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Water-Related News

Fertilizer ordinance passes in Orange County, limits nitrogen

Orange County commissioners approved new rules limiting when and how you can fertilize your grass.

  • Ordinance bans nitrogen-based fertilizers through Sept. 30, with exceptions
  • Landscapers, homeowners who complete education seminar can use fertilizers

The updated ordinance is aiming to protect our waterways.

That's because if the nitrogen found in certain fertilizers seeps into springs, rivers and lakes, advocates say the chemical can promote algae growth and cause a decline in water quality.

"It's not a complete ban," said Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs.

Orange County leaders unanimously voted to update their own fertilizer ordinance Tuesday night.

The goal is to limit the use of fertilizers containing nitrogen and phosphorus near priority springs areas, like Wekiva Springs.

"The reality is I think most homeowners do just err on the side of more is better, and maybe that's changing, but I just think that's kind of human nature," Mayor Jacobs said.

Commissioners approved a blackout period, which states no nitrogen-based fertilizers can be used from June 1 through Sept. 30.