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Nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorus, occur naturally in the environment and play a key role in a healthy aquatic system. But problems start to develop when everyday human activity introduces additional nitrogen and phosphorus into our waterbodies through sources such as municipal wastewater, fertilizers, soaps, and detergent—and in some cases even the products used to treat our water. These excess amounts can throw off the natural balance, prompting excessive algal growth, hypoxia, and other negative effects on the water supply.

While regulations designed to maintain this natural balance are set using the best available knowledge, as new health data, analytical methods, or treatment technologies become available, these regulations can become more stringent and more difficult to achieve.   

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Understanding Biological Nutrient Removal

This video provides information on the science behind biological nutrient removal (BNR) along with utility perspectives. The video features Dr. James Barnard, who has worked in the field of BNR for decades and has consulted on the design of water reclamation plants around the world. Also featured are experts from Centennial Water and Sanitation District and City of Boulder.


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