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Glossary » P

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Any substance or mixture of substances used to prevent, destroy, repel or mitigate any pest. A pesticide may be a chemical substance, biological agent (such as a virus or bacterium), antimicrobial, disinfectant or device used against any pest. Pests include insects, plant pathogens, weeds, molluscs, birds, mammals, fish, nematodes (roundworms), and microbes that destroy property, spread disease or are a vector for disease or cause a nuisance


Biologically available phosphorus is found in lakes, waterways and wastewater in the form of phosphates. The discharge of treated wastewater and agricultural drainage into a lake will increase the phosphate levels. Lawn and landscape fertilizer runoff is another major source of phosphate in lakes and their use should be avoided near the water. Phosphate increase is the most common cause of undesirable growth of aquatic weeds and algae.


Small organisms that float or drift in great numbers in bodies of salt or fresh water. Plankton is a primary food source for many animals, and consists of bacteria, protozoans, certain algae, cnidarians, tiny crustaceans, and many other organisms.


Water pollution coming from a single point, such as a pipe.