The presence of phosphates in water is an important detail in water quality.

Phosphorus is essential for life. It is needed for plant growth and metabolic reactions of plants and animals.

Because algae only require small amounts of phosphorus to live, excess phosphorus causes extensive algal growth called 'blooms' which are symptoms of eutrophication.

Eutrophication is the human-caused enrichment of water nutrients, usually phosphorus. This comes from run-offs from pesticides from agriculture fields. Intolerant species cannot survive eutrophication and are replaced by more tolerant species.

A polyatomic ion. Symbol: PO43-

An old-fashioned soda fountain drink made with carbonated water, flavoring syrup and phosphoric acid (H3PO4) for tartness.
Citric acid (C6H8O7)may also be used, or lemon juice in a pinch.
Phosphates come in various fruit flavors, such as cherry, strawberry, lemon, orange, etc.
A lime phosphate may be called a Green River, and a grape one, a Purple Cow.

Phosphates occasionally appear in old movies where the boy and girl drink with two straws out of the same glass while staring dreamily into each other's eyes.
Someone once told me that this is called flurping, but I wouldn't necessarily take my word for it.

Phos"phate (?), n. Chem.

A salt of phosphoric acid.

 

© Webster 1913.

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