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Can peeing in a lake kill fish? German swimmers peeved by report

HOTtopic041212_optMultiple-choice question: What activity is killing the fish in Eichbaum Lake in northern Germany?

a.) People ice skating on the lake when it’s frozen.

b.) People urinating in the lake when swimming.

c.) SpongeBob SquarePants.

d.) None of the above.

There is actually much conjecture over how 500 fish at the busy location were killed recently. The reasoning that the Hamburger Angling Association provided to the newspaper Bild is that “Swimmers who urinate in the lake are introducing a lot of phosphate. We’re calculating half a liter of urine per swimmer per day.”

Swimmers aren’t happy that folks are blaming their peeing, claiming that it’s just a fish story being cast out by anglers who want the lake to themselves, The Inquisitr reported.

Digg.com says the fisherman could be right, although the explanation of why pee kills the fish is kind of detailed.

Urine, you see, includes nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, three of the main ingredients in fertilizer, the article on Digg.com explained. So, when folks pee in the lake, it fertilizes algae, causing it to bloom.

The blooming algae use up lots of the oxygen in the lake.

When the algae die, the decomposition uses even more oxygen.

And it is that lack of oxygen that could be killing the fish.

Meanwhile, the fishermen aren’t the only ones floating a theory. Environmentalists say the true reason could be ice skaters whose skidding across the ice is awakening fish while they are hibernating, The Inquisitr reported. Since the fish can’t get sufficient oxygen from beneath the ice, they die.

Both theories are going to be tested by a local university.

No one, meanwhile, bothered to ask why people want to swim in a lake folks are peeing in.

--JOE GREENE, NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

 

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