Phosphate Partnership Sees Positive Strides

In its second year in existence, the Partnership for Phosphate Reduction reports continued high phosphate levels in Door County waters, but remains optimistic. The Partnership is a coalition of twelve local environmental and property owner’s organizations working to combat the excessive growth of cladophora, the green algae that is spoiling Door County beaches each summer.

The primary nutrient for this green algae is phosphate, an overabundance of which has been being discharged into county water through streams, sewage treatment outflow and from run-off water filled with excess fertilizer.

Peter Sigmann, the partnership’s coordinator reports encouraging news about several sources of phosphate discharge into the lake and bay and progress with both the retail community and the general public.

Sigmann cited several areas of progress: agricultural application of phosphate fertilizer has been greatly reduced as a result of soil testing as well as cost; phosphate-free lawn fertilizer (identified by the middle ingredient number as zero) has become available wherever fertilizer is being sold; also, a majority of the county’s grocery and general stores are now carrying phosphate-free automatic dishwashing detergents.

The partnership urges consumers to purchase and use these products. They have prepared an informational brochure that outlines the need for phosphate control. The brochure also lists the names of phosphate-free products and local retail sources for those products.

For more information visit or call 920.824.5193.