
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 its advective dispersion throughout
the modeled system. Incorporating nonconservative organic
priority pollutants into a water quality model is much more
complex. In addition to advective transport, many organic
pollutants are subject to chemical and microbial degradation,
photodecomposition, and volatilization. For example,
tetrachloroethylene degrades to trichloroethylene, cis-1,2-
dichloroethylene, vinyl chloride, 1,1-dichloroethylene, and
trans-dichloroethylene. As a further complication, most organic
compounds readily adsorb to particle surfaces or are absorbed by
lipid materials. Thus, a water quality model of organic priority

pollutants must model the compounds partitioning between the
dissolved and the sorbed state. If partitioning and chemical
transformations are included, a water quality model can then
simulate organic pollutant advective transport and fate, 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 priority pollutants. Specific objectives are:
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.
Gossett et al. (1983) describe the importance of oil-water
partitioning coefficients in predicting fates of organic
compounds. The literature should be reviewed to determine
whether additional rate coefficients are available for the
preliminary list of high priority pollutants identified in
Chapter 5 of this report.
The available coefficients for processes affecting organic
pollutant concentrations will emphasize the solids-water
partitioning coefficient for high priority pollutants identified
in Chapter 5. A sensitivity analysis will then be performed to
determine the processes most significant in establishing
pollutant concentrations in Puget Sound. Recommendations will
then be made either to include organic pollutants in the Puget
Sound water quality model or to simply consider some percentage
of each pollutant to be irreversibly adsorbed onto particle
surfaces or transported to shore in the surface microlayer.

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 currently
focuses on the Central Basin. Recommendations for modeling other
basins are provided in Appendix C.

Chapter 8
Critical information linking pollutants with adverse impacts
on biota is sketchy or has not been developed. Effort will be
focused on two broad management needs: linking pollutants to
observed biological effects, and developing criteria germane to
management action. Four important data gaps have been
•	Pollutant uptake and bioaccumulation mechanisms, and
primary pathways of exposure.
•	Statistical relationships between sediment
contamination, body burdens of toxicants, and
biological conditions (e.g.r disease).
•	Causal relationships between sediment 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
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 designing follow-on studies
examining cause-effect relationships.
Several categories of biological data are 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 reviewed (Jones & Stokes Associates, Inc. 1983) for
pertinent data on fishes, benthic invertebrates, and plankton.
These data leave major questions unanswered in all these
Approach to Biological Impact Studies
The ultimate goal is to link pollutant loading to damage of
biota and beneficial uses (Figure 1-3). This goal represents a
considerable undertaking and will not be quickly achieved.
Confidence in the decisions and level of sophistication will
increase as progress is made toward this goal.
Steps to be taken with existing data and techniques are
outlined in Chapter 3. In this phase (the short-term approach),
simultaneous investigation of chemistry and acute toxicities
prevail. In nature, however, the biological effects of long-term
(chronic) exposure are of greatest concern. The recommendations
in this report, and particularly in this chapter, provide a
comprehensive, systematic, increasingly sophisticated analysis of
the long-term biological effects of pollution. The questions
addressed by the recommendations in this chapter must be resolved
if efficient and effective documentation of long-term effects is
to occur.
Rationale for Recommendations
A "shopping list" of needed data is easy to compile without
consideration to the importance or priority of the data needed.
It is difficult to assign priorities to projects, knowing that
the resources available for supporting these studies are limited,
and that individuals' opinions about priority may differ. The
recommendations in this chapter emphasize two broad data needs:
establishing a strong foundation for testing the linkage between
pollutants and observed biological effects (particularly
sublethal effects), and providing action-level data for future
management activities. The first data need is just the beginning
of a complex issue. The initial step recommended here is to
understand how organisms take up harmful pollutants. Once the
exposure pathway (or uptake mechanism) is identified, field
studies and laboratory experiments can be sharply focused and

scientists can be confident that observed effects statistically
correlate with exposure.
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 concentrate on bervthic 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
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. It is unlikely that
water quality criteria alone will suffice. 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 not readily
metabolized or depurated. 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-effect for specific pollutants.
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 finding
whether statistically significant relationships occur between
incidence of disease and body burdens of toxicants or
concentrations of contaminants in sediment.
The following questions can be used to identify the most
important data gaps at this time:
•	What are the mechanisms of uptake and bioaccumulation
of toxicants? Is the primary pathway of
bioaccumulation through direct contact with or uptake
from the sediments, from the water column, or through
ingestion of contaminated food?
•	Are observed body bufdens 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?
•	What sediment concentration or body burdens could be
used as action level criteria?
Major emphasis on biological effects studies has been placed
on the relationship between levels of pollutants 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
processes within sediments (Chapter 7).
Test Species and Biological Communities
Before describing recommended studies designed to address
these questions, consideration must be given to the selection of
test 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 most appropriate for
future study of pollutant impacts in Puget Sound has been
developed (Table 8-1). The following criteria have been used:
•	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

