Indicator water

Phosphorus concentration in lakes

Phosphorus is a nutrient which is contained mainly in animal feedstuffs and fertilizers in Switzerland. If it reaches surface waters by leaching or soil erosion, it encourages eutrophication of the lakes. This produces more biomass, which consumes more oxygen to degrade. This is turn leads to oxygen depletion and the production of toxic substances, especially in the deep water. This eutrophication then threatens fish life and aquatic biodiversity.

Assessment of the state
medium medium
Assessment of the trend
positive positive
Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 2017: 10.5159842961301 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 2016: 12.2686483454851 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 2015: 11.9181155356141 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 2014: 17 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 2013: 15 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 2012: 19 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 2011: 16 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 2010: 19 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 2009: 20 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 2008: 22 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 2007: 29 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 2006: 34 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 2005: 38 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 2004: 49 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 2003: 45 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 2002: 58 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 2001: 52 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 2000: 52 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1999: 52 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1998: 38 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1997: 49 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1996: 54 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1995: 61 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1994: 80 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1993: 86 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1992: 92 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1991: 98 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1990: 107 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1989: 118 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1988: 143 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1987: 163 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1986: 172 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1985: 174 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1984: 191 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1983: 196 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1982: 224 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1981: 222 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1980: 231 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1979: 240 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1978: 223 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1977: 260 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1976: 242 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1975: 226 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1974: 243 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1973: 223 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1972: 239 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1971: 145 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1965: 199 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1964: 221 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1963: 130 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1962: 130 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1958: 50 Lake Hallwil (Hallwilersee) 1951: 22 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 2017: 25 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 2016: 24 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 2015: 23 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 2014: 24 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 2013: 30 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 2012: 23 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 2011: 26 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 2010: 26 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 2009: 26 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 2008: 32 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 2007: 37.2522940539499 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 2006: 44.5454193805877 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 2005: 38.2556266882948 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 2004: 44.1498648654624 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 2003: 52.6167374487476 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 2002: 52.3875972247833 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 2001: 56.7561757599037 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 2000: 89.3337223545221 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1999: 101.271704350963 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1998: 97.6933601020231 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1997: 93.3038755707997 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1996: 92.0471703563436 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1995: 86.3128711310212 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1994: 96.2837930839981 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1993: 96.1303624104046 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1992: 108.071290944123 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1991: 116.046242774566 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1990: 106.315992292871 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1989: 