Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Phosphorus Reductions in the Huron River Watershed

Phosphorus Reductions in the Huron Get Noticed

In 2007 the Huron River Watershed Council (HRWC) recommended that phosphorous fertilizers not be used within the watershed. The purpose was to cut down on the amount of phosphorous, a major factor in algae blooms, in the Huron River. The City of Ann Arbor adopted this as a city regulation, and as such, Leslie Park has not used any phosphorous fertilizers since. In December 2010 Michigan lawmakers passed legislation (HB-5368) that extended this regulation statewide. The new regulations and limitations will go into effect Jan. 1, 2012.

In 2010 the HRWC conducted a Water Quality Monitoring Program that showed a 28% drop in phosphorus in Ann Arbor tributaries including Traver Creek, which runs through Leslie Park Golf Course.

I am proud to say that total phosphorus has declined in each of the three survey periods and compares favorably with other tributaries in the Huron watershed. This may be due to the fact that Traver Creek's watershed is not as developed as other tributaries, but it still shows the golf course is not a major contributor to phosphorus in the Huron River.

This is supported by the water sampling we do quarterly. How we do it is detailed in a previous post HERE. In short, we take water tests from the pond on #17 (where Traver Creek enters the property) and from the pond on #12 (where the creek leaves the golf course). These tests, which we have done since 2009, confirm the golf course does not add to the nutrients in the creek. In fact, most of the tests show a decrease of the elements that are sampled. This is a very good sign that the fertilizer and chemicals we use on the golf course are used in a responsible way. We avoid applying fertilizers near water and have buffer strips near the creek to filter runoff that may occur.

1 comment:

Ric Lawson said...

A small correction: HRWC has been monitoring Traver Creek and other sites in the Middle Huron River Watershed since 2003. This year, we added an investigative site in the creek below the pond at #17. Too early for comparative results, but if consistent with the sampling from the GC, that would help to confirm Leslie's good management.

Additionally, we use Leslie's weather station for barometric pressure that is used in other aspects of our monitoring program. Thanks for the help and stewardship, Leslie Park staff.