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High levels of phosphorus and nitrogen that are necessary for plant growth can cause what is called Eutrophication in rivers, lakes, and streams. Eutrophication is the process when water bodies become enriched in nutrients inducing excessive algae growth. The algae deplete oxygen levels within the water body, obstruct fish gills, and are unsightly. The water quality is reduced causing aquatic life to die.

Poor lawn maintenance habits can contribute to causing eutrophication. Improper disposal of yard/lawn debris, excess fertilizers containing high levels of phosphorous and leaf litter can be collected from run-off during storm events and enter into the storm drains. This nutrient-rich storm water is then discharged to our water bodies magnifying the growth of algal blooms.

Currently, the Merrimac River has been identified has an impaired water body with high levels of phosphorus. Tyngsborough encourages homeowners to practice good lawn care maintenance habits. For those who use lawn care service companies please inform them about the tips listed to on the right.