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and Landscape Maintenance Ordinance : A Tool for Improving Water - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Fertilizer Use & Application and Landscape Maintenance Ordinance : A Tool for Improving Water Quality in Pinellas County Overview Challenges The beginning: Leading the way Stakeholder workshops Understanding local

  1. Fertilizer Use & Application and Landscape Maintenance Ordinance : A Tool for Improving Water Quality in Pinellas County

  2. Overview • Challenges • The beginning: Leading the way • Stakeholder workshops • Understanding local issues • TBEP Regional Model Ordinance • Pinellas County Ordinance • Education campaign • Monitoring for success

  3. Local Challenges Aging Infrastructure & Information Gaps Development Poor Water History Quality Surface Limited Public Increasing Water Outreach Regulations Management Challenges Fewer Flooding and Resources Erosion Financial Needs Exceed Revenue

  4. The Beginning – Leading the Way • Regional leadership in water quality improvement • 32 public and private partners • Collaborative approach to meeting regulatory water quality goals for Tampa Bay • Nitrogen Management Consortium participants agreed to limits on nitrogen loads in Sept. 2009

  5. Stakeholder Workshops • TBEP facilitated four workshops in 2008 • Involved 42 private and public sector organizations (lawn care, environmental groups, IFAS, local governments, water quality scientists) • Consensus-based approach

  6. Local Considerations • Regional strategy • Takes into Account: – Area specific rainfall – Land use – Geology and soils – Understanding of local nutrient pollution sources – TMDL/NPDES – Fiscal responsibility • Strong Education Program

  7. Water Quality • ~74% of County waters are considered “impaired” • TMDLs and RAPs • NPDES permit requirements • EPA nutrient criteria • Tool in the tool box

  8. Pinellas County Land Use

  9. Geology • Areas of Karst geology • Wellhead protection • Aquifer recharge areas • Urban-compacted soils

  10. Understanding Local Pollution Sources • Evaluate nutrient sources • Extent of problem • Considerations for improvements • Common theme – Fertilizers are negatively impacting our aquatic resources

  11. Lake Tarpon Groundwater Study • Completed in 2004 • Designed to assess nutrient loads from groundwater • Potential sources: – Septic tanks – Reuse water – Fertilizer • Estimates: – 79% TN is from fertilizer

  12. Safety Harbor Study • Completed August 2009 • Summary: “Area is at or near a stage of eutrophication that impairs ecological health as measured by water quality, sediment quality, and the health of the benthic community.” • Nutrient source: “increased inorganic fertilizer sources”

  13. Joes Creek Nutrient Source Tracking Study • Final February 2010 • Key point: – Isotope testing suggests that fertilizers are the source of nitrogen loadings to Joe's Creek

  14. Enforceability and Fiscal Responsibility • Key Benefits of Summer Restriction and Retail Ban – Springboard to successful education and enforcement – Cost-effective method to improve compliance (built- in compliance with retail ban) – Simple, clear message for effective education – Managing nitrogen at the source is more cost effective than once it is in waterways

  15. Nutrient Economics • Stormwater retrofits can cost $40,000-$200,000 per ton nitrogen removed (SWFWMD) • Pinellas County Example: – Lake Seminole Stormwater Retrofits: • Capital Cost = ~$6.4 million • Annual O&M = ~$185,000 • N removed/year est. 1.45 tons/year – Pinellas County Fertilizer Ordinance: • Cost ~ $250,000/year • Annual O&M = periodic retail inspections, complaint response, educational materials • N removed/year ~27 tons with only a 50% ordinance compliance rate

  16. Pinellas County Ordinance Overview • Strategy • Timing • Fertilizer content and application rate • Exemptions • Training • Retail sales restrictions

  17. Strategies Integrated Asset Management Development Community and Engagement Source Control Policies Comprehensive Improve Responsive to Surface Water Existing Management Regulations Facilities Initiative Increased Inspections, Watershed Maintenance Planning and Monitoring Revenue

  18. Timing • Rainfall is variable statewide • Ordinance recognizes specific conditions • No N or P applied from June 1-Sept 30

  19. Fertilizer Content and Application Rates • No P without a soil test • No N fertilizer on new turf or landscapes for first 30 days • Granular N fertilizers used shall contain no less than 50% SRN • Application per BMP manual • Not to exceed annual rate: 4lbs of nitrogen/1000ft 2

  20. Exemptions • Agricultural operations and vegetable gardens • Yard waste, compost, soils, and mulches • Wholesalers who serve exempted groups • Partial exemption for golf courses and specialty turf

  21. Training and Education for Applicators • All applicators attend the State approved BMP training • Obtain FDACS “Limited Fertilizer Applicator” license • Display approved decal • Required to complete certification process within 1 year of ordinance adoption (01/19/2011)

  22. Training and Education for Landscape Maintenance • Requires training for maintenance companies • Training through Pinellas County or equivalent • Certification & decal • Required to complete certification process within 1 ½ yrs. of ordinance adoption (07/19/2011)

  23. Retail Sales • No retail sales of fertilizer containing N and/or P from June 1- Sept 30 • Retailers must post signage on the fertilizer ordinance • Granular fertilizers sold must contain no less than 50% SRN • Key to cost effective enforcement

  24. Comprehensive Education Program • TBEP Fertilizer Education Working Group – Focus groups – Marketing messages that work – Tools for retailers, landscape professionals, local government • Sustainable landscapes • Watershed education program

  25. Focus Group Initial Perceptions • Lush lawns require frequent fertilizing (every 2 weeks to 6x per year) • Must fertilize more frequently in rainy season (“it runs off too quickly”) • Information on fertilizing came from the bag, neighbors, or lawn care company • Few were aware of lawn runoff and where it goes • Prefer messages that provide clear, simple instructions !!

  26. Marketing Messages that Work

  27. Marketing Messages that Work

  28. Marketing Messages that Work

  29. Marketing Messages that Work

  30. Marketing Messages that Work

  31. Sustainable Landscapes • Florida-Friendly Landscaping TM – Not one size fits all • Better design and proper care – Soils, trimming and mowing, irrigation practices • Sound landscaping principles – Less water – Less chemicals – Less work

  32. Lessons Learned from Stakeholder and Focus Group Meetings • No enforcement = no compliance • Can’t buy it; can’t use it • Awareness in the industry = partnerships • Online training mechanisms are a must • Bilingual programs are critical • Streamlined processes • Adaptive management

  33. Outcomes • Licensed applicators – 1350 / 827 • Certified landscapers – 7265 • Increased awareness (UCF, 2014; Pinellas, ongoing) – No fertilizer during the summer – Nitrogen causes algae blooms – Where water flows – Impact of landscape debris on water quality

  34. Monitoring For Success • Countywide water quality monitoring – WQ Report card – Assess changes in WQ • Continued special studies – Assess sources of pollution • Fertilizer use statistics • Improved landscape maintenance practices • Surveys

  35. Discussion Questions:

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