132.31021194605 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1988: 152.256262042389 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1987: 177.932791200385 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1986: 195.485817665703 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1985: 214.9 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1984: 251.264433618497 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1983: 287.289921727842 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1982: 306.163548500963 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1981: 327.209516447977 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1980: 345.797318501445 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1979: 381 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1978: 415 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1977: 428 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1976: 429 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1975: 425 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1974: 517 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1973: 509 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1972: 452 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1971: 440 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1970: 310 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1969: 476 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1968: 380 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1967: 379 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1952: 80 Lake Baldegg (Baldeggersee) 1951: 78 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 2017: 29 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 2016: 24 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 2015: 25 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 2014: 16 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 2013: 19 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 2012: 15 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 2011: 19 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 2010: 23 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 2009: 26 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 2008: 26 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 2007: 21.2325331372561 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 2006: 23.0654182958529 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 2005: 24.5877431305425 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 2004: 28.0599109789515 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 2003: 33.5891010492436 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 2002: 42.9768307682838 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 2001: 51.7029237558633 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 2000: 39.3279693790721 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 1999: 48.6029190071988 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 1998: 53.7283718709963 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 1997: 65.4329473026082 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 1996: 82.5255337414761 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 1995: 85.559784174674 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 1994: 90.310382562963 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 1993: 92.7204446624935 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 1992: 102.278038601982 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 1991: 111.814814814815 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 1990: 114.363067292645 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 1989: 122.669796557121 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 1988: 135.392279603547 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 1987: 139.651823328638 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 1986: 157.414131971179 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 1985: 161.729678862806 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 1984: 162.422957521127 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 1983: 164.170741972613 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 1982: 143.768607186228 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 1981: 142.217262082942 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 1980: 133.157177623631 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 1979: 133 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 1978: 119 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 1977: 79 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 1976: 60 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 1975: 79 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 1974: 94 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 1973: 85 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 1969: 37 Lake Sempach (Sempachersee) 1968: 36 Lake Zurich* 2017: 25.2211508610374 Lake Zurich* 2016: 24.1922930344429 Lake Zurich* 2015: 22.3806816668915 Lake Zurich* 2014: 22.0775163196676 Lake Zurich* 2013: 21.7199058025511 Lake Zurich* 2012: 20.3902784769816 Lake Zurich* 2011: 21.4974771031445 Lake Zurich* 2010: 20.129155329107 Lake Zurich* 2009: 23.0670133586204 Lake Zurich* 2008: 23.7533 Lake Zurich* 2007: 22.7725 Lake Zurich* 2006: 22 Lake Zurich* 2005: 22 Lake Zurich* 2004: 24.6 Lake Zurich* 2003: 25.4 Lake Zurich* 2002: 27 Lake Zurich* 2001: 25.9 Lake Zurich* 2000: 24.2 Lake Zurich* 1999: 24.2 Lake Zurich* 1998: 25.7 Lake Zurich* 1997: 26 Lake Zurich* 1996: 26 Lake Zurich* 1995: 25.7 Lake Zurich* 1994: 29 Lake Zurich* 1993: 35.2 Lake Zurich* 1992: 35.2 Lake Zurich* 1991: 38.1 Lake Zurich* 1990: 43.1 Lake Zurich* 1989: 44.8 Lake Zurich* 1988: 37.1 Lake Zurich* 1987: 52.7 Lake Zurich* 1986: 53 Lake Zurich* 1985: 54.1 Lake Zurich* 1984: 60.2 Lake Zurich* 1983: 64.5 Lake Zurich* 1982: 51.6 Lake Zurich* 1981: 64.3 Lake Zurich* 1980: 67.2 Lake Zurich* 