is a nutrient that is present in high quantities in fertilizers, pesticides
and organic wastes. Agricultural runoff is the main source of
Phosphorus in the environment. It causes problems in aquatic
environments by stimulating the intense growth of algae and triggers the process
of eutrophication. This lowers the dissolved oxygen content in water, creating
an uninhabitable environment. The State criteria for Total Phosphorus in a healthy aquatic environment is 0.025 mg/L.
The geometric mean for all Enchanted Lakes sites exceeded this figure, the
two highest locations being sites 2 and 5 with a mean of 0.53 mg/L. Site 2
is a marsh area with high quantities of decaying organic material, possibly
contributing to this figure. Site 5 receives influent from many small streams,
and it is possible that the collective Phosphorus content results in occasional high levels. The contributing streams all flow through residential areas
and are subject to lawn runoff.