A study of the effect of detergents on seepage rates
Foerster, Eugene P.
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Synthetic detergents were first introduced to the public m 1932. Since that time the sale of detergents has grown to a point where they represent approximately 80 per cent of the total sales of cleansing compounds sold today. (1) This amounts to more than 4 billion pounds of production annually. If this amount were to be equally distributed in the 1150 billion gallons per day of runoff in all the streams in the United States there would be a concentration of approximately 0.8 parts per million (ppm). An equal distribution of detergent concentration in the streams IS not, however, possible. The population distribution, and therefore that of the use of detergents, is not the same as the water distribution. The variation of precipitation and runoff with time further amplifies the unequal concentration of detergents m surface runoff.