By Jessica Creagan
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY -- Be sure to check out that fertilizer before laying it down on your fruits, veggies and trees and flowering plants this next planting season.
A new county-wide fertilizer ordinance nixes any use of fertilizer with phosphorous and calls for a halt of fertilizer with nitrogen from June through September. The ordinance does not exempt professional fertilizers, a reversal of a previous rule on the county books.
The June through September ban comes because of the reality that rain is prevalent during that time, and more likely to wash nutrients into the waterways. The commissioners also agreed that the fertilizer with the nitrogen in it must contain slow-release nitrogen, workers in landscaping and lawn-care must take a state training course in fertilizers and be licensed and does not allow fertilizer to be placed within 10-feet of waterways.
To enforce these new laws, the county will have to hire someone to specifically be responsible to hold people accountable and to educate people on how to protect the lagoon. Violations would be considered code violations and would have associated fines.
Residents will have about 30 days to familiarize themselves with the new ordinance regulations before they go into effect.
To see a comprehensive guide to the new regulations, visit www.ircgov.com.
For more information about the Indian River Lagoon and efforts to improve the health of the lagoon, visit www.ircstormwater.com.