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Nutrient Regulation on Streams: The Macrophyte Quandary

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Since promulgation of the Clean Water Act in the 1970s and implementation of technology-based treatment requirements, such as secondary treatment for publicly owned treatment works, the nation's water quality has improved dramatically. Current water quality concerns are no longer attributed to excessive loads of carbonaceous and nitrogenous biochemical oxygen demand. Rather, the largely uncontrolled discharge of nutrients from point and non-point sources has resulted in the anthropogenic eutrophication of lakes and streams, causing designated use impairment due to aesthetics (nuisance algae and excessive periphyton/macrophytes growth) and low dissolved oxygen levels (diurnal D.O. swings associated with the photosynthesis-respiration cycle and decomposition of excess plant growth). The Environmental Protection Agency recognizes such eutrophication problems as the most pervasive water quality problem facing the nation and has started to implement programs to address this issue. Most notably, EPA has developed guidance for the states to develop Nutrient Criteria and is pressing the states to develop TMDLs to achieve designated uses.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2006

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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