Regulation designed to protect water quality in the rainy season
Sarasota County staff is reminding community residents to skip using fertilizer with nitrogen and phosphorus from June 1 through Sept. 30.
Enacted in 2007, the restriction protects water quality and natural habitats in creeks, lakes and other waters by reducing the nutrients in stormwater that goes into them, a news release explains.
According to Sarasota County Environmental Protection Division Supervisor Laura Ammeson, the runoff of nutrients — primarily nitrogen and phosphorus — contributes to poor water quality. Excessive or improper use of fertilizer in landscapes is a significant source of excess nutrients in local waterways, the release points out. “This excess of nutrients can result in algal blooms and other undesirable conditions,” the release says.
“Our water resources are one of the reasons that Sarasota County is such a special place to live, so we want to keep the bay blue, not green,” added Ammeson in the release.
Sarasota County staff suggests using iron, manganese and magnesium to keep lawns green. In addition, if people keep their grass clippings on their lawns, those clippings will provide 50% of the nitrogen a lawn needs while reducing the need for maintenance.
Another tip is to keep grass a little taller than usual, as greater height allows grass to develop deeper roots and helps a lawn withstand heat and dry spells, the release explains.
To learn more about the fertilizer restrictions, or for more tips on how to keep the county’s waterways healthy, call the county Contact Center at 861-5000.