The research team discovered households are the main sources of nutrient pollutants in the Twin Cities urban watershed. Pet waste is the leading source of phosphorus to these watersheds. (Photo Credit: Sarah Hobbie)
The research team discovered households are the main sources of nutrient pollutants in the Twin Cities urban watershed. Pet waste is the leading source of phosphorus to these watersheds.

Nitrogen, phosphorus from fertilizers, pet waste polluting urban water

Urban watersheds highly “leaky” with regard to nutrient pollution because of their dense networks of streets and storm drains.

New research from the University of Minnesota points to lawn fertilizers and pet waste as the dominant sources of nitrogen and phosphorus pollutants in seven sub-watersheds of the Mississippi River in St. Paul, Minn.

The study — published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences — is the first to compare the nitrogen and phosphorus budgets of urban watersheds. The results can be applied to urban watersheds around the world that are impaired by exces

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