Phosphorus in Fertilizer Pollutes

Excerpt from Clean Air Lawn Care Grass Clippings June 2010:
Washington State looks at phosphorus in lawn fertilizer as a source of problems to water quality issues. Phosphorus is a naturally occurring element throughout nature; in fact it is a key element in all forms of life. However, in excessive quantities it can have devastating effects on waterways, including the Spokane River and Long Lake, just downstream. Phosphorus in lawn fertilizer doesn’t always remain on the lawn and bind with the soil. Much of it runs off from rain or excessive watering, finding its way into local waterways. Once in the lakes and rivers, it builds up and contributes to the growth of algae blooms that can have a very toxic impact to aquatic life. Some kayakers have even experienced skin rashes after boating in contaminated lakes.
Washington State has joined a handful of other states in banning phosphorus in consumer products such as laundry and dishwashing detergent and this has had a beneficial impact on water quality. But more needs to be done to improve our waterways and taking phosphorus out of lawn fertilizers is one of the most effective ways to reduce this pollutant. *
*For sources and to read more of June Grass Clippings, click

(June 2010 issue of Grass Clippings written by Tavis Schmidt, local owner of Clean Air Lawn Care in Spokane, WA

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