Clear Choices Clean Water - Fertilizer and Water
If you do choose to fertilize your lawn, there are several actions you can take to minimize its impacts on water. For starters, make sure to only use the type and amount of fertilizer your lawn needs. Starting with a soil test will help you understand those needs. Then, take the time to properly apply the fertilizer. Be sure the spreader being used is designed for lawn fertilizer application and that it is calibrated for the type of fertilizer being used.
Avoid applying fertilizer between November 15 and March 1. Lawns are unable to use nutrients once they go dormant in this time frame. Never fertilize when the ground is frozen, as the nutrients have nowhere to go except to runoff.
Ask questions if a lawn care company applies fertilizer to your lawn. Most universities recommend 3 to 4 fertilizer applications during the growing season, while most lawn care companies will make 6 to 7 applications during the growing season.
Of course, there is another option: don’t fertilize at all. You can actually have a healthy lawn by opting not to fertilize. By leaving the lawn clippings on the lawn to decompose, valuable nutrients are returned to the soil. Mowing at a taller height (3-3.5 inches) can also reduce pest problems, such as weeds, insects, and diseases.
EPA - Septic System Impacts on Water Sources
Discharge of septic tank effluent, which is very high in phosphorous, to nearby water, either through overland flow or groundwater seepage, can contribute to localized increases in algae or aquatic plant growth. Because phosphorous is very slow to leave a lake system, sewage inputs often have lingering effects long after they have been discontinued.
The proper use and maintenance of a septic system is the responsibility of each homeowner.
Signs of a Problem: