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Phosphorus Management Activity
Reducing Phosphorus Inputs

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Michigan Environmental Education Curriculum
Water Quality - Pollutant Sources and Impacts

Phosphorus management focuses on both point and nonpoint sources.

Phosphorus inputs from point sources such as wastewater treatment plants can be reduced by adding chemicals (e.g. iron chloride or aluminum sulfate). The cost to each person living in the watershed might range from < 1¢ to >45¢ per year for each metric ton of phosphorus removed. The cost varies because as phosphorus is removed it gets harder and harder to get the last little bit. This is shown in the cost curve at the right.


Phosphorus inputs from nonpoint sources such as agricultural land can be reduced by paying farmers to use manure management and conservation tillage methods. The cost to each person living in the watershed might be about 10¢ per year for each metric ton of phosphorus removed.

Phosphorus Removal Costs Graph
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