from Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District
While the current nutrient-related water pollution incidents in the news leave challenges for policy makers, there are things we can do at home to reduce nutrient pollution in our streams. We know nutrients can be beneficial to plant growth; elevated nutrients that wash off the land and in our streams can pose a threat to human health. Elevated concentrations of nitrates present a health risk to both infants and women who are pregnant. This spring nitrate levels were identified in drinking water coming from the Columbus Dublin Road water plant, resulting in a water advisory.
Elevated levels of soluble phosphorus can also pose a risk. Harmful algae blooms caused by elevated phosphorus levels produce toxins that can be harmful to humans and pets. As families take to the beaches for summer break, there continues to be concerns about toxic algae in lakes across Ohio. Fertilizers, animal waste, and sewage are major sources of nutrient pollution in our streams. Other sources include atmospheric deposition of automobile exhaust, soil erosion, yard waste, and detergents.
There are many actions residents and homeowners can take to reduce nutrient pollution in our local streams. Visit the Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District website to learn more.