Montana Environmental Information Center

Clean and healthful. It's your right, our mission.

Nutrients in Montana’s Water

Summertime algae blooms, pond scum, and river choking weeds – all are problems because of human caused unnatural amounts of nutrients in our waters. The culprits are phosphorus and nitrogen, nutrients that come from various “end of pipe” (point) sources such as sewage treatment plants, factory farms, and industrial facilities, along with nonpoint sources such as agriculture, urban run-off, and forestry.

MEIC has been at the forefront of advocating for strong water quality protection laws.  We also are a vigilant “watch dog” to assure the laws are complied with. Recently the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed regulations that are designed to prevent problems associated with nutrient pollution. This spurred the Montana Department of Environmental Quality to create an advisory group to aid in guiding the adoption of new regulations to comply with the federal rules. MEIC is one of the members of the Nutrient Work Group. MEIC works with the Nutrient Working Group to promote “prevention of pollution” rather than the customary approach of “treat and discharge.”