Phosphates In Water Pollution

1063 words - 5 pages

Intro Sample...

Phosphates may be created by substituting some or all of the

hydrogen of a phosphoric acid by metals. Depending on the number of

hydrogen atoms that are replaced, the resulting compound is described as

a primary, secondary or tertiary phosphate. Primary and secondary

phosphates contain hydrogen and are acid salts. Secondary and tertiary

phosphates, with the exception of those of sodium, potassium and

ammonium are insoluble in water. Tertiary sodium phosphate is valuable

as a detergent and water softener. The primary phosphates tend to be

more soluble.

Phosphates, which are an important component to metabolism in

both plants and animals, help in... View More »

Body Sample...

Adding phosphates to this

polluted system will case algae growth. The floating masses cut off the

light supply. Weeds die and decompose using up dissolved oxygen, and

causing sulfurous smells and plagues. Deprived of shelter and food, the

fish larvae starve. The lake is well on the way to catastrophe.

Without wetlands there would be a minimal amount of fresh

drinking water due to the fact that wetlands filter the waters of our

lakes, rivers and streams, sequentially reducing contamination of water.

The plant growth in wetlands removes phosphates and other plant

nutrients washed in from the surrounding soil, consequently restricting

the growth of algae and aquatic weeds. This growth is a serious problem

in some of Canada?s major waterways, where dead and decaying algae

deprive the deeper waters of their oxygen.

Researches at Lancaster University have studied lakes whose

plant and animal life has been killed by acid rain. The excess acid in

the lakes can be neutralized easily by adding lime, but this makes the

waters rich in calcium. Life will gradually return to the lake but, as

these lakes should have low calcium levels, it will not be the same kind

of life that existed in lakes before pollution. The answer, they have

concluded, is to add phosphates.

These phosphates work by shielding the water. This depends upon

nitrate ions in the lake. Contradictory, these ions also are produced by

acid rain ...

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