The effects of nutrient pollution on the neuse river estuary
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The Effects of Nutrient Pollution on the Neuse River Estuary. Valerie Winkelmann. What is nutrient pollution or eutrophication?. A slow natural process of enrichment Produces enhanced productivity in the body of water Caused by elevated nutrient loading

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What is nutrient pollution or eutrophication
What is nutrient pollution or eutrophication?

  • A slow natural process of enrichment

  • Produces enhanced productivity in the body of water

  • Caused by elevated nutrient loading

  • Nitrogen is of main concern in Neuse River Estuary (NRE)


Eutrophication leads to
Eutrophication leads to…

  • Accelerated enrichment by artificial means produces population explosions of phytoplankton, a.k.a. algal blooms

  • Algae exceed carrying capacity and die

  • Bacterial decomposition creates high BOD

  • Compounded by low DO due to summer water temps

  • Hypoxic or even anoxic conditions



Problems
Problems…

  • Fish kills result from anoxic conditions or toxic blooms

  • Harms shellfisheries as well

  • Phytoplankton are base of the food chain

    • Organisms selectively feed

  • Pfiesteria and other toxic blooms

  • Alter community structure


Sources of nutrient pollution
Sources of nutrient pollution

  • Anthropogenic

    • Urban: wastewater treatment plants

    • Industrial: point source

    • Agricultural: fertilizer and animal waste

  • Sediments: highly organic sediments decompose, oxygen sink

  • Atmospheric deposition


Over 5 years
Over 5 years…

  • Phosphorous loading decreased 14%

  • Total nitrogen loading increased 16%

  • Total inorganic nitrogen increased 38%


FYI

  • 441 point dischargers contributed 3.34 x 10^8 L effluent/d

  • 554 concentrated animal operations

    • Swine production in the basin has increased 285% in the last decade

    • In 1998, 5.9 x 10^9 kg manure from pigs and poultry contributed 4.1 x 10^7 kg N and 1.4 x 10^7 kg P


Solutions
Solutions

  • State regulations require a 30% reduction in N loading by 2003

    • Reduce impervious cover

    • Retention ponds

    • Riparian buffers

    • Strict regulation on point source polluters

    • Nutrient management

    • Controlled drainage

    • Conservation tillage system



Acknowledgments
Acknowledgments

  • Ms. Kelly McFarlin

    Michigan Technological University

    Houghton, MI


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