Increased water chemical contamination
Here chemical contamination refers to the presence of harmful toxicants, substances that could cause adverse effects in a living organism above certain concentrations in the environment. Potential toxicants include many metals and metalloids, such as: organic sulphur compounds, industrial chemicals, organochloride pesticides (e.g. DDT), organophosphorous pesticides, pyrethroids, herbicides and fungicides (OzCoasts, 2010)#. Chemical contamination can result from poorly timed or over application of chemicals, poor chemical storage, water run-off carrying contaminants into waterways and many other causes. Chemical contamination is an important determinant of water quality for human uses.
Suggested indicators: Nitrates in water+, Phosphates in water+, Farm chemicals in water+
Increased water chemical contamination may be associated with:
|Potential associated impacts||Suggested indicators+|
|Changed vegetation (aquatic and terrestrial) composition and condition||
Altered viability, growth, reproductive success, competitive abilities and deformities in fauna species (aquatic and terrestrial)
|Chemical accumulation in sediments|
Chemical accumulation in biological tissues causing health risks to consumers (including humans) of aquatic organisms, e.g. fish
# OZCoasts 2010, Coastal indicators factsheets, Geoscience Australia, http://www.ozcoasts.org.au/indicators/index.jsp (accessed July 6, 2010).
+ Descriptions of indicators (PDF, 76K)* provides a brief description of each indicator including techniques and purpose.
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Last updated 7 September 2010