Ammoniacal nitrogen can form ammonia in water under certain conditions can be toxic to aquatic life; elevated quantities in waterways are primarily from direct discharges of pollutants such as untreated effluent; like nitrate-nitrogen, ammoniacal nitrogen is also readily used by plants and algae to grow.
From the dataset Environmental Reporting: Ammoniacal nitrogen 2009–2013, this data was extracted:
Provided: 24 data points
Dataset originally released on:
January 11, 2016
Purpose of collection
Small amounts of nitrogen are a natural component of healthy rivers. Nitrogen in rivers can vary due to differences in land use, climate, elevation, and geology. Nitrogen is transferred from land to water and is cycled through different forms, which can have different effects. Moderate concentrations of nitrate can cause weeds and algae to grow too fast. High concentrations of ammoniacal and nitrate nitrogen can be toxic to fish and other aquatic animals.
Method of collection/Data provider
Regional councils monitor river water quality to manage environmental impacts. These sites tend to be in catchments dominated by agricultural land use. Rivers in low-lying and hilly areas in the North and South islands are well represented, while mountainous areas in the South Island and parts of the central North Island are not. For the analysis presented here, NIWA used nitrogen data from 385 sites monitored by them and regional councils with consistent time periods and comparable methods (Larned et al, 2015).
Sites are classified by dominant land cover in the upstream catchment. Lower values for nitrate-nitrogen concentration are better than higher values.