Eutrophication Introduction The word “Eutrophication” come from the Greekword “eutrophia” which “eu” itself gives the meaning of well while “trephein”gives the meaning of nourish. It can be also said that this word is arise fromthe word “eutrophie” in German. Eutrophication is also known ashypertrophication that means the environment usually water body enriched with abig amount of nutrient. This cause the growth of plants and algae in the waterbody that leads to the oxygen level in that water decrease.
For instance, whenthe amount of nutrients in the water body increase gradually will bring theeffect of algae bloom or increase in the amount of phytoplankton. Eutrophicationhas bring large effects for the environmental problem such as dead of theaquatic plants and animals, change the quality of water and so on. So, what is eutrophication? In general,eutrophication is the process that nutrient is oversupply or the amount ofnutrient is said to be exceed the normal range in a water body.
This processstimulated the growth of a large amount of phytoplankton and algae in the waterbody in a shorter period which is also known as algae bloom. This algae bloomwill cause the depletion of dissolved oxygen in the water body. The main factor that contributeeutrophication process to happen is too much of nutrient is supply to the waterbody indirectly. This is usually caused by mankind problem such as discharge ofsewage, detergents or even fertilisers that contain phosphate and nitrogenelement.
Besides, farming process which will use a big quantity of fertiliserswill also cause the nutrient discharge and accumulate in the water body. The process ofeutrophication Eutrophication occurwhen there is large amount of artificial nutrient with organic or inorganicmineral especially phosphate and nitrate are discharge or run-offs into a waterbody. When the amount of nutrient is excess in the water body such as ponds,lakes or even rivers that leads to the rapid growth of aquatic organisms. Therapid growth of organisms such as phytoplankton and photosynthesis organismsespecially algae due to the high nutrients in water. This will cause anexploration amount of algae growth in the water within a shorter period andform algae bloom on the surface of water.
Algae bloom will block the sunlightto penetrate directly through the water as the algae covered the surface ofwater. Those plants survive by carrying out photosynthesis process especiallythe submerged plants will die as they cannot carry out process photosynthesisand cause the amount of oxygen in water decrease indirectly. At the same time,the amount of the aerobic bacteria will increase as the dead photosynthetic plantwill accumulates at the bottom of the water is then decomposed by aerobicbacteria and used up all the oxygen in the water at a fast rate.
As the reducedamount of photosynthetic plant, the oxygen produced is insufficient for theaerobic bacteria use to decomposed the dead plants. This will cause theincrease of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) which means the level of dissolvedoxygen is decrease, amount of bacteria high and water is more polluted. Otheraquatic organisms such as fish, shrimp and so on will die due to the low levelof oxygen present in water for respiration purpose. The condition will beworsen if the oxygen level decrease continuously until the water becomecompletely deoxygenated. The anaerobic bacteria and algae will growth in thewater and produce harmful gases or toxins by the green-blue bacteria such ashydrogen sulphide will leads to the death of the aquatic organisms in the watersuch as fish.
At this state where the level of BOD is high, the level ofdissolved oxygen is decrease rapidly, the amount of bacteria high and water aremore polluted will cause leaving none of aquatic organisms but those organismswhich can survive in such condition such as leeches, Tubifex, worms, and sludgeworms to be appear and survive. Used of BiochemicalOxygen Demand (BOD)BOD are often used tocheck the condition of water such as the level of oxygen and pollution, whetherit is suitable to support and provide sufficient oxygen for aquatic organismsto life. BOD is also known as the level of dissolved oxygen present in thewater which can provide for the living organisms in the water to survive.Besides, BOD also indicate the level pollution in the water. For example, whenthere is large amount of aerobic bacteria present to decompose the dead aquaticorganisms or waste that accumulate in the water will cause the increase in theBOD level and consequently the level of dissolved oxygen in the water will decreasethe amount of aerobic bacteria increase and also indicate that the water ismore polluted. So that is also means that, the increase of BOD level, subsequentlydecrease of dissolved oxygen in the water. Meanwhile, the decrease of dissolvedoxygen level represent the level of the pollution in the water.
As aconclusion, the higher level of BOD which means the low level of dissolvedoxygen in the water represent the poor water quality which is not suitable foraquatic organisms to survive. On the other hand, the Low level of BOD whichindicates the high level of dissolved oxygen in the water represent the goodwater quality which is suitable for the aquatic organisms to survive. Causes of eutrophicationThe mainly reason thatcaused the eutrophication to occur is the excess amount nutrient especiallyphosphate and nitrate run-offs into the water body. So where does the nutrientscome from? One of sources is from the farming process. This is because in orderto let the plants grow more healthier, most of the farmer will use fertilizersor even animal wastes that contain phosphorus and nitrate in it. Sometimes,raining will cause the excessive fertilisers used by farmer to run-offs intothe water and cause the nutrient in the water increase which leads toeutrophication to occur. In addition, the discharge of untreated sewage and domestic wastes eitherfrom the industrial or household area will also leads to the excess amount ofnutrient in water that will cause eutrophication to occur directly.
Effects of eutrophicationEutrophication is someaspect will bring some side effects not only disturb the balance of ecosystem butliving organisms as well. This is because eutrophication process will cause theoxygen depletion to occur that will kill lots of aquatic organisms such asfish, shrimp, plants and so on. In long run, living organisms will faced theproblem like shortage of food as one of the food source for living organisms iscome from aquatic organisms while the death of aquatic organisms will causehuman less one of the food sources. Furthermore, water is important for all theliving organisms as water is one of the basic requirement needed for livingorganisms to survive. Eutrophication will cause the water become more pollutedand also water quality which is not suitable for living organisms to survive. Lastbut not least, the death of marine life such as fish, shrimp and so on andhence disturb the marine ecosystem. This will further maybe cause one of thepopulation of marine life disappear or growth in exploration amount as the foodchain of marine ecosystem has been disturb.
Ways to overcome As we know thateutrophication will bring many impact for the ecosystem and living organisms,thus, we must take this responsible to overcome the problems. One of the waysto overcome is to reduce mankind activities that leads to this occur. Forinstance, farmer can reduce the use of phosphate and nitrate based fertilisers,do not apply bare fields and even carry out crop rotation to prevent theexcessive amount of nutrients(phosphate and nitrate) entering and draining intothe water especially when it is raining. Secondly, industrial must treat thesewage before it is discharge into water. This can prevent the large amount ofchemical such as phosphorus and nitrate discharge into water and prevent theformation of algae broom indirectly. In order to achieve this goals, governmentcan reinforce the laws or even carry out randomly spot check and fine thoseindustry who fail to do this in order to maintain the balance of ecosystem.
Next, housewife or worker can choose to use biological detergent that containlow phosphate instead of using the hard or soft detergents. In addition, classificationthe domestic waste include food waste, do not disposing them into the drains orrivers.