Algae fixes may trigger more lake pollution

Elizabeth Dunbar, reporting for Minnesota Public Radio: 

Phosphorus, a nutrient that is washed into Minnesota’s lakes with leaves and lawn fertilizer, can cause algae blooms and poor water quality. But efforts to reduce it in lakes can have an unintended consequence.

According to a new University of Minnesota study published online Thursday in the journal Science, reducing phosphorus can also result in less of the microbial processes that eliminate another unwanted nutrient: nitrogen.

As a result, nitrogen can accumulate in large lakes and lead to nitrogen pollution downstream, the study says.