Table 8-1. Recommended Species for Future Studies
English sole (Parophrys vetulus)
Starry flounder (Platichthys stellatus)
Epibenthic Invertebrates
Dungeness crab (Cancer magister)
Bay raussel (Mytilus edulis)
Pacific oyster (Crassostrea gigas)
Infaunal Invertebrates
Macoma spp.
Littleneck clam (Protothaca staminea)
Butter clam (Saxidomus gianteus)
Amphipod (Rhepoxynius abronius)
Polychaetes (Capitella capitata and Abarenicola pacifica)

The list in Table 8-1 should not be considered as all
inclusive but should serve primarily as a guide. In this report,
the organisms listed are used in gaining knowledge of uptake
mechanisms and not because of their intrinsic resource value.
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 8-1. 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, 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
testing bioavailability of toxicants. The Pacific oyster is
included in the list because of 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. Some infaunal
species are long-lived and would be valuable in examining effects
of long-term exposure in nature. 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. 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 (Rhepoxynius abronius) has been used in
previous studies and, although bioassay techniques may require
further development, this amphipod's use is recommended for
future research programs.

Body 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
pathological conditions is unknown, these data suggest conditions
initiated by or associated with exposure of fishes to
environments contaminated with various organic toxicants 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
Previous investigators (e.g., Sherwood and McCain 1976;
Malins et al. 19132) have assumed a linkage between the toxicants
and pathological conditions, and have attempted to examine the
body burdens of suspect toxicants in diseased fish, comparing
these with body burdens of healthy fish. All such attempts to
date have been inadequate, however, 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 highly concentrate in fish tissues even if they are the the
observed disease's causative agent. To ascertain 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; and 2) identify pollutant loads in
the environment as well as in body tissues.
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 (Platichthvs stellatus).
English sole from the polluted urban estuaries of Puget Sound
have a higher prevalence of disease, especially liver neoplasms
(McCain et al. 1982), and are therefore recommended for this
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 concurrent with collection of biota. Sampling effort
can be reduced if this study is combined with field work
on effects of contaminated sediments on benthic invertebrate
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 macroscopically for the
presence of fin erosion, skin tumors, and liver abnormalities. A
representative subsample should be examined histologically. Work
in the North Sea indicates that bottom fish containing 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 PI atichthvs sฃฃllatUP in San Francisco Bay to
produce viable gametes and embryos (Mearns pers. comm.). This
study should be monitored. If the effort seems warranted, tests
of the reproductive success of English sole should follow
protocols being developed at Lawrence Livermore Laboratories
(Spies pers. comm.). Past studies (Malins 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 abnormalities) 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
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. The fish must be of sufficient size so that a sample
of the liver may be analyzed microscopically for lesions, yet

