Fertilizer Runoff

Added by | 9 yearss ago

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Fertilizer runoff in today's environment is becoming a bigger problem than it once was. The cause of all this is that more people are fertilizing their home lawns along with stronger fertilizer compounds are being produced. The nitrogen from fertilizers is eventually converted by bacteria in the soil to nitrates. These nitrates can be leached into the groundwater or be washed out of the soil surface into streams and rivers. High nitrate levels in drinking water are considered to be dangerous to human health. Phosphorus cannot be readily washed out of the soil, but is bound to soil particles and moves together with them. Phosphorus can therefore be washed into surface waters together with the soil that is being eroded. The phosphorus is not considered to be dangerous, but it stimulates the growth of algae in slow moving water. These algae eventually die and decompose, removing the oxygen from the water causing fish kills. This process is called eutrophication. Our service project involved getting the public, emphasizing the students at Rutgers, aware of the potential effects that excessive fertilizers can have on the environment. We set up a table with information at the Rutgers Student Center on College Ave. As people passed our table they would stop and read about fertilizer and we would answer any questions that they had on the issue. Most students didn't know much about the effect they were having on the environment. After our time was up we as a group filled fulfilled ...

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