Author Topic: Drinking water fertiliser contamination  (Read 1233 times)

jimbob

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Re: Drinking water fertiliser contamination
« Reply #15 on: 13:11:46, 09/10/19 »
Well it seems that Google is stuffed full of studies from universities all over the world regarding the effect of fertilisers. Not too many glowing reports. However they do differentiate between chemical fertiliser and organic fertiliser. Quite interesting is the basic dilemma that the use of chemical fertilisers whilst destroying our planet at point of production seem to solve starvation fir those in need of cheap food even though it may cause problems a few generations ahead. Also seem to eventually damage the soil organisms that are unnafected by organic. (I remember being sent out with a sack and tongs to collect sheep droppings for dad's watering tub), bleeding organic, destroyed my appetite.

By the way it is a fact that too much nitrogen run off into water sources kills fish and other water creatures, not read enough yet to show if it affects humans in any way immediately, long term they seem to be certain that it has potential to cause bad problems.

Like I say loads of long term studies out there in the world of independent research.
Too little, too late, too bad......

ninthace

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Re: Drinking water fertiliser contamination
« Reply #16 on: 14:03:38, 09/10/19 »
Let us get the chemistry right.  Nitrogen is a gas and is not an issue.  The nitrogenous compounds in fertiliser that are seen as possible pollutants are ammonium ions (NH4(+)) and nitrate ions (NO3(-)).  Plants use these compounds in a variety of ways but the main ones are the synthesis of proteins, DNA and, to answer BWW's question, chlorophyll in its various forms (all chlorophyll molecules 4 nitrogen atoms at the core).
The processes inside a plant take place in aqueous solution and there is no difference, as far is the plant is concerned, between an ammonium ion or nitrate ion from an organic or inorganic source.
There are pros and cons for both artificial or organic fertilisers and both can be pollutants if misused.  Artificial fertilisers are concentrated and easier to handle.  The chemical content is known so it easier to regulate the dosage and to apply them topically.  That said, mishandling can lead to pollution and, by and large, they do very little for the structure of the soil or the bugs living in the soil.
Taking sheep poo as an example of an organically sourced fertiliser.  It contains a lot of other things that are good for the soil such as insoluble matter and bugs to improve the soil.  On the downside. the ammonium and nitrate content is an unknown quantity and the fertiliser is often applied far more haphazardly leading to the risk of pollution of water courses
Solvitur Ambulando

jimbob

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Re: Drinking water fertiliser contamination
« Reply #17 on: 15:22:51, 09/10/19 »
Let us get the chemistry right.
O0 O0
Too little, too late, too bad......

fernman

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Re: Drinking water fertiliser contamination
« Reply #18 on: 17:09:37, 09/10/19 »
Well I'm sure I must have drank sheep poo in solution at some time over the years!

ninthace

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Re: Drinking water fertiliser contamination
« Reply #19 on: 17:16:55, 09/10/19 »
Well I'm sure I must have drank sheep poo in solution at some time over the years!
It is tastier with added liver flukes!
Solvitur Ambulando

barewirewalker

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Re: Drinking water fertiliser contamination
« Reply #20 on: 17:27:54, 09/10/19 »
O0 O0
I agree  O0 O0 ::)
I thank Ninethace for that information, interesting about the 4 molecules of N as my training was probably directed more at encouraging transpiration and absorption of CO2.

One of the areas greatest at risk from bag muck overuse is on headlands, which coincide often with Field Margins. Areas in receipt of grant money, which have not had their full value as explored as part of the access/leisure network, in consideration for the part the taxpayer plays.
These areas are part of conservation initiatives, yet it seems that minimal cultivations/management are encouraged. Probably part of the thinking from the set aside policies. Yet I recently walked in an area managed by the Woodland Trust, where they had used wild flower seed mixtures on boundaries alongside tracks and paddock boundaries. This had resulted in an astonishing increase of butterfly numbers and varieties in that area. Resulting a very pleasing walking experience.

One of the reasons for Field Margins is to create barrier both distance and ecological between the crop and a watercourse. Soil moisture moves through the soil structure, both downwards, side ways and run off on the surface. A good soil structure holds more moisture and an adventitious root system bulks up the topsoil, tap roots penetrate the subsoil so a mixed balance on the field margin takes out the available nitrogen being leached out of the soil, put legumes into the mixture it become self sustaining, however excess available nitrogen encourages more green growth so there is a self regulating barrier to a water course.

