How to Solve the Problem of Eutrophication

The question of how to solve the problem of eutrophication is a pressing one in our society because of the many disastrous effects this issue is capable of wreaking on water, making it too weak to support life and thus becoming dead zone. Eutrophication is the process by which an entire body of water, or parts of it, becomes progressively enriched with minerals and nutrients, particularly nitrogen and phosphorus.

This natural process has also been defined as nutrient-induced increase in phytoplankton productivity which however causes adverse result on plant and animals by extension. It is considered to be a serious environmental concern since it often results in the deterioration of water quality and the depletion of dissolved oxygen in water bodies. It though has two types by which we understand its nature. These are natural and cultural eutrophication.

The common causes for eutrophication are:

  • Erosion and leaching from fertilized agricultural areas
  • Dependence on Fertilizers (nitrate and phosphates)
  • Sewage from cities and industrial wastewater
  • Animal Feeding Operations
  • Natural Effects
  • Atmospheric deposition of nitrogen (from animal breeding and combustion gases)

The water supply companies have tended to regard eutrophication as a serious problem only when it becomes impossible to treat drinking water supplies in an economic way. Threshold concentrations at which action is taken to reduce nutrient loadings thus depend on economic factors, as well as wildlife conservation objectives.

Eutrophication, as a water problem, is understood to be strong enough to bring the following consequences or effects on the surrounding:

  • Blooms of Blue-green Algae (cyanobacteria)
  • Pollution of Drinking Water Supplies
  • Proliferation of Harmful Substances
  • Degradation of Recreational Opportunities
  • Threats to Aquatic Life
  • Dangers on Human Health
  • Hypoxia

How to Solve the Problem of Eutrophication

With so much on the several causes and harmful effects of eutrophication, it is about we started discussing how to solve the problem of eutrophication in the human society:

1. Reducing Pollution

Limiting pollution is an easy and effective method of cutting back on the amount of nitrogen and phosphates discharged into water systems. If industries and municipalities can cap their waste discharge and pollution to a lower level, then nutrient content is reduced in the water systems, which can subsequently control eutrophication.

Big manufacturing companies and municipalities ought to reduce pollution and desist from discharging waste into water systems to reduce the amount of toxins and nutrients ending up in the waters that feed the algae and other microscopic organisms.

2. Water Oxygenation

Another one sure way on how to solve the problem of eutrophication is the oxygenation of water which is for reducing the negative effects of the eutrophic process and restoring the ecological condition like the absence of oxygen and toxic compounds’ formation deriving from the anaerobic metabolism;

3. Composting

In compost fertilizer, all the essential elements are broken down and synthesized by the plants, thereby not creating the cycle of eutrophication. This method of controlling eutrophication is termed as nutrient limitation. Eutrophication mainly arises from the use of nitrate and phosphate fertilizers. In a bid to address the phenomenon, composting can be used as a solution. Composting is the practice of converting organic matter such as food residues and decaying vegetation into compost manure.

4. Phosphorus Precipitation

Chemical precipitation of phosphorous by adding iron or aluminum salts or calcium carbonate to the water, which gives rise to the precipitation of the iron, aluminum or calcium orthophosphates, thereby reducing the negative effects arising from the excessive presence of phosphorus in the sediments.

Leave a Reply