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A hydro-environmental model is used to investigate the effect of cessation of thermal discharges from a power plant on the bathing water quality of Dublin Bay. Before closing down, cooling water from the plant was mixed with sewage effluent prior to its discharge, creating a warmer, less-saline buoyant pollutant plume that adversely affects the water quality of Dublin Bay. The model, calibrated to data from the period prior to the power-plant shut-down (Scenario 1), assessed the water quality following its shut-down under two scenarios; (i) Scenario 2: continued abstraction of water to dilute sewage effluents before discharge, and (ii) Scenario 3: sewage effluents are discharged directly into the Estuary. Comparison between scenarios was based on distribution of Escherichia coli (E. coli), a main bathing quality indicator. Scenarios 1 and 2, showed almost similar E. coli distribution patterns while Scenario 3 displayed significantly higher E. coli concentrations due to the increased stratification caused by the lack of prior dilution.
Bedri, Z. et al. (2013)Environmental consequences of a power plant shut-down: A three-dimensional water quality model of Dublin Bay,Marine Pollution Bulletin, Vol. 71, No. 1-2, pp. 117-128. doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2013.03.025