Nutrient Pollution

Nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), in appropriate amounts, are essential to healthy aquatic ecosystems. Excessive nutrients, or nutrient pollution, however, can result in excessive growth of vegetation (i.e., aquatic plants and algae) that can lead to harmful algal blooms, oxygen depletion, high pH, fish kills, and general degradation of aquatic resources. Nutrient pollution can therefore impact the use of surface waters for drinking water, aquatic life, recreation, livestock, and wildlife.

With the assistance of the Wyoming Nutrient Work Group, DEQ is addressing nutrient pollution in Wyoming’s surface waters through development and implementation of numeric nutrient criteria and the Wyoming Nutrient Strategy. DEQ has also been working with the Wyoming Department of Health, the Wyoming Livestock Board, and other stakeholders to evaluate and respond to potential harmful algal blooms.