Nutrient Sponge


The US EPA has identified nutrient pollution (phosphorus and nitrogen) as one of America’s most widespread, costly and challenging environmental problems.  These nutrients support the growth of algae and aquatic plants that provide habitat and food for fish, insects and other organisms.  However when nutrient levels increase too far, nuisance algae and weed growth can dominate a body of water, making it unattractive, unnavigable, odorous and a poor environment for a healthy fish population.

Nutrient Sponge

Nutrient Sponge was created specifically to reduce nutrients and help improve water quality without the potential side effects of chemicals.  A unique porous ceramic, Nutrient Sponge has the ability to hold a high quantity of active colonies of microorganisms used to treat water.  It can be deployed in the body of water to reduce nutrients present, but can also be deployed in incoming springs, creeks and streams to reduce nutrients before they ever reach a body of water.  The best watershed management programs cannot stop all nutrients from entering a body of water, but now Nutrient Sponge can be added to further increase nutrient reduction in incoming waters.  Due to the pore size, water can easily flow through the media.

Nutrient Sponge is formulated separately for nitrogen and phosphorus and the product is produced in a number of shapes.  Discs, interlocking bricks and logs are used in varied applications.  Examples include using bricks and / or logs in inlet water ways, discs and logs can be used suspended in the water column in the body of water.  Aeration and circulation increases the effectiveness of Nutrient Sponge by providing continuous circulation of water through the media.

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Phosphorus sponge

Our phosphorus sponge is a highly porous iron-based media that is especially effective in removing high amounts of phosphorus by sorption.  Typically removal is 5 times other media and can reduce phosphorus in water to below 0.1 mg/l.  Removal rates per pound of sponge media varies from 0.287 lbs. of phosphorus / 2.2 lbs. of media in high phosphorus water, to 0.088 lbs. of phosphorus / 2.2 lbs. of media in water at 1 mg/liter or less of phosphorus.  1 lb. of phosphorus is enough food for 10,000 lbs. of weeds algae.

Nitrogen sponge

Our nitrogen sponge is a unique, highly porous media that is differentiated by its high surface area and interconnected porosity.  With surface area of >700,000 ft ²/ft3 of sponge media, a complex network exists to provide an ideal base for the development and nourishment of many types of beneficial bacteria that are used to complete the nitrogen cycle.  It enhances denitrification by using a composition containing an electron donor that promotes autotrophic bacteria along with heterotrophic bacteria.  This composition can break down up to 30 kg (66 lbs.) of nitrate / day / cubic meter of nitrogen sponge.


Both the phosphorus and nitrogen nutrient sponge can be used in many different types of applications.  Aeration and circulation improve performance.  Non-aerated applications will not experience removal rates outlined above.  Typical applications include use in wastewater lagoons, ponds, lakes and reservoirs (both in the body of water as well as incoming inlets), fish ponds and aquaculture ponds, decorative ponds, moving water systems such as creeks and rivers, circulating waste tanks, etc.

The interlocking bricks are sold individually and are mainly used in inlet areas.  The bricks can be anchored in place using the hole in the center.  Best results are obtained by placing a nitrogen sponge wall first and immediately behind it, place a phosphorus sponge wall.  The discs are made in either 4” or 8” diameter and are placed in polyethylene sleeves and can be suspended in any body of water.  Sleeves can contain a 50/50 mix of the phosphorus and nitrogen discs, or 100% of either type.  The logs are about 3” in length and are placed in polyethylene bags.  These bags can be placed in inlets and suspended in a water body.  Like the bricks we suggest placing a bag of nitrogen logs in an inlet first followed by a bag of phosphorus logs.  All applications should take advantage of circulation, aeration and moving water as available.

We suggest replacing all material after 2 years of use.  In inlet and run-off applications that experience inorganic turbidity, a geotextile may be needed to prevent clogging or damage.

Other applications:

Nutrient sponge can also be formulated for removal of many metal ions such as selenium, arsenic, lead, copper, nickel and manganese.

Contact Us for More Information:  1-800-328-6656

While we do sell nutrient sponges, we recommend you call us to first discuss your needs.