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The Villages
Saturday, December 9, 2023

Lady Lake cracking down on dangerous overuse of fertilizer

Emphasizing the importance of the water quality of lakes, streams and wetlands, the Lady Lake Commission has unanimously approved a new fertilizer ordinance that goes into effect Oct. 1.

The ordinance is based on the “Florida-Friendly Best Management Practices for Protection of Water Resources” by the Green Industries. Lady Lake’s ordinance is modeled after Lake County’s fertilizer ordinance.

“The overuse and misuse of fertilizers has the potential for adverse effects on surface and ground water,” said Public Works Director C.T. Eagle. “This can be caused by excessive nutrients found in fertilizers, resulting in increasing levels of nitrogen seeping into the aquifer and springs.”

These water bodies are critical to the environmental, recreational, cultural and economic well-being of the town and surrounding areas. Overgrowth of algae and vegetation can hinder the effectiveness of flood prevention provided by stormwater systems. The regulation of nutrients can help to improve and maintain water and habitat quality.

Some of the new fertilizer application rules are as follows:

  • Fertilizer shall not be applied within 25 feet of any pond, stream, watercourse, lake, canal, or wetland. An additional voluntary 50-foot low maintenance zone is recommended.
  • Fertilizers containing nitrogen or phosphorus may not be applied to turf between June 1 and Sept. 30.
  • Fertilizers containing nitrogen applied to turf or landscaping plants from Oct. 1 through May 31 mustcontain no less than 50 percent slow-release nitrogen.
  • Spreader deflector shields are required when fertilizing with rotary spreaders.
  • Fertilizer shall not be applied, spilled, or otherwise deposited on any impervious surfaces.
  • Any fertilizer applied, spilled, or deposited on any impervious surface shall be immediately removed.
  • In no case shall fertilizer be washed, swept, or blown off impervious surfaces into stormwater drains, ditches, conveyances, or water bodies

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