We hear about phosphorus in our lakes and automatically think pollution. But phosphorus is a naturally occurring element and necessary for plant life. It’s when we add human sources of phosphorus that we can upset that balance.
Septic system effluent, agricultural runoff, pesticides and fertilizers result in an excessive amount of phosphorus entering our lakes, resulting in algal blooms. This reduces water clarity, taints drinking water and can produce harmful toxins. When large algal blooms die and decompose, they use up dissolved oxygen, which suffocates fish and other lake life.
To improve the quality of your lake water by reducing the amount of introduced nutrients, you can:
- Avoid the use of pesticides and fertilizers
- Use phosphate-free detergents, cleaning products and personal care products
- Make sure your septic system is pumped and inspected regularly
- Don’t bathe in the lake
- Build a shoreline buffer
Program co-ordinated by: