Bill: Some dish soaps are bad
February 5, 2008
To help improve the health of endangered streams in western Summit County a Democratic representative serving parts of the Snyderville Basin hopes to ban sales of dishwashing detergents with lots of phosphorous.
Stores should not sell soaps with more than .5 percent phosphorous by weight, Rep. Christine Johnson claims. Her House Bill 303 would outlaw selling such detergents.
"Every little bit would help If there is less (phosphorous) in the wastewater received at our reclamation facility, it’s easier for us to meet the requirements we are faced with," said Michael Luers, general manager of the Snyderville Basin Water Reclamation District. "Any reduction of phosphorous in our system would aid districts like us that are required to remove phosphorous to very low levels."
Overloads of phosphorous in East Canyon Creek and Silver Creek promote rapid plant growth, which suffocates fish, he explained.
"Phosphorous is a nutrient that promotes the growth of aquatic vegetation in our local streams," Luers said, adding that phosphorous is in many fertilizers. "Those plants go into respiration at night and the dissolved oxygen drops exceedingly low because those plants are actually using oxygen instead of making oxygen."
Meanwhile, lowering phosphorous levels in wastewater in Coalville is expensive, Mayor Duane Schmidt said.
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But many detergents contain phosphorous, Schmidt said.
"You’ve got to start somewhere, and maybe that’s not a bad place to start," Schmidt said about HB 303.
A standing committee in the House could now debate the bill.