Freshwater ecosystems worldwide are at risk of becoming degraded as a result of excessive inputs of phosphorus (P) associated with terrestrial activities. This study describes a novel methodology to rapidly assess the potential of low-cost adsorbents which might be used to combat this issue. The ability of aluminum drinking water treatment residual (Al-WTR) and crushed concrete (CC) to remove P from dairy wastewater (DW) and forestry runoff (wastewaters representative of point and nonpoint P pollution sources, respectively) was assessed. In addition to predicting the longevity of these media in large-scale filters, potential risks associated with their use were also examined. The results indicate that both CC and Al-WTR show promise for use in removing P from forestry runoff, however the raised pH of effluent from CC filters may pose an environmental concern. Al-WTR showed greater promise than CC for the treatment of DW due to its higher adsorption capacity at high concentrations. Small releases of aluminum (13.63-96.17 µg g-1) and copper (5.25-31.9 µg g-1) were observed from both media when treating forestry runoff, and Al-WTR also released a small amount of nickel (0.16 µg g-1). Approximately 50% of total metal loss occurred during the first 25% of total filter loading, indicating that pre-washing of the media would help prevent metal release. These results indicate that field-scale tests are warranted for the treatment of both wastewaters with Al-WTR; CC is likely to be unsuitable for either forestry runoff or DW due to its effects on pH and its short lifespan.