The Importance of Preventing Eutrophication and Algae Blooms
In addition to the superior performance GreenEdge fertilizers offer, there are important environmental benefits to using slow release fertilizers like GreenEdge. Much attention has been focused of late on phosphorus pollution and algae blooms which have poisoned our drinking water and spoiled our lakes, rivers and coastal areas. Phosphorus content in natural waters is usually regulated by microorganisms, so there is a balance in the available phosphorus and ecosystem requirements. When an imbalance occurs, algae growth is stimulated leading to a decrease in oxygen concentration and ultimately eutrophication of the surface water bodies. Increased phosphorus concentration also leads to increased costs of water treatment, and in some cases, as most recently in Ohio, harmful effects of toxins from algae in drinking water. Unfortunately, algal blooms in water bodies have become common in many communities around the United State where rivers and lakes are present, causing fish kills and decreases in recreational value.
According to the EPA, phosphorus pollution has become one of America’s most widespread, costly and challenging environmental problems. The EPA estimates that phosphorus pollution costs the US economy four billion dollars a year. Major contributors to this pollution problem include discharge from industrial and domestic waste water treatment, improperly managed waste from farms and runoff from fertilizers. The number of lakes, rivers and coastal areas impacted by eutrophication have steadily increased each year, and research conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency has shown that over 40% of US waters have elevated phosphate levels. The limited supply of phosphorus and the increasing demand for food production juxtaposed with the ongoing concerns regarding phosphorus pollution necessitate the need for slow release fertilizers that minimize leaching and runoff.