What Is Eutrophication?

If you’ve ever walked along the shores of a lake and seen large patches of green algae, you may have been witnessing the effects of eutrophication. Eutrophication occurs when a body of water develops a surplus of phosphorus, often from pollutants such as fertilizers, industrial and agricultural runoff, and sewage. The excess phosphates allow for the rapid growth of algae and plankton. When these organisms die, they consume oxygen from the water, potentially causing a state of hypoxia where the water can no longer support aquatic life.

Eutrophication can occur in both fresh water and saltwater ecosystems, and with similar consequences. Although eutrophication is most commonly the result of human activity, it can also happen naturally. However, this type of eutrophication occurs at a much slower rate, often as the result of erosion over long periods of time.


Eutrophication can produce a range of negative effects, some as minor as unpleasant odors, and some as serious as decreased biodiversity, new species invasion, and toxic algal blooms. The effects of eutrophication don’t just pose a threat to aquatic ecosystems, but they can also put the health of humans and animals at risk. When toxic algae contaminates the food chain, animals can die in mass numbers. Humans can get seriously ill if they consume shellfish, such as mussels and oysters, that have absorbed the toxic water.

Eutrophication has detrimental consequences in water bodies all around the world, and preventing and reversing its effects is central to our mission at NClear. Our nanocrystal technology is the safest, fastest, and most cost effective way to remove excess nutrients from water. Using NClear crystals at point source applications to remove phosphorus before discharge will help to prevent eutrophic effects. We can also reverse the effects of eutrophication by treating impacted water bodies with our proprietary two-stage treatment. To learn more, contact us today!