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Roland Niess, Moorhead, Published February 10 2013

Letter: Some perspective needed on phosphorus in water

After reading The Forum story of Feb. 5, I could not resist doing some math with the numbers you provided in the article. As a retired water chemist, I am somewhat familiar with the topic.

Let’s start with the 280 pounds of phosphorus per day from Moorhead and the other 13 Minnesota sources. Add the approximately 400 pounds from Fargo and allow another 400 from Grand Forks and Wahpeton: Makes 1,080. Generously we may add 920 from other unknown and non-monitored sources, which equals 2,000.

These are only 5 percent of the daily load of phosphorus that allegedly Lake Winnipeg has to take. Why are we worrying about (and probably paying for) a fraction of that load? What about the other 95 percent? Who cares? Who fights it?