What is ailing our springs?
Excessive nutrients, especially the nitrate form of nitrogen, are contaminating our groundwater, springs, and rivers. Our objective is the help to reduce the amount of nitrate contaminating our groundwater and springs from all possible sources.
Homeowners: how you can help
In your yard:
Eliminate the use of fertilizers and pesticides in your yard. If using a fertilizer is absolutely necessary, use slow release nitrogen and little or no phosphorous.
Plant centipede grass to reduce the amount of fertilizer needed.
Plant native flora.
Irrigate only when plants show signs of wilting to conserve water and reduce pollution.
Keep pollutants (fertilizers and pesticides) out of stormwater runoff. Stormwater recharges the groundwater, which is your drinking water.
Keep your stormwater on your property by creating swales, rain barrels and rain gardens.
Do not direct untreated stormwater into sinkholes.
Have your septic system inspected and maintained every two to three years.
Never flush pesticides, chemicals, or ammonia into a septic system.
Never plant trees or shrubs in a drainfield.
Conventional septic tanks in the springshed and in close proximity to water sources can contaminate groundwater and surface water. Consider upgrading to a performance based system which reduces nitrates below 10 mg/L.
Septic system effluent should be discharged into a pressure dosed drainfield or by drip-irrigation.
Contact the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for the most recent Best Management Practices and follow them.
Use fertilizer only when soil tests indicate the need and use the minimum amount,
Create buffers of native vegetation around waterbodies and sinkholes
Keep livestock out of waterways and sinkholes.
Work with the Suwannee River Partnership to improve your farm and potentially obtain financial assistance to do so.