Algal Bloom Growing Doom: Water pollution in Relation to Algal Growth

Colten Bison, Kenzie Branstetter, Holly Brehmer, Dillon Bowers


Eutrophication is the process in which a body of water becomes enriched in dissolved nutrients. There are many factors that affect the growth of algae such as sewage treatment plants, feedlots, fertilizers from agricultural fields, atmospheric fall-out, and irrigation drains. These are all different sources that feed an excess of nutrients into the aquatic ecosystem, throwing the biological equilibrium off balance. Some of these occurrences are natural while others are anthropogenic. It is important to know what causes eutrophication, because in turn, we can begin to find better techniques in preventing the process from occurring. We conducted an observational study using the Palmer Index to display the quantity and type of each algae species in the water sources. By concluding what algae was in the water, we were able to determine how polluted the water was.

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