The Importance Of Water Quality

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Summary Only 1% of Earth’s surface water is fresh but it is essential for life. Water has multiple uses including for drinking, food production and waste treatment. Water quality is an issue for many countries especially because water is a universal solvent. It is easily polluted by the addition of organic and inorganic materials which can have detrimental effect on ecosystems and human health. Nutrient inputs into lakes and streams have increased as a result of human activities which has increased eutrophication in water bodies (especially lakes like Lake Washington that had 11 sewage discharge points entering it). Attempts to improve water quality have been implemented using different management and prevention methods. Sewage wastes are…show more content…
One method is to treat sewage, which recently, is more efficient and reduces the amount of phosphorus entering water bodies (Wright & Boorse, 2014) despite being an expensive process (Fig. 9) (Connell, 1993). Lake Washington reduced the sewage entering the water which improved the water quality (Miller & Spoolman, 2009). Non-point sources of nutrients are the hardest to manage because there is no distinct area (Pilditch, 2014a). Agricultural areas can fence off their waterways which restricts stock access to streams and this stops defecation directly into water as well as bank erosion (Botkin,…show more content…
Lake Erie has been affected by introduced species (zebra mussels) (U.S Environmental Protection Agency, 2011). Rehabilitation of a eutrophic lake can be done. Artificial aeration can be used to re-oxygenate water which prevents bacteria growth because other higher organisms can strive (Morton, 1976; Miller & Spoolman, 2009). Lake Washington, U.S.A, is an example of a rehabilitated lake. The 11 sewage discharge points into the lake were diverted to Puget Sound where tidal flushing diluted and distributed the waste over a larger area (which meant that the Puget Sound did not have the effects of eutrophication) (Wright & Boorse, 2014). Future effects of changes in land-use patterns and hydrology need to be researched as this could help predict where and when lakes and streams are likely to be affected by eutrophication (U.S Environmental Protection Agency, 2011). The ability to predict this would mean that management procedures are implemented before the ecosystem changes too much (U.S Environmental Protection Agency,
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