Big pipe triggers big science on O.C. coast – News – The Orange County Register
The repair of a massive pipe that carries wastewater to the ocean is inspiring one of the most elaborate scientific investigations in years along the Orange County coast.
Missile-shaped robotic gliders, sensors tethered offshore and boats crisscrossing the ocean with instruments in tow – all are part of an attempt to learn which life forms might be stimulated by a sudden burst of treated effluent closer to shore than usual. Even satellite readings, courtesy of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, will help characterize the footprint of the effluent “plume.”
“We’re measuring where the plume is, trying to find the plume and predict where it’s going, based on measurements of currents and meteorological data,” said Jim Herberg, assistant general manager and director of engineering at the Orange County Sanitation District.