Scientists: Treated urban sewage likely harming fish in Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta

A panel of independent scientists says in a new report that ammonia from urban wastewater ilikely favors foods less nutrious to fish and toxic algae blooms in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

The Bee reported last year on emerging research suggesting that ammonia from treated urban sewage, discharged continuously into Central Valley rivers, may disrupt the Delta food chain. The Sacramento metro area's wastewater, treated by the Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District, is the largest source of ammonia in the Delta.

But the research has been hotly disputed by the sanitation district and others. So CalFed agreed to host an independent review of existing science.That review, released last week, said that the subject merits further study as a potentially significant factor in the degradation of Delta. Numerous fish species in the Delta have been in a death spiral since about 2001.

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