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 Point and Non point-Source Pollution





Nitrogen and phosphorous are natural parts of aquatic ecosystems; they support the growth of algae and aquatic plants, which provide food and habitat for aquatic life.  But when too much nitrogen and phosphorus enter the environment the water can become polluted. Aquatic communities need oxygen to live. Nutrient pollution can lead to massive growths of algae called algal blooms, which consume large amounts of oxygen that aquatic life needs to survive. Algae can also clog the breathing mechanisms of aquatic life. Algal blooms can decrease water clarity and reduce the ability of fish and other aquatic life to find food.  Some algal blooms are harmful to humans because they produce elevated toxins and bacterial growth that can make people sick if they come into contact with polluted water, consume tainted fish or shellfish, or drink contaminated water.

Nutrient pollution is caused by excess nitrogen and phosphorus. The primary sources of nutrient pollution are:

  • Agriculture: Animal manure, excess fertilizer applied to crops and fields, and soil erosion.

  • Stormwater: Stormwater runoff from impervious surfaces like rooftops, sidewalks and roads picks up pollutants, including nitrogen and phosphorus, and transports them into local waterways.

  • Wastewater: Sewer and septic systems do not always operate properly or remove enough nitrogen and phosphorus before discharging into waterways.

  • In and Around the Home: Fertilizers, yard and pet waste, and certain soaps and detergents contain nitrogen and phosphorous

Contact Us

10S404 Knoch Knolls Road

Naperville, IL 60565

Phone: 630-428-4500

Fax: 630-428-4599

E-mail: Jennifer Hammer



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