Glossary



Phosphorus compounds

Phosphorus compounds (phosphates) act as fertilizers (as well as nitrates) on the plants in waters.
The wastewater sector‘s effluent limit value "total phosphorus" is the sum of the concentrations of inorganic (orthophosphate-phosphorus and polyphosphate) and organic phosphorus compounds (phosphonates).
In municipal wastewater, phosphorus is present as orthophosphate, inorganic polyphosphate compounds and in organically bound form. Polyphosphates and other hydrolyzable dissolved phosphorus compounds are rapidly transferred to orthophosphate by microorganisms.
Orthophosphates can be eliminated by precipitation with aluminum or ferric.
Phosphonates from detergents and cleaners cannot be precipitated and are biodegraded only very slowly.



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