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Effects of High Phosphate Levels in Water

Serving Greater Orlando, Sanford, Kissimmee, Daytona Beach, Smyrna Beach, Titusville, Cocoa Beach, Palm Bay and Ocala

Pollution prevention by Sorko Services in Central Florida

Phosphates are compound forms of phosphorus, a vital element that supplies healthy nutrients to aquatic plants, fish, and other forms of life.

While it’s absolutely essential to upholding the ecosystems in lakes and ponds, phosphorus levels of even the slightest imbalance will throw things out of order.

In particular, high levels of phosphorus have significant harmful effects that can put water quality in serious trouble.   

What Causes Phosphate Pollution?

Phosphates can pool in your lake, pond, or other body of water as a result of man-made and naturally occurring incidents. Here are the top factors that lead to phosphate pollution. 

  • Erosion: Erosion happens to be a primary cause of phosphate production. Over time, rainfall erodes rocks and similar compositions found in soil. As rain continues to fall and release sediments from erosion, it also causes phosphate runoff into adjacent waters. 
  • Manure: Cow and other animal manure can leak nutrients, like phosphorus, into soil. Precipitation can carry phosphate nutrients from the original location down to the nearest body of water. 
  • Fertilizer: Farms and croplands near bodies of water are often a significant risk factor. During a rainstorm, runoff can carry phosphates found in farming soil and drain them into the nearest lake or pond. 
  • Sewage: Human waste carries high levels of phosphates. When treatment plants and other industrial areas produce or try to treat waste, the remaining nutrients may easily leach into surrounding soil and, eventually, water. 

The Effects of Phosphate Pollution 

These are the most common and most dangerous effects of high phosphate levels in water. 

  • Algal Bloom Blankets: When phosphorus and nitrogen meet in freshwater ecosystems, algal blooms are likely to form. Once algae takes over your water, sunlight will have a harder time reaching the surface and non-invasive plant growth will eventually come to a complete stop.
  • Water Nutrient Increase: Too many nutrients might not seem harmful, but an excess of anything can cause trouble in your lake or pond. As water nutrients increase to levels safe for weeds and other harmful plants, these plants will overpower other species.
  • Damaged Water Quality: Oxygen levels take a dive as a result of too much phosphorus. In bodies of water with an incredibly dense population of plants, or eutrophic water, animals and even other plants suffer from the low supply of oxygen.

Prevent Pollution in Your Lake or Pond 

While you might struggle to prevent phosphorus from piling in your lake or pond, you can install a management system to protect your body of water when it does. At Sorko Services, we’ll keep your water safe with regular testing, algal removal services, and non-toxic treatments. By monitoring your water levels and nutrient density, we can track phosphate levels and come up with strategies to keep them from rising. If you want to have your lake, pond, or other body of water professionally tested for phosphates, call us today. We also offer a list of other pond and lake maintenance services.