Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Water quality?

The Netherlands and Florida share several things in common the most obvious being the low lying land.  Another thing both places share, probably due to the low lands, is a prevalence of water bodies.  Florida has retention ponds and lakes everywhere where as the Netherlands is covered with canals.  With so much water and much of it right next to roads I wonder how clean the water actually is.

Eutrophication is definitely a problem in Florida.  It is not unusual to see a retention pond covered in algae.  With the run-off from roads and all the fertilizer applied to farms and lawn it is no surprise Florida has had problems.  I am somewhat surprised however to see the same problem in the Netherlands.  Unlike in Florida they do not mow or appear to directly maintain their medians and grassy areas.  I would think that the lack of grass clippings and debris would have a positive impact on the water quality.  The use of fertilizers has increased in the Netherlands which could be affecting the water quality.

While traveling I have also seen people fishing in canals right next to road ways.  I also wonder about the safety of this.  I know in Florida people also fish near roadways but the fish is not considered safe to eat.  In some areas it is downright dangerous to consume fish from water near roads.  The runoff from roads contaminates water in Florida and I bet it does here too.  It would be interesting to do some water quality testing of the canals and waterways around Delft, maybe test the fish too.

The canal outside our apartment.  It has gotten progressively more covered in algae.  When we arrived it was clear and Friday it was about half way covered and now both sides are covered with algae as far as you can see.


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