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The Phosphorus Detergent Ban

Published: June 19, 2000

The phosphorus detergent ban was implemented in the Bay signatory jurisdictions in the mid to late eighties. After the ban's implementation, it became clear that the ban resulted in a significant reduction of discharge in phosphorus from wastewater treatment plants, the ban did not cost the consumer money, and the ban often resulted in O & M cost savings for the wastewater treatment plants. Phosphorus bans limit, to trace amounts, the amount of phosphorus that can be used in detergents and other cleaning products. The P ban resulted watershed wide in a reduction of influent P concentrations of 25-30% to wastewater treatment plants. Phosphorus loads to the bay declined by 6 million pounds per year between 1985-1996.

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