Term: Nitrogen


Nitrogen compounds with environmental relevance frequently analyzed in wastewater are ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and Kjeldahl nitrogen. Ammonia discharged to surface water can be nitrified in the aqueous environment if nitrifying microorganisms are present. The nitrifying bacteria consume dissolved oxygen for this process, thus depleting the oxygen content of the surface water with the consequence of massive dying of fish. Moreover, if the pH of the surface water is in the alkaline range, NH3 is formed which is toxic towards fish.