Sources of Pollution: Natural Sources


Natural Sources are any ways of introducing pollution into water that do not come from humans.


How does this cause Non-Point Source Pollution?

Natural processes and animals cause the following:

  • Organic Matter/Low D.O: There are a lot of cypress swamps, flotant marshes, salt marsh wetlands, and animals, in the Barataria and Terrebonne Watersheds. The trees and marsh plants naturally produce a lot of organic matter from their leaves, stems, and roots. When these plant parts fall off or get washed into a waterbody by storm water they can lower dissolved oxygen.

  • Nutrients: These are substances required by plants and animals to grow. The nutrients that have a large impact on the natural balance of waterways are nitrogen and phosphorus. These nutrients cause plankton to grow excessively. Plankton also die excessively and this puts a large amount of organic matter into the water which results in lower dissolved oxygen. Under natural situations nutrients are recycled from plant to animal, plankton to fish. Animals that live in water in large numbers, like ducks and geese, put manure directly into the water causing pollution.

  • Sediment: In a natural condition, sediment in the water is usually related to large storm events, like hurricanes. Sometimes it is hard to tell whether the sediment is natural or from humans unless you look at aerial photographs and land use patterns.

  • Disease-Causing Organisms: Animals that live on water in large numbers, such as ducks and geese, and put manure directly into the water cause pollution that can contaminate the water with disease-causing organisms.
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