The entry of nutrients into natural water systems is a natural phenomenon, but when these quantities increase significantly as a result of human activities, then this phenomenon poses an environmental risk, which is called “Artificial Fortification”, which has many causes.
The fertility of lakes Increases due to what they receive from nutrients, and especially the use of chemical fertilizers in agriculture, where what is more than the plant’s need is swept, to end in tables and lakes.
Human wastes and organic components also play an important role, as well as the detergents with a phosphate base, animal wastes and residues, wastes of leather factories, which results in the production of nitrogen and phosphorus, in addition to other chemicals upon their disintegration.
The availability of the elements nitrogen and phosphorus means the prosperity of phytoplankton and zooplanktons, and means that they are going through “exponential growth” (the abundance of resources), and when they decease, they accumulate at the bottom of the lake and decompose, thus, these elements become liberated again to spread to the surface and be used again.
This results in a rapid growth of “Lichens” (organisms which are created between green microscopic algae or cyanobacteria), so they become prevalent, which reduces the aesthetic and tourist value of the lakes. The “Lichens” also secrete a toxic substance which affects the fisheries and human life.
This is obvious when you go to “Qatina Lake” in Homs, when you reach several meters from it, a strong foul odor begins to appear, which is similar to the smell of sulfur, so it is nearly impossible to stay in that place, and when you look at the bottom of the lake you see a black color, without any appearance of the components of life, and this is as a result of the contamination of the wastes of the nitrogen fertilizer plant.