leave enough tissue (i.e./ several grams at a minimum) for
chemical analyses. The chemical analyses should include those
organic toxicants and metals deemed of primary concern based on
sediment chemistry. Replicate fish should also be selected at
random frojn 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 condition.
Statistical analysis of the resulting data should be
designed to compare the occurrence of a specific disease with
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
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 do not necessarily prove a given toxicant was
responsible for initiating the disease, but in conjunction with
other related studies, they may suggest which chemical
contaminants are most likely responsible.
More importantly, the study will ascertain whether levels of
sediment contamination or body burdens of toxicants are adequate
indicators of the incidence of pathological abnormalities. It is
known that fish are mobile, but it is not known if demersal fish
are too mobile to reliably reflect exposure to a contaminated
environment. An adequate sample size is needed to make this
Finally, the results of this work are valuable to the design
of laboratory tests to examine sublethal effects. These data
will help identify biological problems associated with pollutants
now occurring in urban embayments. As noted in Chapter 4, work is
currently underway on elements of the recommended study.
Long-Term Bioassavs with Younq-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
pathological 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 populations 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
Duwamish River sediments 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
Duwamish River sediments 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 versus presumed control sediments in either
experiment. However, McCain et al. (1982) noted that in each
experiment, the so-called control sediments were in fact
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 control sediment should be free of such contaminants in the
future, even if it is necessary to search for uncontaminated
sediment beyond Puget Sound.
McCain et al. (1982) also concluded that the length of
exposure in these experiments may not have been sufficient to
permit the development of various histopathological conditions
found 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 river, rather than in the lower portion where
concentrations of certain synthetic organic compounds are high.
Sherwood and Mearns (1977) found that 13 months were needed for
fin rot symptoms to appear in mid-sized Dover sole. Enlargement
of the liver, aswell as fin rot, appeared much more quickly in
young-of-the-year, perhaps because of the increased
surface:volume ratio (Mearns pers. comm.).
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 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. Attention must be given,
however, to experimental design in order to maximize statistical
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, allowing this aspect to be appropriately
included or reduced in later studies.
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 those 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 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 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 similar to urban embayments may be
very useful in interpreting the results of this study. Testing
spiked sediments may clarify the etiology of some 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 identify the route of biological uptake of toxicants. The
data obtained help subsequent work demonstrate pollutant effects
on marine communities. By exposing fish to serial dilutions of
contaminated sediments, insight into the potential benefits of
reducing suspected toxic sediment concentrations will be gained.
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 aiding 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 conducted 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 either contamination (e.g., change in copper
content) or organic enrichment and resultant changes in
abundances of key species or overall community structure. These
problems will not 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 for
more detailed investigations and to assist in the generation of
testable hypotheses. Some elements of this work plan are in
progress (Chapter 4).
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
ซ 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 (Hซ).
•	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 at least at 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 Rhepoxynius 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.
Rpngfits 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 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. (1962) have examined a few nondemersal fish from
Commencement Bay/ but the sample size was inappropriate for
drawing conclusions. This survey is recommended for two reasons:
to determine whether rockfish from urban areas constitute a
public health risk and to determine whether substantial
differences exist in body burdens and pathologies of demersal
fish and rockfish. Analysis of the latter question is of
interest because these fishes occupy different niches in the same
environment. Detection either of similarities or differences
will be of great value in designing lab experiments on uptake
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
maliqer) and copper rockfish (Sebastes caurinus) are recommended
as test species because of their abundance, widespread distribu-
tion, and sedentary nature (Buckley pers. comm.).
Divers should first 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 (l 9
years) fish. Researchers should note that the methodology of
determining rockfish age is being reviewed (Bargmann pers.
comm.). If a relationship between age and toxicant body burden
exists, 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 than if the data
were pooled. The list of high priority pollutants identified in
Chapter 5 of this report should be included in the analysis. Any
observable fish diseases should be identified and compared to
catch location, age, and toxicant accumulation.
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 to help identify the linkage between exposure pathway and
uptake mechanism.

Chapter 9
Puget Sound needs a comprehensive monitoring program that
will provide water quality managers with a means of detecting and
documenting changes in the enviroment, including those resulting
from managment actions. This program must be able to show
pollution trends in the water column, sediment, and biota. In
addition, pathological conditions implicated as pollutant-
induced, as well as selected key biota, must be monitored in
locations reflecting management concerns and beneficial uses.
Several existing programs, such as WDOE marine monitoring and
Metro's TPPS and Seahurst baseline programs, provide a
substantial foundation for the recommended comprehensive program.
In addition to the comprehensive monitoring program, several
additional activities are recommended:
•	Briefing meetings between monitoring agencies.
•	Development of a monitoring manual.
•	Calibration of analytical labs and techniques.
•	Development of a Puget Sound data library.
•	Standardization of names of Puget Sound taxa.
•	Specific changes for certain programs.
These activities would improve the usefulness of data from the
various monitoring agencies, with the net result of increased
monitoring effectiveness.
Approach to Monitoring Programs
The indispensible purpose of a Puget Sound monitoring
program is to measure and record trends in water quality
characteristics. Confusion between monitoring programs,
investigations, and research activities frequently occurs.
Investigative activity and research (hypothesis testing) are
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
Monitoring purposes affect program types as well as selected
methodologies. Typically, there are two kinds of monitoring
programs: those focusing on a specific issue, event, or activity
and documenting environmental response over time; and those which
regularly monitor a wide array of parameters to see how the
environment changes over time. The first kind may yield detailed
information in a relatively short period. The second kind
provides data for trend recognition and requires a relatively
long time period. Both types of monitoring approaches yield
valuable information and answer a select set of questions.
In both approaches, the initial step is to clearly state the
questions the monitoring program must answer. It is important
that the questions be well defined and specific. For example, a
poor question might be: is arsenic affecting biota? Until the
question is broken down into more specific questions involving
measurable parameters, little can be accomplished. Once specific
questions and subsidiary objectives are defined, water quality
analysts can then determine how the needed data are to be
obtained, interpreted, and reported.
Three major weaknesses of monitoring programs are: failure
to consider the time element, failure to focus on a specific set
of objectives or questions, 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. Frequent failure to link monitored parameters to
questions about waste discharges leads to unnecessary regulatory
and public confusion.
General Requirements of Monitoring Programs
Water quality conditions are the 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. For example,
one does not usually monitor ammonia without also monitoring pH
and temperature, which affect the proportion of ammonia in the
more toxic un-ionized form. By designing a monitoring program in
this fashion, water quality managers will have much of the
necessary data at hand when hypotheses about observed changes are
evaluated. 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 during the planning stage to ensure that sampling
design and data analysis are amenable to statistical treatment.
Monitoring Specific Pollutants
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 its ecological
impact. If pollutants are adsorbed to particulates, their
availability to biota may be influenced by whether they are
associated with organic or inorganic fractions of suspended
solids. Depending on specific monitoring questions, the sampling
program may need to analyze such associations.
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 concentration in the interstitial
water of sediments can play major roles in the bioavailability
and ecological impact of pollutants in sediments. Pollutant
concentrations in sediments may need to be normalized to grain
size, organic carbon, or similar variables.
Monitoring Plankton
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.
Monitoring Benthos
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.
Monitoring Fish
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 changing over time, and whether biological effects can
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. No
existing program adequately monitors trends in pollutant levels
and biological responses to pollutants in Puget Sound as a whole.
Such a program is necessary to provide water quality managers
with a way to detect impacts resulting from 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 is
required to ascertain whether these changes are linked to
pollutants or to some other environmental parameter or event, if
the monitoring program is sufficiently comprehensive, much of the
data necessary to test hypotheses about causes will be readily
available. Furthermore, many of the recommended studies in
Chapters 6-8 will provide useful baseline data in these subject

