University of Florida

Effect of Phosphorus on Water Quality

Florida's water quality can be adversely affected if pollutants like phosphorus find their way into the water supply.

Excess phosphorus can be carried from the landscape by runoff, or it can leach through the soil and into our groundwater. Phosphorus that reaches lakes and streams can lead to an overgrowth of algae, making the water cloudy and causing fish and native plants to die.

You can help prevent phosphorus pollution by always fertilizing responsibly. Select a fertilizer that meets the specific nutritional needs of your plants, and apply it only when plants are actively growing.

Some Florida soils have ample amounts of phosphorus, so it's a good idea to have your soil tested before applying phosphorus fertilizer. Consult UF/IFAS guidelines for fertilizer rates and timing.


UF/IFAS Publications

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