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Lakes are an important part of our landscape and ecosystem. Lake pollution is a serious problem that affects many different aspects of life and nature. Left untreated, the effects of water pollution begin to spread and can be catastrophic to wildlife and the population in the surrounding areas. Unfortunately, due to misconceptions of effective garbage disposal, ineffective sewage treatment, agricultural/horticultural run-off from intensive farming, and pollutant disposal, many lakes around the world are contaminated with hazardous waste.

It was only in the early 20th century when people started to understand the negative effects that various forms of contamination were having on large natural bodies of water. Nutrient run-off, sewage, industrial waste, garbage and many other pollutants found their way into waterways with no consideration of what lay downstream. This practice quickly had a negative impact on rivers and lakes and other water bodies in populated areas and in areas of intensive farming. By the time people realised what effect this contamination was having, it was already too late to reverse a lot of the damage.

There are three different pollutant entry ways; point source pollution, non-point source pollution and atmospheric pollution. Point source pollution refers to when pollutants enter a body of water through a specific point. This is one of the easiest entryways to treat or eliminate, as it can be traced back to a specific spot. Nonpoint source pollution comes from a number of sources and is extremely difficult to get under control and normally requires blanket regulation and policing by environmental authorities to achieve compliance. Atmospheric pollution, like nonpoint pollution, comes from numerous sources but falls from the sky instead of attached waterways.

In New Zealand, most of the water pollution comes from our agricultural sector and, in urban areas, damaged or ineffective/overloaded sewerage systems have continued to find their way back into our waterways.. Reversing the damage is a difficult process, but thanks to lake remediation techniques like the phosphate water treatment product Aqual P, we can start to reverse the damage done to polluted water systems Phosphate water treatment Aqual P uses a process of adsorbing phosphorus found in large water bodies by adding a modified natural volcanic zeolite mineral to the sediment layer and/or the water column. The natural volcanic mineral is loaded with a phosphate scavenging polymer, which is locked onto the mineral. This modified zeolite then binds with phosphate and other anions permanently, allowing them to be permanently dropped out of the water column. With this method, we are able to remove pollutants and allow waters to be usable once again. Phosphate water treatment is commonly used to remove ammonia and other prominent pollutants in drinking water, swimming pools, farm dams and fish ponds. On an industrial scale, full lake remediation is possible.

Thanks to new techniques, water treatment is becoming more and more effective. Reversing the damage of water pollution can save ecosystems that rely on lakes, rivers and other bodies of water. Saving these waters means the preservation of species, the prevention of the spread of disease, and to again enjoy our rivers and lakes in their once natural state.

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