Satellite imagery detects coastal stormwater and sewage runoff

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Abstract

Storm and dry-weather runoff from coastal metropolitan areas has been increasingly recognized as a major source of marine pollution. Runoff escaping into the ocean through storm drains and creek beds includes bacteria and anthropogenic components from sewage, as well as fuel, oil, brake, tire, and asphalt-related compounds from roadways, and industrial and agricultural substances. Unlike sewage outfalls that are released offshore, effluent escaping through storm drains and natural outlets is released directly at the ocean shore. The resultant health hazards cause temporary beach closures and possible long-term effects through the accumulation of pollutants in near-shore sediments.

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