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Lake Winnipesaukee Water Quality Threatened

Excerpt from New Hampshire Public Radio
 

New Hampshire’s largest lake is showing a disturbing trend. Over the past several years, the amount of phosphorus in Lake Winnipesaukee has grown. Too much phosphorus can cause algae and invasive species like milfoil to flourish and impair the lake’s water quality.

Regional planning officials this week unveiled the first phase of a plan to tackle that problem. As New Hampshire Public Radio’s Amy Quinton reports, it targets the bays around the lake that contribute to the problem. Lake Winnipesaukee stretches over 44,000 acres, and in some spots its 180 feet deep. Large bodies of water are usually great at dispersing pollutants. But environmental officials say they’re increasingly concerned about Winnipesaukee’s ability to do that.

Steve Landry, Merrimack Watershed Supervisor for the Department of Environmental Services says the amount of phosphorous in the lake has grown de to stormwater carrying phosphorus and eroded soils into the lake.  The Excess phosphorus encourages plant growth like milfoil and algae.  Docks and shore fronts are already becoming chocked with aquatic weeds.

“It’s the largest lake in NH and 3rd largest in New England so it has a lot of buffering capacity so to speak but when someone in my agency is asked is Lake Winnipesaukee threatened we say it certainly is and that threat is growing and its grown substantially over the last ten years.”

 


 
 


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Ecological Value of Exotic Water Plants Equals that of Indigenous Species - If you look at the role of exotic water plants in an ecosystem, you won't find any significant differences compared to indigenous species. Researchers studied seven essential functions of water plants in experiments with indigenous and non-indigenous species. They looked among other things at the impact of the plants on the habitat and food supply of fish and small aquatic animals, on cyanobacterial growth and on greenhouse gas emissions. What they found was that all things considered, the two groups are not fundamentally different.


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