Why are phosphates significant?

Clean Ocean Access tests the Maidford River Watershed and Bailey Brook Watershed weekly for phosphorus (as well as nitrogen). Phosphorus is an essential element for all living things, but phosphorus is also a primary nutrient polluting Aquidneck Island waters. Too much phosphorus contributes to excessive growth of algae. As the excessive algal growth dies, the decay process uses up oxygen in the water, which can lead to death of marine life and decreases biodiversity.

What can you do to help? Two significant sources of phosphorus in wastewater are dishwasher detergents and laundry detergents. Fortunately, the phosphorus contribution from these detergents can easily reduced and phosphate free alternatives are available!