Nutrient Pollution

By Peter Collins

When nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous are excessively added to bodies of water, they act like fertilizers. This causes the algae to grow. Too much algae growth chokes out needed aquatic vegetation such as seagrasses. This leads to low levels of oxygen in the water which can result in the death of sea creatures such as fish, crabs, oysters, and more.

Nutrients are naturally found in water and enrich lakes, rivers, and other bodies of water. This process is called Eutrophication. Eutrophication is a natural process but human activity has caused it to become excessive in bodies of water. Naturally, nutrients will be washed out of bodies of water though the natural water flow routes. Lakes, ponds, smaller bodies of water are most susceptible to nutrient pollution.

Signs of nutrient pollution include: thick mats of algae, scum, foam, odor, bad taste, disease or death of aquatic life, and reduction of dissolved oxygen. Many if these are invisible but we know there is a problem when we see dead aquatic life. You can assume that if a body of water is suffering from nutrient pollution, that it is filtering through to your water supply.

Nutrients are naturally part of the soil and back ground nutrients are generally quite low. Human activity has increased nitrate levels exponentially. Some of the ways human activits has affected nutrient levels in water are:

  • Animal Manure
  • Atmospheric Nitrogen
  • Commercial Fertilizers
  • Household Detergents
  • Sediment
  • Septic Systems
  • Sewer Treatment Plants

It is important that you employ a whole home water system in areas where nutrient pollution is evident. Nutrients like nitrogen or phosphorous are part of fertilizers. Our bodies cannot digest fertilizers. Our bodies are made up of primarily water and absorb them during shows, baths, hand washing, so any added exposure could cause us to become ill. The nutrients absorbed by our bodies go directly to our blood stream which can be deadly to us. Some of the effects that we can feel from being exposed to water affected from nutrient pollution are:

  • Blue-Baby Syndrome – Blue tint to skin
  • Neurological Conditions
  • Rashes
  • Respiratory Issues
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Stomach or Liver Issues

Ideally, you want to make sure water is filtered as it enters the our and at the point of use such as sinks or showers. There are several types of whole home water filtration units you can choose from. Reverse Osmosis water filtration system. This system will remove chlorine, inorganic and organic contaminants. Ion exchange water filtration systems are designed to remove dissolved salts like calcium and soften water. The most common type of water filtration system is the granular carbon and carbon block water filtration systems. Granulated carbon has been deemed as the best way to remove contaminants from water by the EPA.        

Pure Water Systems can test your water for free to determine what contaminants are currently contained in your drinking water. They will consult with you to determine the best filtration option for your home.

Peter Collins, owner of Pure Water Systems, is a Class C Drinking Water Treatment Plant Operator Licensed under Provisions of Chapter 403, Florida. For additional information or any questions contact Pure Water Systems Inc. at 352-228-2200.