Illinois’ Department of Agriculture published its bi-annual study that looked at how to improve water quality by cutting down on pollutants that runoff into streams and rivers.
Officials are mainly concerned with stopping excess nitrogen and phosphorus runoff.
If too much of the stuff flows into a waterway, the chemicals can suck the oxygen out of the water, creating so-called “dead” zones that kill marine life.
Farming has a lot to do with the problem because of chemicals sprayed on crops. But Illinois Deputy Ag Director Warren Goetsch said cities also create problems for waterways.
“We have large urban areas that are also contributing. You have urban storm water contributions, you have point-source wastewater treatment plants,” said Goetsch.
Ultimately, Illinois’ Ag department wants to cut the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus in waterways in half by 20-25. The latest report tracks the progress of that goal, including how much money has been invested in water research and land management practices.
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