Door County,Wisconsin Groups Work to Reduce Phosphates in Surface Waters

Door County,Wisconsin Groups Work to Reduce Phosphates in Surface Waters

By Jerry Viste, Executive Director, Door County Environmental Council

After a long campaign by local organizations and agencies in support of the need to control the amount of nutrient discharge into our surface waters, the Door County Board of Supervisors approved a phosphorus control resolution. This newly enacted resolution requires that all lawn owners be restricted to using phosphorus fertilizer only when the need is determined by an actual soil test. Local fertilizer suppliers and lawn maintenance firms will be cooperating in this effort.

This initiative was stimulated by the Door County Environmental Council and the Door Property Owners organization along with the Door County Soil and Water Conservation Their efforts led to a draft resolution submitted to and approved by the County Board in November. Since that time the draft has been used as a model for a similar resolution that was introduced at the state convention of Soil and Water Conservation Districts. That group passed the resolution and now support is being solicited in the state legislature for passage.

In addition to the resolution, a cooperative message paper enumerating the danger of dishwasher detergent containing phosphorus and urging use of non-phosphorus detergent was created. The paper was furnished to all towns for inclusion with the tax parcel billings so individual homeowners could benefit from the information and make the choice to request non-phosphorus dishwasher detergent, the amount of phosphates in dishwashing detergent varies from brand to brand.

Through the slow processes of public education we can achieve the goal of phosphorus free detergent and sustainable stewardship of lawn and municipal grassy areas eventually halting the discharge of the excess nutrient into our surface waters.

For more information contact: Jerry Viste, Executive Director, Door County Environmental Council at 920-743-6003 or jerrymv@itol.com.

 

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