CRITICAL SOURCE AREAS FOR PHOSPHORUS:
“Critical sources areas” contribute a disproportionate share of phosphorus pollution to the waterways, most of which eventually finds its way into Lake Champlain. Stone Environmental, Inc published a report in Dec 2011 for the Lake Champlain Basin Program with the long title of “Identification of Critical Source Areas of Phosphorus within the Vermont Sector of the Missisquoi Bay Basin.” This study provides new information that shows that for phosphorus coming from the land—
6% is from developed land and road systems
30% is from undeveloped land, with the majority of that coming from forests
64% is from agricultural sources
The above ratios do not include phosphorus coming from in-stream erosion.
Plenty of information in the executive summary of the report.
Even more information in the Final Report (265 pages, big pdf file !).
SOURCES OF POLLUTION:
We expect to have clean water in our rivers and lakes, and we should expect that. But we don’t have clean water in our rivers and lakes. The rivers are carrying phosphorus and sediment into Lake Champlain and other lakes, causing problems with algae blooms and excessive weed growth.
Sediment and nutrients wash off the lands in the watershed and are carried down the streams and rivers into the lakes. There are other water quality issues, such as invasive species and habitat protection, but most of the focus on Lake Champlain is on the reduction of phosphorus and sediment because these have by far the greatest impact on water quality in the Lake.
Please download the full article to read more about the sources of pollution.