Media Release

Winter Fertilizer Ban in Effect from December through February

Monday, November 14, 2016 3:15 PM

ALACHUA COUNTY, FL - The Alachua County Environmental Protection Department wants to remind residents that the new Fertilizer Standards were adopted by the County Commission on May 24, 2016. These standards include a ban on the use of fertilizers containing nitrogen and/or phosphorus during the months of December, January, and February.

The ordinance includes the following additional standards:

  • Fertilizers may not be applied when soils are saturated with water, before a heavy rain, and for 30 days before or after seeding or sodding.
  • Fertilizers spilled on impervious surfaces must be removed immediately, and may not be blown or washed into roads, stormwater systems, or water bodies.
  • Fertilizers shall not be applied within a minimum of 10 feet from any waterbody unless a deflector shield is used (then a minimum distance of three feet is required).
  • Grass clippings must be removed from streets, sidewalks, and driveways immediately.
  • Fertilizer must be stored in areas protected from rainfall and stormwater runoff. 
  • All commercial and institutional applicators shall successfully complete the Florida Friendly Best Management Practices for Water Resources by the Green Industries training and carry evidence that they are an FDACS Commercial Fertilizer Applicator.

“Fertilizers are one of the main sources of nutrient pollution to our surface waters, groundwater, and springs,” said Alachua County Environmental Protection Department Water Conservation Coordinator Stacie Greco. “Eliminating or reducing fertilizer use in yards will save money while helping to improve the health of our local water bodies, especially in the winter. Lawns go dormant in the winter, so fertilizers are not taken up by roots. Instead, the excess nutrients can contaminate our drinking water and cause harmful algae in local springs and lakes.”

Visit the Alachua County Water Resources website for additional water protection information.

For more information, contact Alachua County Water Resources Manager Gus Olmos at 352-264-6806 or


  • Mark Sexton
  • Communications & Legislative Affairs Director
  • Phone: 352-374-5204
  • Cell: 352-283-2317

If you have a disability and need an accommodation in order to participate in a County program, service or public meeting, please contact the Alachua County Equal Opportunity Office at 352-374-5275 at least 2 business days prior to the event. TTY users please call 711 (Florida Relay Service).