The effects of power plant effluents on the growth of phytoplankton in adjacent areas of Trinity Bay.




Mullins, Henry Lloyd

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Texas A&M University


The effect of cooling water discharge from the Houston Lighting and Power Company's Cedar Bayou Electric Power Station near Baytown, Texas, on the growth of phytoplankton in adjacent Trinity Bay was investigated from October 1972 through April 1984. Surface water temperature, salinity and pH were recorded each month at 11 stations located in Cedar Bayou, the plants cooling system, and Trinity Bay. Monthly chlorophyll a concentrations and primary productivity rates were determined from sample waters collected at each station. Monthly bioassays were conducted with sample waters for 8 of the stations to evaluate the suitability of those waters for the growth of Skeletonema costatum, a standard culture organism, and the natural phytoplankton contained in the sample waters. Fluorometric measurements were made at the beginning and termination of the 4-day assay period to obtain the increase in relative chlorophyll a of assay organisms.


112 pages; available for download at the link below.


power plants, waste heat, cooling ponds, phytoplankton, environmental effects, Skeletonema costatum, biological production, primary production, hydrology