areas; however, a monitoring program is needed to describe trends
in these subject areas.
The comprehensive monitoring program would provide data to
meet the following objectives:
•	Protect public health.
•	Protect beneficial uses and resources.
•	Evaluate compliance with water quality standards.
•	Detect long-term cumulative effects of various water
quality related activities in the area.
•	Assess recovery rates following changes in management
As the comprehensive monitoring program is conducted, a
significant amount of data will be collected that will serve as a
basis for comparing new data collected under the program. In
many cases, it will take several years before trends will be
recognizable. In other cases, adverse conditions relative to
public health or biota may be identified early, as demonstrated
by the California State Mussel Watch Program (Ladd et al. 1984),
allowing managers to implement intensive investigation or
corrective measures in a timely fashion.
The most important aspect of the comprehensive monitoring
program is the assessment of water quality as a result of all the
activities in Puget Sound. Furthermore, the program plays a
major role in identifying environmental change or adverse effects
on beneficial uses and triggering appropriate investigation or
research effort (Figure 3-1). Also, the cumulative effect of the
pollutants discharged in a particular area, such as. Elliott Bay,
can be determined. This will aid decision-makers in assessing
and regulating pollutant discharges on a regional basis.
Existing Programs that Provide a Base for Expansion
There are a number of existing data acquisition programs
(Table 9-1) 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 studies in the Central Basin, 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.

Table 9-1. Monitored Resources and Monitoring Activities in Puget Sound
Source Management t
Permitted Discharges
Narperndtted Dis-
Rivers and Stress
Nearfield Receiving
General Receiving
Uptake i Bdoaccmu-
Habitat and Biota
Status of Beneficial
Atmospheric Fallout
Management t
State hazard-
ous taste
NPCES pco-
Permit review
IMts, inspec-
tions, per-
Basin ;
sent plans
(Section 208)
Major rivers
44 Marine
water stations
RCRA regula-
standards of
tcocic ( pre-
local 301(h)
Delegated to
local 301(h)
local 301(h)
Permit review;
local 301(h)
Delegated to
pshs	one
Dredge spoil
Basin J
Bent plans
(Section 208)
Service area
West Point
West Point
Nest Point
Meat Point
Dredge spoil
Dredge spoil
PSP t con-
forms in
shellfish t
growing water
plant in-
Permit review
Permit review
* May vary widely; sost 301(h) waiver applications are under review.

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 9-1).
•	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
ip a serious shortcoming.
•	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 9-1), while
not extensive, add data on pollutant loading or biological
communities and organisms. These programs could be integrated
into the comprehensive monitoring program. Work underway by EPA,
WDOE, and NOAA (Chapter 4) also 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 generic 301(h)
monitoring program proposed by EPA (Table 9-2) 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 purposes.
Outline of the Comprehensive Monitoring Program
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

Table 9-2.
Receiving water
Receiving water
Animal tissue0
Generic 301(h) Waiver Monitoring Program Proposed by EPA for Small Dischargers
(<5 mgd) During 5-Year Life of Waiver
Weekly, at minimum
Once in 4th yra
4 times per yrb
4 times per yr*5
Initially and in 4th yr
Once in 4th yr
Once by 4th yr
At least once in 4th yr
5 at 5m depth
Conventional pollutants
Priority pollutants and pesticides
DO, pH, temperature, salinity,
turbidity, and Secchi disc
Fecal coliform
Grain size, volatile solids,
community structure analysis
Priority pollutants and pesticides
occurring in the effluent
Priority pollutants in the effluent
Compared to reference community
a During dry weather.
b Every other month, Spring-Fall.
c Livers from flatfish, if high concentrations
found in sediment or effluent.


