The Effect Of Phosphorus On Health And Aquatic Life Essay

732 Words3 Pages
Total suspended solids refer to solids that can be retained by a filter. It includes a wide variety of materials such as silt, decaying plant and animal matter, industrial wastes, and sewage. High levels can be detrimental to river health and aquatic life. Total suspended solids (TSS) is often associated with turbidity.

Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for plant life, but when in excess, it can enhance eutrophication of rivers and lakes (Hem, 1985; Muelle and Helsel, 1996). Phosphorus exists in two main forms in water: soluble and particulate. Total phosphorus includes the soluble and particulate forms. Phosphorus can enter a water body through various means including from point sources such as a waste-water discharge and non-point sources such as agricultural runoff or erosion. Phosphorus has the ability to attach to soil particles (Phillips et al. 2012). Thus, when the soil ends up in a water body as sediment it contains additional phosphorus, which ultimately settles. The sediment now has the potential of acting as a ‘sink’ for phosphorus, and holds it until it is disrupted by certain activities.

Phosphorus is often associated with suspended solids, which have a significant relationship with turbidity. Strong relationship has been reported between turbidity and suspended solids, where turbidity has been used as a surrogate measure for total suspended solids (Acheampong et al. 2012; Packman et al. 1999). A consistent relationship has also been reported between total
Get Access