Water-Related News

Lake County issues spring fertilizer ordinance

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LAKE COUNTY – The Lake County Board of County Commissioners approved a Fertilizer Ordinance in 2017 for unincorporated Lake County to comply with the Florida Springs and Aquifer Protection Act. The Act requires all jurisdictions within a Spring Basin Management Action Plan (BMAP) area to enact an ordinance for Florida-friendly fertilizer use on urban landscapes or equivalent.

Nutrient pollution is a major issue for Lake County’s waterbodies. Stormwater runoff is a significant source of nutrient pollution. During the spring months, it is essential to follow the requirements of the Fertilizer Ordinance to help keep our lakes and streams healthy.

Residents can comply with the Fertilizer Ordinance by following these guidelines:

  • Fertilize before summer with a slow-release fertilizer, as the Ordinance includes a seasonal blackout of applying fertilizer containing nitrogen and phosphorus to turf between June 1 and September 30
  • Purchase only the fertilizer that is needed at a minimum for your turf grass
  • Use only 50% (or higher) slow-release nitrogen fertilizer
  • Use the product directions to calculate the proper amount to spread for your turf grass requirements
  • Watch the weather forecasts and avoid fertilizing before heavy rainstorm events
  • Adjust the deflector shields to deflect fertilizer away from impervious surfaces (e.g., sidewalks and driveways)
  • Sweep up excess fertilizer from impervious surfaces and place it back on your lawn
  • Do not apply fertilizer near wetland/open water setbacks (there is a 15 feet buffer requirement for wetlands and water bodies)

For proper application, review the Florida Yards and Neighborhoods Handbook: https://ffl.ifas.ufl.edu/materials/FYN_Handbook_2015_web.pdf. For more information on the Lake County Effective Fertilizer Ordinance, please visit lakecountyfl.gov/environmental-services/fertilizer.