Orthophosphorus in the Minnesota River Basin


What is Orthophosphorus (OP)

Orthophosphorus is soluble reactive phosphorus and is readily available for biological uptake.

Why is Orthophosphorus important?

A particular concern with dissolved orthophosphorus is that it is readily available to algae and under certain conditions can stimulate excess algae growth leading to subsequent depletion of dissolved oxygen.

What are the primary sources of OP in the Minnesota River Basin?

Primary sources of orthophosphorus are wastewater treatment plants, feedlot runoff, and failing septic systems.

Wastewater Treatment Plants

Photo courtesy of http://www.detroitlakes.org/

Feedlot Runoff

Failing Septic Systems

Graphic courtesy of EPA

State of the Minnesota River: 2002 Surface Water Quality Monitoring.
EPA Glossary website - http://www.epa.gov/OCEPAterms/
MPCA Glossary website - http://www.pca.state.mn.us/gloss/index.shtml

For more information about other nutrients, see phosphorus, nitrate-nitrogen
For more information about orthophosphorus in the Minnesota River Basin, see publications



This page was last updated 9/15/04