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( Article Type: Explanation )

Eutrophication is a process whereby high levels of nutrients such as phosphates and nitrates result in excessive and abnormal growth in plants. The additional growth not only consumes nutrients but also large quantities of oxygen, which affects the water quality. The rapidly growing plants have a high BOD and fairly soon exceed the DOC of the water body. This results in a deterioration of water quality and the characteristic stink of stagnant water. Eutrophication is a natural process, which occurs in lakes or inland water bodies. It is also an inevitable consequence of human activities. The nutrient loads that cause man-made eutrophication result from run-off from farmlands, wastewater treatment plants, garden runoff and septic tanks seepage, or untreated human and animal waste. Eutrophication can be lessened by better human management of nutrient cycles but it can never be eliminated.