consider: 1) role in the ecological community of the area,
2) exposure to pollutants, 3) role in beneficial uses of Puget
Sound resources, and 4) available knowledge of life-history.
Ideally, the monitored species will rate highly in all four of
these categories. To the extent that their respective frequency
schedules permit, chemical and biological data should be taken
The following is a brief outline of the recommended
comprehensive monitoring program 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. In all cases, the general
requirements described earlier must be considered.
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 stations south of Admiralty Inlet.
•	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.
•	High priority organic compounds should be included if
it can be shown that levels are detectable in the
surface microlayer (see recommended study in
Chapter 7).
•	Water column analysis for pollutants should
differentiate between dissolved constituents and those
adsorbed to suspended particulates.
The effects of minute concentrations of pollutants are just
beginning to be understood. For water quality data collected as
part of this program, analytical techniques should be state-of-
the-art, providing the best practical detection levels.
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. Concentrations in the deeper layer reflect historic
water quality conditions.
Data exist that can be initially used 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. 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 and NOAA
(Chapter 4) that will complement existing data.
The data sources and maps described above can be used to
identify likely station locations, especially in the Central
Basin. To the extent possible, station locations should
correspond with established WDOE marine monitoring stations. The
pirecise location of the sediment stations must be established for
accurate resampling. This may be accomplished by establishing
several land-based stations equipped with electronic positioninq
systems that allow return to a sediment sampling station within a
few meters. The recommended minimum array of sediment stations
is found in Table 9-3. Sampling stations should be established
in an array of sediment types in urban embayments. Ideally,
several stations will be established in Elliott Bay and
Commencement Bay to provide more comprehensive data since
sediment contamination in these two bays may be locally variable
Samples should be collected at the sediment surface (top 2 cm) at
each station once every 3 years. Sediment samples should be
analyzed using state-of-the-art techniques for interstitial Eh
pH, sulfide concentration, organic content, concentrations of all
heavy metals, and designated high priority organic pollutants
(Chapter 5). Full spectral analyses of organic pollutants should
also be conducted and archived since many of the compounds mav be
unknown.	1
In areas potentially subject to estuarine influence
salinity range should also be determined, and sampling frequency
initially should document seasonal changes in sediment
characteristics. 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 quantity nf
toxicants adsorbed to the settling material.	quantities of
Trends fpr.-BiOtfl. Details of this element will varv between
different regions of Puget Sound, it is not intended that everv
species m Puget Sound be monitored. The following suggestions

Table 9-3. Locations of Recommended Sediment Sampling
Port Angeles Harbor
Bellingham Bay
Port Gardner
Central Basin
Elliott Bay
Elliott Bay
Elliott Bay
Sinclair Inlet
Commencement Bay
Commencement Bay
Commencement Bay
Budd Inlet
PAH 003
BLL 006
PSS 008
PSB 003
Duwamish Head No. 10"
ELB 010
Point Turner No. 3b
Old Tacoma No. 13"
CMB 003
CMB 010
Olympia Shoal No. 3"
Port Susan
Nisqually Reach
Hood Canal
SUZ 001
NSO 001
HCB 006
a Designations correspond to existing monitoring site for
WDOE State Surface Water Quality Program unless otherwise
b Designations correspond to those used by Malins et al.
(1980, 1982) .
c Metro TPPS station at mouth of West Duwamish Estuary.

