What Pollutes Water?

image of sweeping leaves away from storm drain
Photo by Clean Water MN

Water pollution comes in many forms. During the summer, excess phosphorous is a big pollutant of concern. Phosphorous is a nutrient that plants and algae need in order to grow. However, too much phosphorous can lead to unwanted algae blooms. Limiting the amount of phosphorous pollution will increase water clarity, promote native plant growth, and maintain healthy water quality.

How can you help?

Phosphorous and other pollutants easily enter lakes and creeks though the storm drains in your neighborhood that are along the street. Leaves, grass clippings, fertilizer, and pet waste are some of the most common pollutants to enter storm drains. If these pollutants are left on the street, they will be washed into the nearest storm drain with the next rainfall and catch a free ride into a nearby body of water. Once these pollutants reach a waterbody, they begin to breakdown and release phosphorous into the water. So, keeping these pollutants off the streets will reduce the amount of phosphorous in the water around us. Learn more about how you can help protect our water here.