Fertilizer is full of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. These are great for your plants and vegetation. However, too much of a good thing can be bad when found in high concentrations in our waterways. This is known as nutrient pollution.
What is Fertilizer?
Fertilizer is food for plants. Plants, like any other living thing, need a variety of nutrients to grow and thrive. Humans and animals get their nutrients through the different foods they eat, plants obtain their nutrients through the soil. However, some soils don’t meet the nutrient requirements necessary for plants to grow, or the nutrients are in forms that make it difficult for the plants to uptake. This is where fertilizer comes in.
Fertilizer is used as a nutrient supplement for plants. The nutrients found in fertilizers are primarily nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium and are in a form that is easily absorbed by the plant’s roots.
Nutrients, like nitrogen and phosphorus, are naturally occurring but too much of these nutrients in our waterways can be harmful. Nutrient pollution can contribute to algal blooms, feeding these tiny aquatic plants just like they feed your plants on land. Algae blooms are a problem because they clog our waterways, turn the water green, smell bad, and can kill fish and wildlife, and can also harm people.
In addition to fertilizer, high concentrations of nutrients can be found in sewage, septic tanks, and stormwater runoff.