Friends of Farm Pond, Oak Bluffs MA

Where Does Nitrogen Come From?

Where Does Nitrogen Come From? Us!
One source of nitrogen is acid rain, which is polluted with auto exhaust and smokestack emissions from power plants and heavy industry. These contaminants travel from as far away as the Ohio Valley and from as near as Five Corners, where cars idle in traffic jams. Depending on the pond, this source may make up from 30 to 60% of the annual nitrogen pollution of our coastal ponds.

An even more significant source is wastewater from human waste. Although your septic system takes out about a third of the nitrogen present in urine, the wastewater that leaves your leaching field is still highly concentrated with nutrients -10,000 times more concentrated than the desired levels of nitrogen in a coastal pond. For most coastal ponds, wastewater is the source of more than half the annual nitrogen input.

Fertilizers used on lawns, gardens, and farms are also sources of nitrogen. If too much is applied or if the ground is heavily irrigated after being fertilized, the nitrogen will dissolve in the water and travel beyond the reach of the crops’ roots into the groundwater.

Another source of nitrogen is runoff water which carries animal droppings, street litter, and dust. In addition runoff carries oils, metals, bacteria, sediments, and a myriad of chemical residues used in building, cleaning, and landscaping projects.

Large bird populations are also a source of nitrogen pollution.

(Excerpted from the Island Blue Pages)


Water-Kind Cleansers for your Home

“Make Your Own Non-Toxic Cleaning Kit!” suggestions taken from the Island Blue Pages
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