Phosphorus concentrations in rivers
Assessment made on 01 Jan 2001
ClassificationWater (Primary theme)
Policy issue: Are phosphorus concentrations in our rivers falling?
Concentrations of phosphorus in Europe's rivers have decreased by around one third since 1990.
Phosphorus concentrations have fallen in all types of rivers in Europe. The lowest values are found in countries with low populations and high levels of sewage treatment, such as Sweden and Finland, while the highest levels are found in Belgium.
Phosphorus levels share some of the same characteristics as nitrate pollution - the highest levels are found in smaller rivers, for example, while phosphorus levels are higher in rivers with catchment areas dominated by agriculture. On the other hand, phosphorus levels are also high in rivers draining areas with large urban populations.
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Nitrogen and Phosphorus in river stations