Poor water quality resulting from urban, industrial and agricultural pollution is an increasing problem for many water users.
Of particular concern is the eutrophication of dams and impounds due to the introduction of excessive nutrients. Excessive algae growth and anoxic conditions under eutrophic conditions can severely impact on the water quality, decrease species diversity and abundance; reduce oxygen concentrations in lower portions of the dam and in increased levels of suspended materials which may result in blockages of down stream filters and water treatment equipment. Hyper blooms of potentially toxic blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) have been implicated in livestock, pet and wildlife deaths.
Potentially pathogenic micro-organisms (e.g. e. coli, salmonella, listeria, shigella, etc.) introduced to surface water resources from poorly performing waste water treatment works and polluted run-off from urban area may contribute to levels in water much higher than the required water quality guidelines and could subsequently contribute towards a higher rate of food-borne incidences associated with the consumption of fresh produce ect.