Nitrates and Phosphates
Both nitrates and phosphates cause a condition that happens in the water called eutrophication. Phosphates and nitrates are essential in the growth of living things, and to much may cause overgrowth. The phosphates and nitrates cause the aquatic plants to overgrow then when the die bacteria decays the vegetation and causes an oxygen depletion. When a high level of phosphates or nitrates are measured then it is safe to assume that the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water will decrease. A large source of phosphates getting in the water are fertilizers and detergents applied by humans. A lot of the phosphate fertilizers that are put on farmland eventually runoff or seep into the water. Like phosphates, a large of amount of nitrates come from fertilizers containing nitrogen, and mostly in the form of ammonia.
Our testing at the north shore channel for phosphates was 12.11 mg/L with Q-value of 3 indicating bad water. For nitrates is was 5.9 mg/L and Q-value of 70 showing medium-good water.