1979: 72 Lake Zurich* 1978: 72.5 Lake Zurich* 1977: 79 Lake Zurich* 1976: 78 Lake Zurich* 1975: 81 Lake Zurich* 1974: 91 Lake Zurich* 1973: 101 Lake Zurich* 1953: 29 Lake Lucerne 2017: 5 Lake Lucerne 2016: 4 Lake Lucerne 2015: 4 Lake Lucerne 2014: 4 Lake Lucerne 2013: 5 Lake Lucerne 2012: 3 Lake Lucerne 2011: 6 Lake Lucerne 2010: 4.93746653087185 Lake Lucerne 2009: 5.62746444776173 Lake Lucerne 2008: 2.45970095566953 Lake Lucerne 2007: 6.08042665125112 Lake Lucerne 2006: 3.29752086161003 Lake Lucerne 2005: 4.71039642704119 Lake Lucerne 2004: 5.07311910180832 Lake Lucerne 2003: 7.50094821026066 Lake Lucerne 2002: 6.92347103615337 Lake Lucerne 2001: 5.66190401434848 Lake Lucerne 2000: 8.24948695035472 Lake Lucerne 1974: 39.1101305890984 Lake Lucerne 1973: 53.0155909749272 Lake Zug 2013: 83 Lake Zug 2012: 87 Lake Zug 2011: 86 Lake Zug 2010: 94 Lake Zug 2009: 96 Lake Zug 2008: 96 Lake Zug 2007: 97 Lake Zug 2006: 99 Lake Zug 2005: 108 Lake Zug 2004: 113 Lake Zug 2003: 110 Lake Zug 2002: 115 Lake Zug 2001: 119 Lake Zug 2000: 124 Lake Zug 1999: 129 Lake Zug 1998: 134 Lake Zug 1997: 139 Lake Zug 1996: 144 Lake Zug 1995: 148 Lake Zug 1994: 152 Lake Zug 1993: 155 Lake Zug 1992: 158 Lake Zug 1991: 161 Lake Zug 1990: 163 Lake Zug 1989: 167 Lake Zug 1988: 171 Lake Zug 1987: 176 Lake Zug 1986: 181 Lake Zug 1985: 186 Lake Zug 1984: 191 Lake Zug 1983: 196 Lake Zug 1982: 202 Lake Zug 1981: 204 Lake Zug 1980: 205 Lake Zug 1979: 202 Lake Zug 1978: 200 Lake Zug 1977: 197 Lake Zug 1976: 187 Lake Zug 1975: 176 Lake Zug 1974: 163 Lake Zug 1973: 155 Lake Zug 1972: 143 Lake Zug 1971: 127 Lake Zug 1970: 107 Lake Zug 1969: 85 Lake Constance 2017: 8 Lake Constance 2016: 7.9 Lake Constance 2015: 8.5 Lake Constance 2014: 6.1 Lake Constance 2013: 6.7 Lake Constance 2012: 6 Lake Constance 2011: 5.9 Lake Constance 2010: 5.9 Lake Constance 2009: 6.4 Lake Constance 2008: 8 Lake Constance 2007: 8 Lake Constance 2006: 8 Lake Constance 2005: 9 Lake Constance 2004: 10 Lake Constance 2003: 12 Lake Constance 2002: 12 Lake Constance 2001: 13 Lake Constance 2000: 14 Lake Constance 1999: 15 Lake Constance 1998: 17 Lake Constance 1997: 18 Lake Constance 1996: 19 Lake Constance 1995: 24 Lake Constance 1994: 29 Lake Constance 1993: 30 Lake Constance 1992: 32.10407 Lake Constance 1991: 32.91855 Lake Constance 1990: 38.95927 Lake Constance 1989: 42.89593 Lake Constance 1988: 46.83258 Lake Constance 1987: 58.03167 Lake Constance 1986: 63.12217 Lake Constance 1985: 65.8371 Lake Constance 1984: 69.9095 Lake Constance 1983: 76.69683 Lake Constance 1982: 78.73302 Lake Constance 1981: 84.84162 Lake Constance 1980: 82.80543 Lake Constance 1979: 86.87782 Lake Constance 1978: 76.69683 Lake Constance 1977: 85.52036 Lake Constance 1976: 82.80543 Lake Constance 1975: 81.78732 Lake Constance 1974: 78.73302 Lake Constance 1973: 75.67873 Lake Constance 1972: 65.8371 Lake Constance 1971: 51.92308 Lake Constance 1970: 44.45701 Lake Constance 1969: 39.84163 Lake Constance 1968: 35.97285 Lake Constance 1967: 33.93665 Lake Constance 1966: 34.95475 Lake Constance 1965: 35.97285 Lake Constance 1964: 33.93665 Lake Constance 1963: 29.86425 Lake Constance 1962: 24.09502 Lake Constance 1961: 19.00452 Lake Constance 1960: 15.06787 Lake Constance 1959: 14.11765 Lake Constance 1958: 12.9638 Lake Constance 1957: 11.06335 Lake Constance 1956: 10.04525 Lake Constance 1955: 9.027149 Lake Constance 1954: 9.027149 Lake Constance 1953: 8.009049 Lake Constance 1952: 8.009049 Lake Constance 1951: 6.923077 Lake Geneva* 2017: 17.8 Lake Geneva* 2016: 19.1 Lake Geneva* 2015: 19 Lake Geneva* 2014: 20.5 Lake Geneva* 2013: 19.7 Lake Geneva* 2012: 21.6 Lake Geneva* 2011: 22.6 Lake Geneva* 2010: 22.4 Lake Geneva* 2009: 22.8 Lake Geneva* 2008: 27.6 Lake Geneva* 2007: 25.7 Lake Geneva* 2006: 27.7 Lake Geneva* 2005: 29.4 Lake Geneva* 2004: 29.5 Lake Geneva* 2003: 32.8 Lake Geneva* 2002: 34 Lake Geneva* 2001: 34.2 Lake Geneva* 2000: 36.5 Lake Geneva* 1999: 39.2 Lake Geneva* 1998: 39.6 Lake Geneva* 1997: 37.7 Lake Geneva* 1996: 40.9 Lake Geneva* 1995: 41.3 Lake Geneva* 1994: 44.8 Lake Geneva* 1993: 47.3 Lake Geneva* 1992: 49.9 Lake Geneva* 1991: 52.3 Lake Geneva* 1990: 55.3 Lake Geneva* 1989: 58.3 Lake Geneva* 1988: 61.7 Lake Geneva* 1987: 67.7 Lake Geneva* 1986: 71.8 Lake Geneva* 1985: 73.1 Lake Geneva* 1984: 76.4 Lake Geneva* 1983: 75.4 Lake Geneva* 1982: 77.5 Lake Geneva* 1981: 82.6 Lake Geneva* 1980: 82.5 Lake Geneva* 1979: 89.5 Lake Geneva* 1978: 86.8 Lake Geneva* 1977: 89.4 Lake Geneva* 1976: 89.6 Lake Geneva* 1975: 84 Lake Geneva* 1974: 78.2 Lake Geneva* 1973: 80.5 Lake Geneva* 1972: 71.1 Lake Geneva* 1971: 67.6 Lake Geneva* 1970: 80.5 Lake Geneva* 1969: 41.7 Lake Geneva* 1968: 42.5 Lake Geneva* 1967: 27 Lake Geneva* 1966: 43.9 Lake Geneva* 1965: 56.8 Lake Geneva* 1964: 58.8 Lake Geneva* 1963: 34.7 Lake Geneva* 1962: 20.4 Lake Geneva* 1961: 20 Lake Geneva* 1960: 15.4 Lake Geneva* 1959: 10.4 Lake Geneva* 1958: 11.2 Lake Geneva* 1951: 10 Lake Maggiore 2017: 13 Lake Maggiore 2016: 13 Lake Maggiore 2015: 14 Lake Maggiore 2014: 13 Lake Maggiore 2013: 13 Lake Maggiore 2012: 12 Lake Maggiore 2011: 10 Lake Maggiore 2010: 10 Lake Maggiore 2009: 10 Lake Maggiore 2008: 10 Lake Maggiore 2007: 10 Lake Maggiore 2006: 10 Lake Maggiore 2005: 10 Lake Maggiore 2004: 10 Lake Maggiore 2003: 12 Lake Maggiore 2002: 12 Lake Maggiore 2001: 11 Lake Maggiore 2000: 11 Lake Maggiore 1999: 12 Lake Maggiore 1998: 11 Lake Maggiore 1997: 9 Lake Maggiore 1996: 10 Lake Maggiore 1995: 9 Lake Maggiore 1994: 10 Lake Maggiore 1993: 10 Lake Maggiore 1992: 11 Lake Maggiore 1991: 16 Lake Maggiore 1990: 15 Lake Maggiore 1989: 14 Lake Maggiore 1988: 16 Lake Maggiore 1987: 18 Lake Maggiore 1986: 21 Lake Maggiore 1985: 18 Lake Maggiore 1984: 23 Lake Maggiore 1983: 21 Lake Maggiore 1982: 22 Lake Maggiore 1981: 23 Lake Maggiore 1980: 33 Lake Maggiore 1979: 26 Lake Maggiore 1951: 10
* Lake Geneva and Lake Zurich: volume-weighted annual average of depth profiles. Other lakes: spring circulation levels.