should be considered if organisms from one of the following
groups are included in the program for a particular area.
Furthermore, there is a two-fold purpose to this element of the
program: 1) to develop an "early warning" system for detecting
potential biological problems, and 2) to monitor trends in
selected biota. In general, preferred target species are those
involving human health, beneficial uses (e.g., fisheries), and
significance in the ecosystem (e.g., eelgrass beds, forage
species, or higher trophic levels).
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 and presented as one unit.
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 5) 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 9-1)
representing 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
Benthos. Populations, body burdens, and incidence of
pathological conditions should be monitored. Populations should
be monitored at least once a year in the late summer or fall.
Recommended locations should correspond to sediment monitoring
stations (Table 9-3). Community analyses must take into account
the general requirements described earlier, and the procedures
outlined earlier in a recommended study on benthic communities
(Chapter 6).
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) the
butter clam (Saxidomus giqanteus). or the geoduck (Panope
generosa); and a deposit-feeding bivalve (e.g., Macoma sp.) or
polychaete (e.g., Abarenicola sp.). All high priority pollutants
(Chapter 5) 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
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. Technicians should 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 9-3). 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. Reproductive success is a key population paramater that
usefully measures population change. 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 must include apparently healthy, as well as moribund
or dead individuals, or should not be attempted.
Data Analysis. Natural fluctuations occur for many of the
parameters monitored under this program. These fluctuations must
be considered. To aid in recognizing pollution-related trends,
the program should initially quantify or estimate the natural
range of fluctuation. Because natural ranges may be extreme, a
gradual change falling within the range may not be recognized;
thus, statistical characteristics of each measured parameter are
needed. Ranges, means, and standard deviations can be used to
statistically evaluate variation as data accumulate.
Three sets of data should be considered in initially
determining the natural fluctuations of the parameters:
•	Historical data from Puget Sound.
•	Data gathered outside of Puget Sound.
•	Laboratory studies.
Data specific to Puget Sound would be most applicable for
comparison but may need refining based on field data from other
areas and laboratory studies. Location, time of year, and other
factors may influence natural fluctation in monitored parameters.
These must be considered in program design and data
Interpretation of the data must also consider parameter
interactions. Fluctuation in one parameter may not be recognized
as significant until it is related to other measured variables.
Therefore, data interpretation must be made using a clear
conceptual model of the ecological parameters monitored.
Recommended Ancillary Activities
Briefing Meetings Between Monitoring Agencies
Semiannual briefing meetings are recommended for represen-
tatives of all monitoring agencies. Potential agencies that
would be involved include EPA, WDOE, Metro, COE, NOAA, DSHS,
USGS, and PSAPCA. Other resource agencies (e.g., USFWS and WDP)
may also benefit from participation. The purpose of the meetings
would be to describe the monitoring progress made since the last
meeting and outline future efforts. This would provide an
understanding of the total monitoring being done in Puget Sound.
The meeting schedule 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.
nPVPlopnipn<- of a Monitoring Manual
The development of a procedural manual would help guide and
unify the programs. The manual would include acceptable methods
of sample collection and storage, analytical techniques, quality
assurance, and data reporting for specific substances. Such a
manual should be developed and made available to all Puget Sound
monitoring groups. A periodically updated appendix of the
ongoing monitoring programs and contact persons would also be
useful. In certain cases, monitoring programs use inflexible
methodologies 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 monitoring program elements,
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 combining and analyzing 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).
Data presentation 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 are 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 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 and libraries needing a data summary 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 needed parameters. 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 hydrological.
Calibration Between Analytical Labs and Techniques
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.
npvelopnifnt: of a Puaet Sound Data Base Center
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.
Having this collection in one place would be very useful to

managers and researchers. 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
less costly than setting up a new library. It also would allow
researchers easy access to related information.
Taxonomic standardization
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 Monitorjjig-ฃEQgrams-
In this section, existing monitoring programs are evaluated
relative to the needs of water quality managers (Chapter 2) and
objectives of the proposed comprehensive monitoring program.
Specific objectives originally giving rise to the program are not
included as evaluation criteria, i.e., it may be that a program
is suitable for its original purpose but unsuitable tor the
criteria used here. Programs providing useful	as currently
implemented or proposed are presented first, followed by programs
with recommended changes.
Intensive Surveys
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 or an outraii,
determining wasteload allocations, or evaluating	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.
Everett Harbor evaluated water quality changes in the harbor as
result of the upgrading of pulp and paper industry discharges.
WDOE also monitored biota by use of live box f ish 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 Duv/amish Waterway.
Value to Water ปnaHfrv Managers- Intensive surveys are
useful to the manager responsible	*ฃ***ia3-nn
of their specificity and generally	these surveys
should not be considered an intffral_,fuaK;i Jinformation for
monitoring network but may provide vsl" Me
monitoring program design. Furthermore, the surveys provide
needed management data. No changes 3*1*	tnd " ^
term, problem-solving surveys due to	Purpose and goals of
these surveys.
Metro Seahurst Baseline Study
Mot-rn if? conducting a baseline study near the
propoiSffffhSfst outfall. The studyjl^lMes l^estigation of
the water column, oceanography, sub.tld Work tS beina inducted'
microbiology, virology, and	9 conducted
throughout the southern half of the C	Basin.

