Lakes Erie and Ontario are often considered the most polluted because they are the smallest and have large numbers of people living around them. The lakes are contaminated with such things as Phosphorous and E. Coli.
Lakes Erie and Ontario are sometimes considered to be the most polluted Great Lakes because they are by far the smallest of the lakes. These lakes have many people living around them, and are the last lakes in the system of basins, which means that they receive a portion of the contaminants from each of the other lakes.
Phosphorous, bacterial contamination (E. coli and others), and persistant organic pollutants are particularly hazardous forms of water pollution in the Great Lakes as well as other water supplies around the world.
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