Hasler, Arthur D. Laboratory of Limnology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin.
Last reviewed:July 2021
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- Extent of the problem
- Bottom fauna
- Great Lakes
- Oxygen demand
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The process by which water bodies, such as estuaries, coastal waters, and lakes, become enriched in dissolved nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, resulting in increased growth of algae and aquatic plants as well as the deterioration of the water’s esthetic and life-supporting qualities. The primary responses to eutrophication are seen in potentially harmful blooms of phytoplankton, or suspended algae (see illustration), oxygen-depleted zones, and fish kills. Water for consumption from eutrophic water sources must be filtered and treated. To prevent eutrophication, agricultural and waste management practices are essential, including diversion of sewage, better use of manure, erosion control, improved sewage treatment, and harvesting of the surplus aquatic crops. See also: Anoxic zones; Water conservation
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