What are non-point source pollutants (NPSP) that affect Alberta’s rivers, streams and lakes?
The Alberta Water Council (AWC) has reported on those sources of contaminants in a series of consultant studies issued in recent years. Here’s what they are:
- Current State of Non-Point Source Pollution: Data, Knowledge and Tools.
- Non-Point Source Pollution: A Review of Policies, Practices and Regulations in Alberta and Selected Jurisdictions.
- Recommendations to Improve Non-Point Source Pollution Management in Alberta
How do we know that happens? Here’s a short report on a turfgrass experiment in Wisconsin that measured fertilizer runoff from lawns. Spring runoff over frozen ground carried away more nutrients than summer runoff during the growing season.
4R nutruent stewardship is a key part of watershed best practices. Know your NPK nutrients because they can become a NPSP that impacts the lake. Algae like nutrients too.
Urban lawns are an easy target for NPSP regulators. There are plenty of municipal bylaws that restrict fertilizer applications. But there’s more to the story of properly applied plant nutrients than just control of runoff into water bodies. Fertilizer Canada advises that healthy lawns are important to communities too: A 50 x 50 foot lawn can produce enough oxygen for a family of four each day!