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After reading this chapter I was able to understand some of the effects that urbanization can have on the environment and just drastic and detrimental they can be Some of these effects include Population Growth Erosion and Sedimentation Urban Runoff Increased Nitrogen Levels in Water Increased Phosphorus Levels in Water Sewage Overflows Waterborne Pathogens Toxic Metals Present in Water and Pesticides Present in Water as well Each of these effects can have drastic results on the population plants and animals but the one effect that interested me the most was the increase in nitrogen levels in water From the information found in the chapter and some further research I found that nitrogen in the forms of nitrate nitrite or ammonium is a nutrient needed for plant growth I also found out that about 78 of the air that we breathe is composed of nitrogen gas and in some areas of the United States particularly the northeast certain forms of nitrogen are commonly deposited in acid rain Although nitrogen is abundant naturally in the environment it is also introduced through sewage and fertilizers Chemical fertilizers or animal manure is commonly applied to crops to add nutrients and it is difficult and expensive to retain on site all nitrogen brought on to farms for feed or fertilizer and generated by animal manure Unless specialized structures have been built on the farms heavy rains can generate runoff containing these materials into nearby streams and lakes Wastewater-treatment facilities that do not specifically remove nitrogen can also lead to excess levels of nitrogen in surface or ground water Thus because of this there are two major problems with excess levels of nitrogen in the environment are that excess nitrogen can cause overstimulation of growth of aquatic plants and algae Excessive growth of these organisms in turn can clog water intakes use up dissolved oxygen as they decompose and block light to deeper waters This seriously affects the respiration of fish
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