Water Safety and Treatment

Eutrophication Causes & Dangers

Eutrophication is a naturally occurring nutrient enrichment of streams and lakes. However, this normal enrichment cycle is often increased by human activities such as agriculture processes (like manure addition). Over time, lakes can then become “eutrophic” due to such an increase.

Eutrophication is primarily caused by an increase in nitrate and phosphate levels and has a negative influence on water life. Such enrichment can cause algae to “bloom” or flourish. As a result the water will absorb less sunlight which aides certain aerobic bacteria to diminish. With oxygen levels depleting further, anaerobic bacteria fill the vacuum and then thrive. Such changes in water quality make life in the water impossible for fish and other organisms. A well know natural occurrence of bacteria affecting other organisms are the Red Tides on the Texas Coast.