Increased phosphorus inputs to surface waters and the subsequent increase in Eutrophication of water bodies gave rise to public concern during the 1970s and 80s. It has become an issue in the forefront of discussions again. Many lakes, rivers and even the Gulf of Mexico have developed dead zones––areas that are oxygen-deficient due to excessive algal blooms. The wastewater treatment community has seen legislation and regulations that will greatly affect the way that they operate their facilities based on concentrations that are allowed for release. These numbers are gradually going to decrease in the near future. Another breakthrough that will help the wastewater industry meet these numbers is the elimination of phosphorus in laundry detergents. The amount of phosphorus in detergents, as well as its effect on the influent and effluent of water entering wastewater treatment plants, has been a topic of discussion for some time. New York, Maryland and Utah have already banned or restricted the use of phosphorus in their detergents and other cleaners. Now a major corporation is joining the elimination of phosphorus in detergents. Proctor & Gamble recently announced that within two years its cleaners will be phosphorus-free. The following article contains the announcement. This will help with the reduction of phosphorus entering the wastewater treatment plants and allow for less removal to meet regulation demands. This is good news for our industry and even better news for our environment.
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