Titicut Algae

Nutrients in the Nation's Waters--Too Much of a Good Thing?

U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1136


Contamination of water by nutrients has been a national concern for several decades. The earliest public interest was in lake and reservoir eutrophication, which produces unsightly scums of algae on the water surface and can occasionally result in fishkills. Beginning in the 1970's, additional concern focused on nutrients discharged to streams from sewage-treatment plants. Nutrients in treatment-plant effluent adversely affect aquatic life through direct toxicity and by removing oxygen from water during chemical transformations. The Water Pollution Control Act of 1972, later known as the Clean Water Act, mandated improvements in sewage-treatment technology, to be funded jointly by the Federal, State, and local governments. Twenty years later, the EPA reported that nutrients still were among the two leading causes of water-quality degradation in rivers, lakes, and estuaries throughout the Nation. Also, one particular nutrient compound, nitrate, was reported to be the most prevalent contaminant in ground water nationwide. The other nutrients of concern in water pollution are ammonia and phosphorus.

Phosphorus info.... HERE

Nitrogen info.... HERE

Dissolved Oxygen.... HERE

Fecal Bacteria.... HERE

Total suspended Solids (TSS).... HERE

River Comparisons --- Compare nutrients of the Taunton to other Rivers..... HERE

When reviewing the information below bear in mind how dominant the flow of the Matfield River is in the Upper Taunton River. The flow information can be reviewed.... HERE

Glossary of commonly used terms (courtesy of Ma Riverways) HERE