Data for the graph: Excel
Source: FOEN
Comment

With the economic boom after 1945, phosphorus pollution of surface waters from housing developments, industry and agriculture increased. Since the 1980s it has been declining, thanks largely to the water protection measures since 1970, the expansion of wastewater treatment, the ban on phosphates in laundry detergents (1986) and the ecologisation of agriculture from 1990.

Lakes react individually to changes in phosphorus pollution due to their different characteristics (e.g. depth, water exchange or wind exposure), making it impossible to define a general target for the phosphorus concentration in lakes. At levels below 15 to 20 µg/l of phosphorus, however, the legal limit for maximum average production of biomass is generally met. This is now the case for the majority of lakes, but in many of them the legal requirement that the oxygen concentration must not be less than 4 µg/l at any time and at any depth is not yet achieved, or only achieved with the help of artificial aeration or assisted circulation. For this reason, the state is still not satisfactory.

Further improvement cannot be guaranteed in all the lakes because the soil phosphorus levels continue to be high, particularly in regions with high livestock densities. Even if the use of fertilizers containing phosphorus were reduced in these regions, the phosphorus pollution would only decrease slowly. Reducing the soil reserves is a slow process which takes decades.

International comparison

In international comparisons, Switzerland has very clean lakes in terms of phosphorus pollution. The European average of phosphorus concentration is slightly below 100 µg/l. With the water protection measures since 1970, the expansion of wastewater treatment, the ban on phosphates in laundry detergents (1986) and the ecologisation of agriculture from 1990, Switzerland was an early international pioneer. In the EU the ban on phosphates for household laundry and dishwasher detergents came into force in 2017. Switzerland will follow the EU timetable and procedure applicable to the ban on phosphates in dishwasher detergents.

Method

The phosphorus concentration is calculated from the volume-weighted annual average of depth profiles or spring circulation levels.

 
Last updated on: 09.10.2018

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