Causes Of Eutrophication
Due to the rapid development of agriculture and modern farming, the occurrence of eutrophication has becoming more common nowadays. However, what is actually eutrophication? What are the main factors that lead to eutrophication? Can we witness the backlash due to this phenomenon? What measures can we do to reduce the impact to the water quality and the environment?
What is eutrophication?
• Eutrophication is known as the artificial nutrient enrichment of an aquatic system with organic material or inorganic nutrients (such as nutrient salts).
• It causes an excessive growth of aquatic plant life and will cause significant changes to the aquatic ecosystem.
• There are several examples, such as the booming reproduction …show more content…
• This will normally happen when there is excessive use of fertilisers by agricultural practice.
• When there is too much fertiliser that is given to the crop to increase crop yield, the accumulation of nutrient salt which has the elements nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) will keep increasing the concentration level until it will go beyond a saturation point and exceeds the critical load.
• When this situation happens, the soil is not capable of holding and grasping the nutrients, leaching happens when rain water will carry the excess nutrients that will eventually flow from groundwater to lakes, ponds, rivers and seas.
Run-off of animal waste
• Besides, the run-off of animal waste from pastures and farmlands into lakes, rivers or ponds also causes the rate of eutrophication to accelerate.
• Through farming activities, the production of animal waste is unavoidable, whether the matter is in solid form or in liquid form, such as droppings from birds (for example, chicken, ducks, etc), dung from cows and goats, and also urine from farm animals (such as pigs, …show more content…
Input of untreated sewage
• In addition, the input of untreated sewage as well as discharge from undeveloped sewage treatment plants also induces the process of eutrophication.
• This usually happens in undeveloped and developed countries where waste water from domestic use is discharged directly (without filtration and passing through sewage treatment plants) into natural water bodies (for example, rivers and seas).
• As a result, high concentration of nutrient will trigger sudden growth of algae.
• On the other hand, industrialised nations, sewage may be illegally expelled into waters directly by unscrupulous individuals and companies.
• Without proper monitoring and strict enforcement by the local authorities, those wastes rich in nutrients would be released to the aquatic ecosystem.
• There is also a possibility that certain treatment plants do not necessarily cut down organic and inorganic matter that is contained in the water, which results in the piling up of nutritional ions and elements in the water