Wastewater Treatment Boom Changes Essential Nutrient Balance in Lakes


A vast number of new wastewater treatment plants in developing countries has led to an imbalance between phosphorous and nitrogen in surface waters.

The result could be excessive growth of potentially poisonous algae with a preference for nitrogen. A new study calls for better nutrient reduction in order to maintain ecosystem biodiversity in lakes and others surface waterbodies.

As one of UN’s 17 sustainable development goals, clean water and sanitation receives a lot of attention. In order to reach this comprehensive goal, efficient municipal wastewater management plays a major role. Most human activities produce wastewater – and the annual production of municipal wastewater worldwide now exceeds the amount as the water released by the enormous Amazon river to the Atlantic Ocean in roughly 12 days.

“The volume of wastewater is continuing to grow with urbanization and the associated population increase. Increasing wastewater production, together with inadequate collection and treatment facilities, have led to negative impacts on water quality,” NIVA researcher Yan Lin said.

Continue reading at Norwegian Institute for Water Research

Image via Norwegian Institute for Water Research