When I think of water quality the first things that come to my mind are water treatment, and pollution cleanup, but beavers are not my first thought. Yet, beavers can help us to protect waterways from increased levels of nitrogen.

First, we need to discuss why increased nitrogen levels are a threat to water quality. According to the US Geological Survey, runoff and drainage from animal manure and fertilizer can enter waterways and increase nitrogen levels. High nitrogen levels can lead algae to grow and deplete the water of oxygen, killing organisms, like fish, that depend on oxygen to live.

Increasing nitrogen levels is a serious concern to many environmental scientists. However, Researcher Christian Dewey found a link between beaver dams and lower nitrogen levels in and around waterways. Dewey studied how beavers decrease the levels of nitrogen in the East River near Crested Butte, Colorado. According to an interview with CPR, after two months Dewey found that the structure flooded the surrounding soil, allowing microbes to convert excess nitrogen into a harmless gas.” Consequently, “the dam increased nitrogen removal by 44 percent compared to the river’s normal seasonal fluxations.”

Although beavers cannot be the only solution to increased nitrogen present in waterways, they do help decrease nitrogen levels in the short term.

IX Power Clean Water is doing its part to protect the environment by making it possible for industries to affordably treat and clean their wastewater so it can be reused in a sustainable, closed-loop system.  Then, industries don’t have to use our precious freshwater in their production processes. Find out how IX Power Clean Water is helping to change industrial water consumption at  https://ixwater.com/.

To read the full story from CPR on Christian Dewey and his research go to: https://www.cpr.org/2022/11/11/beavers-water-quality-climate-change/