The Important Facts about Eutrophication

Lakes have the potential to enhance the beauty, appeal, and value of a property. However, there are a variety of factors that can drastically reduce the health and appearance of your lake. Chief among those factors are environmental concerns, starting with eutrophication. In this post, we will talk about eutrophication and how it might influence your lake management program.

Eutrophication is the process in which a high concentration of nutrients–mainly nitrogen and phosphorous–infiltrate a body of water. These nutrients serve as a food source for microorganisms, algae, and plankton.

When food is abundant for these organisms, an algal bloom occurs. This can set off a chain reaction of new life entering the lake’s ecosystem, which also leads to a higher mortality rate among the population. Dead and decaying organisms sink to the bottom of the lake, and decomposition saps the water of oxygen. With the lack of oxygen, other life forms like fish and plants begin to die. Ultimately, it leads to a dead zone: a body of water where no aquatic animals can live.

Eutrophication occurs naturally in the wild. However, human activity can aggravate the process. Lawn care programs that use an excess of fertilizers can create nutrient-rich runoff that infiltrates bodies of water. Old or overworked septic tanks can also contribute to runoff. If your property borders a lake, then there is a good chance that your property is already a vector for eutrophication.

Taking action is always a better alternative than letting an algal bloom occur. A good lake management program does more than keep your lake clean and clear–it can also save wildlife and promote a healthier ecosystem. Get in touch with your lake manager to learn what they are doing to prevent eutrophication.