Can a lake become so polluted it will no longer support life?

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    It’s unlikely that a lake will become so polluted that it cannot support ANY life whatsoever. Oftentimes, pollution simply leads to a collapse of diversity. In the case of nitrate pollution, for example, there may be massive algal blooms. These blooms suck up most of the oxygen in the water, and choke out most other life, but the lake isn’t completely unable to support life. It’s theoretically possible that the water could become so toxic as to be inhospitable even for algae or microorganisms, but such sterility is very, very hard to create. Most lakes simply suffer from a sever depletion of biodiversity, supporting only a handful of especially hardy species.

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