Nutrients (as contaminants of water)

Nutrients in water are chemicals such as calcium, oxygen, nitrogen, phosphorus, various trace minerals, salts, and even decomposing organic material. Some nutrients occur naturally in water in varying amounts. However, chemicals that can serve as nutrients that are due to runoff from farms, urban areas, industrial waste, or sanitation effluent can create significant pollution problems as well as long range health problems for both humans and the environment.

Natural nutrients are produced by the naturally occurring chemical action of water and other elements or compounds that leach into the watershed. The farther downstream it is from the watershed at mountain peaks, the more water is likely to contain oxygen, carbon dioxide, dissolved calcium compounds, and other substances. If the water in a stream begins in an ...

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