Farmers should monitor nitrogen levels from the field drainage systems, I did but that was nearly 40 years ago.
If we share in conservation costs, then we should be able to share in the amenities created.
A friends wife died from eating wild watercress contaminated with liver fluke, it was the secondary host the water snail that caused her infection, she was only a young mother at the time married to a farmer. Farmers have suffered from many the contaminants, they learn from these tragedies, because they are closer to those causes when they are unknown. Many of the advances in agricultural practice, fed a nation when it was besieged by German U boats.
BWW
Their Land is in Our Country.

Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: Drinking water fertiliser contamination
« Reply #21 on: 18:51:38, 09/10/19 »
Does excess nitrogen in the water courses kill the fish directly, or indirectly by encouraging toxic algal blooms due to the excess nutrients available?

jimbob

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Re: Drinking water fertiliser contamination
« Reply #22 on: 19:39:57, 09/10/19 »
Does excess nitrogen in the water courses kill the fish directly, or indirectly by encouraging toxic algal blooms due to the excess nutrients available?
It appears the growth of algae in general depletes the water of oxygen, some algae can also be toxic but it seems it is the general lack of oxygen than causes the problem

Gawd I am setting myself up for a load of reading tonight.
Too little, too late, too bad......

ninthace

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Re: Drinking water fertiliser contamination
« Reply #23 on: 19:41:59, 09/10/19 »
Does excess nitrogen in the water courses kill the fish directly, or indirectly by encouraging toxic algal blooms due to the excess nutrients available?
Normally by eutrophication
 http://www.wheatleyriver.ca/media/nitrates-and-their-effect-on-water-quality-a-quick-study/
Solvitur Ambulando


scottk

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Re: Drinking water fertiliser contamination
« Reply #25 on: 21:18:56, 09/10/19 »
Where I live near Aberdeen is a Nitrate vulnerable zone (NVZ). As such, there are guidelines for farmers and there has been a big reduction in nitrates entering the waterways. One of the big issues was that the streams and rivers run into an SSSI at the Ythan Estuary. Apparently, if they spread muck in growth times, there is little or no nitrate leaching. I have no knowledge of this apart from reading articles in the farming section of the papers!

Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: Drinking water fertiliser contamination
« Reply #26 on: 21:50:47, 09/10/19 »
Where I live near Aberdeen...


I also live not far from Aberdeen

scottk

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Re: Drinking water fertiliser contamination
« Reply #27 on: 23:24:02, 09/10/19 »
Iím in Cruden Bay and work in town. Handy for beach walking, golf and not far from Ballater-itís pretty quick now with the new road.
Of course, Bennachie is great for training walks.

Bigfoot_Mike

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Re: Drinking water fertiliser contamination
« Reply #28 on: 18:35:33, 10/10/19 »
Iím in Alford, so Bennachie is quite close by. I have walked he beach at Cruden Bay. Injury has kept me away from serious walking for a while.

barewirewalker

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Re: Drinking water fertiliser contamination
« Reply #29 on: 10:03:37, 11/10/19 »
Normally by eutrophication
 http://www.wheatleyriver.ca/media/nitrates-and-their-effect-on-water-quality-a-quick-study/
Good information, thanks for the link. I once walked several miles of river, in waders, after a slurry tank collapse on a farm, the effects of sudden and catastrophic anoxia is devastating.

As a walker I am interested in destinations and features that add to quality of way. River and stream banks raise quality of way. Alongside the River Severn, near I where live the Severn Way runs along side the river, in Shropshire this is a surprising coincidence for a way that is marketed as the longest riverside walk. Much of the way is through permanent pasture so field margins are not visible though there are regulations to be followed. These regulations are more obvious in arable land, where the field margins become visible.

19th and 20th century progress has put long and dangerous barriers across our countryside, namely railways and roads and infrastructure  has been provided for the occupiers of our countryside to access across these barriers, but they rarely get dual use as part of our countryside amenity. We rightly get concerned about pollution, but surely the investment to rectify this has other uses.
The OP is concerned that he might be poisoned by high nitrates in naturally occurring water in our countryside, what information has caused this scare and is it real. Nitrogenous fertilizers are expensive and developments in application has become far more accurate and environmental procedures have taken land out of arable production to safeguard our watercourses.

Progress
Yet we still walk a network that is based on 'Shortcuts of yesteryear and old ways to work, that are not suited for the 21st century usage', or words to that effect as quoted by a landowner, who considers himself an authority on our rights of way.


Safety in the countryside? Who sidetracks who? In all the issues that the media puts before us?
« Last Edit: 10:57:20, 11/10/19 by barewirewalker »
BWW
Their Land is in Our Country.