Phosphorus: Sources and Control


Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum
Water Quality - Pollutant Sources and Impacts

Phosphorus is found in fertilizer and in animal (including human) wastes and is discharged to lakes and rivers from point (single origin such as a pipe) and nonpoint (diffuse origin such as a field) sources. In the Great Lakes region, we have reduced point sources by banning the use of phosphorus in laundry detergents and by limiting the amount of phosphorus which can be discharged by wastewater treatment plants. Nonpoint sources can be controlled by managing the way farmers apply manure and plow their fields to minimize phosphorus runoff to lakes.


METRO Effluent into Onondaga Lake

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