Lawn and Garden Maintenance
Landscape maintenance can be a major contributor to stormwater pollution. Keeping your yard lean and green comes with a high price tag for stormwater management and can be a major contributor to stormwater pollution. Stormwater runoff transports garden chemicals such as pesticides and fertilizers to the City’s waterways via storm drains and catch basins. These chemicals may kill pests and weeds, but they also poison fish, kill beneficial insects, and contaminate waterways because they are washed off of lawns and landscaping. By incorporating the following guidelines into your lawn and garden routine, you can help prevent stormwater pollution and protect local waterways, while maintaining a healthy landscape with minimal or no impact to the environment.
- Plant native plants to reduce the need for water, fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.
- Use fertilizers and pesticides sparingly. Use a low to no phosphorus fertilizer. Apply only the recommended amounts and avoid applying if rain or wind is forecasted.
- Use organic, biodegradable, non-toxic pesticides. Use fertilizers with less than 2 percent phosphorous.
- Mix and load fertilizers or pesticides on the grass, not on driveways or paved surfaces.
- Apply only ¼ inch of water to soak lawn chemicals into the ground.
- Only treat problem areas with pesticides and fertilizers and use only the recommended amount for the area being treated. Save leftover amounts for future use.
- Do not over-fertilize. Excess fertilizer and pesticides can promote the growth of plants and algae that clog our waterways and contaminate fish and wildlife in and around them.
- Do not apply fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides near driveways, sidewalks or any water bodies.
- Sweep up excess amounts of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. Never hose them into storm drains.
- Dispose of yard waste properly. Put all yard waste in the designated yard waste cart for sanitation pick up. Do not blow, rake, or wash leaves, grass clippings, or excess chemicals into streets, gutters, or storm drains.
- Do not place bulk waste trash piles near or on top of a storm drain.
- Avoid over watering. It washes excess lawn and garden chemicals into storm drains that flow to waterways.
- Properly adjust sprinklers so they do not water the pavement and turn the sprinkler system off when rain is expected. It wastes water and washes pollutants into storm drains.
- Never dump lawn, garden or any other products down a storm drain. It is a crime and could result in fines.
- Dispose of lawn, garden and other hazardous products at a Broward County Household Hazardous Waste drop off site. Never dump them down a drain. For information call 954-765-4999.
- Store left over fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and other hazardous chemicals dry, covered area to protect containers from deterioration resulting from exposure.
- Download Stormy’s Landscape Maintenance Tips Card
Rain Sensor Device
Florida Statutes (Ch. 373.62) require that, “Any person who purchases and installs an automatic lawn sprinkler system after May 1, 1991, shall install, and must maintain and operate a rain sensor device or switch that will override the irrigation cycle of the sprinkler system when adequate rainfall has occurred.”
This bill was created and is enforced to help protect and preserve our water supply. Although the statute only applies to properties built after May 1, 1991, a rain sensor can be installed on properties built prior to that time.
For information on retrofitting irrigation systems, contact an irrigation professional in your area.
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