Water stagnation

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Water stagnation occurs when water stops flowing. Stagnant water can be a major environmental hazard.

Dangers

Malaria and dengue are among the main dangers of stagnant water, which can become a breeding ground for the mosquitoes that transmit these diseases.

Stagnant water can be dangerous for drinking because it provides a better incubator (than running water) for many kinds of bacteria, and other parasites.

Causes and prevention

Stagnant water may be classified into the following basic, although overlapping, types:

  • Water body stagnation: stagnation in lakes, lagoons, rivers, etc.
  • Surface and ground water stagnation
  • Trapped water stagnation. The water may be trapped in human artifacts (discarded cans, plant pots, tires, dug-outs, roofs, etc.), as well as in natural containers, such as hollow tree trunks, leaf sheaths, etc.

To avoid ground and surface water stagnation, drainage of surface and subsoil is advised. Areas with a shallow water table are more susceptible to ground water stagnation due to the lower availability of natural soil drainage.

Excessive watering may cause ground or surface water stagnation.

Life that may thrive in stagnant water

Some plants prefer flowing water, while others, such as lotuses, prefer stagnant water.

Bacteria

Various anaerobic bacteria are commonly found in stagnant water.

Fish

Mosquito larvae in stagnant water

Insects

Stagnant water is the favorite breeding ground for a number of insects.

Other

Miscellanea

Pools of stagnant water have historically been used in the processing of hemp and some other fiber crops, as well as of linden bark used for making bast shoes. Several weeks of soaking makes bast easily separable due to bacterial and fermentative processes.

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