The content presented here represents the most current version of this section, which was printed in the 24th edition of Standard Methods for the Examination of Water and Wastewater.
Abstract: 4500-P A. Introduction

1. Occurrence

Phosphorus occurs in natural waters and in wastewaters almost solely as phosphates. These are classified as orthophosphates, condensed phosphates (pyro-, meta-, and other polyphosphates), and organically bound phosphates. They occur in solution, in particles or detritus, or in the bodies of aquatic organisms. Phosphates also occur in bottom sediments and in biological sludges, both as precipitated inorganic forms and incorporated into organic compounds.


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Standard Methods Committee of the American Public Health Association, American Water Works Association, and Water Environment Federation. 4500-p phosphorus In: Standard Methods For the Examination of Water and Wastewater. Lipps WC, Baxter TE, Braun-Howland E, editors. Washington DC: APHA Press.

DOI: 10.2105/SMWW.2882.093