The water column study investigates temperature, ,salinity,
oxygen, nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, and silica), chloro-
phyll, particulate matter, zooplankton, phytoplankton, and
phytoplankton productivity. The intertidal and kelp bed study
characterizes the infauna, epifauna, microflora, and macroflora.
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.
Value to Water Quality Managers. The results from this
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.
Metro Toxicant Pretreatment Planning Study
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. An
expected list of approximately 25 compounds of concern is being
generated from this effort (Simmler pers. comm.). Information
was gathered on mass loading of pollutants from riverine input
and surface runoff, and the study also examined concentrations of
toxicants in sediments of the Central Basin off the Seattle
metropolitan area. Bioassays were 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 that need more thorough analysis.
Puget Sound Air quality Monitoring
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 atmospheric concentration are taken
several times a month and summarized in an annual report. Two
other air pollution agencies monitor air quality in other
counties adjacent to Puget Sound, but their programs are not as
extensive as PSAPCA's.
value to ffntfr Ql1fni'*-Y Managers. The transport of air
pollutants and pollutant flux into the Sound has largely not been
quantified. 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 6) to examine loading
from the atmosphere is necessary before changes in the program
can be recommended.
Proposed 301(h) Monitoring Programs
packground. Several municipal wastewater treatment plants
have applied for secondary treatment waivers, as allowed by
Section 301(h) of the Clean Water Act (CWA). If a 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 9-2). The generic 301(h)
monitoring program is proposed by EPA as an initial guideline;
substantial modifications for each discharger may occur,
depending on discharge volume, quality, and location. 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.
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 9-2.
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.
t.P 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 the preplanning of 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 be useful during periods when volume of riverine
discharge is unlikely to obscure discharge effects. The drawback
is that winter marine water quality parameters remain unknown
because the existing WDOE marine monitoring program does not
operate in winter months.
NPDES Monitoring and Analysis
Background. The NPDES permit program is designed to abate,
and eventually eliminate, discharge of pollutants that would
significantly degrade receiving-water quality. 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 as well
as 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 done by the permit
holder, with the results filed as discharge monitoring reports
(DMRs) at the appropriate regional WDOE office.
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 (if
appropriate) as local additions to the national requirements:
•	Require continuous measurements of the discharge
volume, or alternatively, require data on discharge
volume that reflect normal operating conditions and can
be combined with data on concentration to calculate
total loading.
•	Require monitoring of effluent using standard methods
specified in Chapter 3.
•	Require scheduled composite sample monitoring of high
priority pollutants (listed in Chapter 5) 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
significance among several discharges of the same pollutant.
Presently, it is difficult to identify toxic constituents in the
wastestream of most permittees, and loading measurements are very
WDOE River Monitoring
Background. The WDOE surface water quality monitoring
program has been operating for several years under authority of
RCW 90.48.250. The program includes a large network of fresh and
saltwater monitoring stations, h discussion of the marine

monitoring program is given in the next section. The objectives
of the 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 as well as 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 5) be included in the analyses at
each station for at least 1 year, to provide baseline information
and identify potential problems. Sampling for these pollutants
could then be reduced to those areas where problems are shown to
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 as well as predicting water
quality impacts.
WDOE Marine Water Monitoring
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, but the
objectives are the same. 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 following changes would greatly
improve the value of this WDOE 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. The 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.
USGS River Monitoring
Background. USGS conducts two monitoring programs of
interest to Puget Sound water quality managers: continuous flow-
gaging stations maintained on the larger rivers, and 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 is not always continuous in time or location. Data are
published annually by water year and stored on computer.

Recommended Changes. Changes that could yield valuable data
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 a maximum extent. Flow
data and water quality data could then be used with
greater confidence to calculate mass loadings.
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.
Basic Water Monitoring Program
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 9-4. 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 9-5. Note that during 1982, only the Commencement Bay
station was sampled. In the future, four stations will likely 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.
•	The same sites should be sampled every year.
Consideration should be given to the 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
relation to tidal height (Stephenson et al. 197 9;
Mearns pers. comm.).

Table 9-4. Pollutants Monitored in Mussel Tissue by WDOE
Chlordane (4 isomers)
Hexachlorocyclohexane (
Table 9-5. WDOE Sampling Stations, Basic Water Monitoring Program
SOURCE: Yake pers. comm.

•	Only 11 of the high priority pollutants recommended for
study (Chapter 5) 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 trend data.
Value to Water quality Managers. This program has the
potential of yielding useful data on biological uptake of
pollutants, which would address certain 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 cautiously for local trend
analyses. This particular program offers opportunities to
compare Puget Sound data with other national program data.
Shellfish psp Monitoring Program
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). butter clam (Saxidomus giganteus), littleneck
clam (Protothaca staminea. Tapes iaponica). and Pacific oyster
(Crassostrea gigas). Other shellfish such as scallop (Pectin
spp.) # cockle fr.i inocardium nutt&llii), soft shell clam (Mya
arenaria) 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 3 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 9-6). 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 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. TVo 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.).
Recommendations. For the most part, the existing sampling
program is adequate; the current program has an excellent public
protection record. Since the beginning of the program in 1957,
there have been no reported cases of PSP from shellfish

Table 9-6.
Locations of Shellfish Testing Areas,
PSP Monitoring Program.

