Danger of Fertilizer Runoff for Lakes

Fertilizer is not as universally good as people once assumed. Yes, it helps everyone from farmers to homeowners boost the growth of crops and plants. The problem is that the nutrients provided by fertilizers often have a wider reach than we might think. In particular, fertilizer runoff into lakes, ponds, and rivers can feed algae growth, leading to a whole host of problems for waterways.

Problems Caused by Algae Blooms

Algae blooms occur most commonly in warmer climates within nutrient-rich, poorly-circulated bodies of water. It just so happens that the two main nutrients needed for algae blooms, nitrogen and phosphorous, are two of the main ingredients in fertilizers. Are you seeing the problem now? Even stable, healthy bodies of water can be taken over by algae if fertilizer runoff from farms or lawns seeps into them. This can spell disaster for lakes and ponds, and the plants and wildlife in them.

  • Oxygen Depletion

    Even aquatic plants and animals need oxygen to survive. But, algae blooms exhaust the oxygen resources in a body of water. When algae dies off in massive quantities, microorganisms in the water “eat it up” to dissolve the waste, and this process uses up significant oxygen. The result: the death of native plants and wildlife.

  • Toxic Water

    Some algae, like blue-green algae or cyanobacteria, give off toxins which are harmful to animals and people. Once a bloom of cyanobacteria collapses, toxins are released into the water as the algae dies, and the water becomes unsafe for consumption. Toxic water can make humans extremely sick, and animals can even die after exposure.

  • Sunlight Shield

    It is no secret that plants, even aquatic ones, need sunlight to nourish themselves. But, algae blooms forming mats on the surface of the water can block sunlight from reaching underwater. This could cause the mass death of many of our beloved native aquatic plants, which also has consequences for the animals that depend on these plants for food.

  • Visual Blight

    Have you ever seen a lake infested with algae? It isn’t a pretty sight. The water can look green and sickly, and we naturally want to stay away from it. This can take the joy out of living by the water and can seriously disrupt many of your favorite aquatic activities.

Central Florida Algae Control

When algae has gained a strong foothold in your lake, pond, or stream, call the water experts at Sorko Services immediately. We can identify what imbalance is causing the algae bloom, which can help us formulate a plan of action for returning your water to its natural, healthy state. If you’d like to learn more about the type of treatments and services we offer to tackle algae blooms, please give us a call at 407-878-4492. 

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