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Ground Water May Contain Decades Old Contamination
Nitrogen and phosphorus are the two plant nutrients in sewage and fertilizer that foul the bay, feeding its algae blooms and "dead zones." Both are washed off the land into streams whenever it rains, but nitrogen dissolves in water, so it also soaks down into the soil, ultimately reaching the water table.

Using a computer model to simulate ground-water flows, USGS scientists found that when nitrogen from fertilized farm fields soaks into the ground, it takes 20 to 40 years on average for the nutrient-laden water to make its way underground into streams and rivers.

 
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Aquatic Invasive Organisms Pose the Principal Hazard to New York’s Lakes, Ponds and Streams - Aquatic invasive species comprise a diversity of plant, animal and algal life that are largely spread by human activity. Most invasive organisms find their way into new water in live-bait wells and on hulls or trailers of boats visiting from infested waters.


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