Dungeness Bay
Sandsh Bay
Kitsap County
Skaqit Oountv
Sequia Bay
tartage Bay

Disccwery Bay
Hale Passage
Etoulweather Bluff
Guenes Island - Burrows Bay
tart Itansend Bay
lunni Bay
Sinclair Island
Kilisut Harbor
Drayton Harbor
Sinilk Bay
fystery Bay
Point Roberts
Sottish Bay
Scow Bay
Ship Bay - Orcas Island
Agate Passage
March Paint
(Mi Bay
Eastaound - Orcas Island
Fletcher Bay
Hat Island
Cblvoa Racks
Hunter Bay - Lopez Island
Manitou Beach
Cypress Island
Pert Gantilr Bay
Westcott Bay - San Juan Island
Ffcy-Bainbridge State Park
tost One
Open Bay - Henry Island
Eagle Harbor
Vftatoora County
Race's lagoon
Agate Passage
Yukon Harbor

Sort Susan Bay
Illahee State Park
Oudcanut Bay
Skagit Bay
Liberty Bay
Blake Island
Birch Bay
Sinilk Bay
Miller Bay
Larabee State Park

Dyes Inlet
Drayton Harbor
Harden Cove
Bellinghan Bay

Skiff Paint
Cherry Paint
Clallm County
Pierce County
Manchester State Park
Sandy Point
Davgeness Bay
Dupont Dock
Snohanish C&unty
San Juan County
Sequin Bay
Ketron Island

Part Williams
Fox Island Bridge
Cattle taint - San Juan
Gray Harsh
Titlow Beach
Garriscn Bay - San Juan
Diamond Faint -
Point Defiance
Warm Beach
Spencer Spit - Lopez
Discovery Bay
Browns Point
Hat Island
Shoal Bay - Lope:
Gig Harbor

ttjd Bay - Lopez
Jefferson Qxmtv
Mayo Owe
Island County
Fisherman Bay - Lc^ez
Vaughn Bay

Squaw Bay - Shaw
Discovery Bay
Penn Owe
Pile taint - San Juan
Kilisut Hartor
Kinq County
Doublebluff Beach
Guthrie Cave - Orcas
Bart ftunsend Bay
Coluifeia Beach
Decatur Island - South Qvl
Oak Bay
Alki Point
Halmes Harbor
Sue La island - West Side
Tborndyke Bay
Baby Island
Buck Bay - Orcas
Byuater Bay
Normandy Park
Satchet Head
Mitchell Bay - San Juan
Seahurst Park
Canano Island State Park
Mackaye Harbor - Lopez
Mason Ccwity
Dash Point
Manaoo Beach

Ala Spit

Stretch Island
Carkeek Park
Hbodland Beach - Canano

Hartstene Island
Bridge Quartermaster Harbor
Snatelun taint

Budd inlet
Useless Bay

Henderson Inlet

Qiltiis Bay

Nisqually Iteach

Elger Bay

Harrington Lagoon

SOURCE: Lilja pers. cuiin.

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.
Shellfish Coliform Bacteria Monitoring Program
Background. DSHS is responsible for monitoring the quality
of shellfish from commercial harvest areas. The program is
primarily oriented toward commercial clams, mussels, andxoysters.
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 9-6) 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.

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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
Mass Loading of Pollutants
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.
Pollutant Transport
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.
Fate and Distribution of Pollutants
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.
Biological Effects of Pollutants
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-effect 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-effect 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 pf the Najarian et al. (1981? model formula-
tion. required for adaptation to Puget Sound. Modifications
include incorporation of additional density modifiers (temperature
and suspended solids processes) 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
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 for 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 verifica-
tion 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. Measure-
ment 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
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) or a
similar model, for the same reasons as outlined for the Central
Basin (Chapter 7).
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 Puget 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 a 2-dimensional,
laterally-averaged model, such as 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 a 2-dimensional,
laterally-averaged model, such as 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 Model
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.

List of Preparers

Jones & Stokes Associates? Inc. accepts full responsibility
for the organization and content of this report. Dr. Harvev Van
Veldhuizen is project manager. Dr. Van Veldhuizen and Dr
Charles Hazel are the principal authors of Chapters 1-4. Ms
Joan, Cabreza is the principal author of Chapter 5 and contribute
to Chapter 7. Ms. Alice Godbey is the principal author of
Chapter 6 and contributed to Chapter 9. Mr. Brian Ross
contributed to Chapter 3 and Mr. Greg Ruggerone contributed to
Chapter 8.
Tetra Tech, Inc. provided technical assistance by
recommending specific studies to meet certain data needs. Mr
Gary Bigham and Dr. James Pagenkopf developed the modelina
recommendations found in Chapter 7. Dr. Thomas Ginn and Dr.
Lawrence McCrone contributed recommendations found in Chapter 8
Dr. Ginn and Dr. Robert Pastorak contributed to Chapter 9.