Use Fertilizer & Pesticides Appropriately

When too much fertilizer and pesticide is applied to landscapes, it seeps past the root zone of the grass, plants or trees and into the aquifer or other bodies of water.  Plants, animals and people depend on clean water for survival.

  • Consider Florida Friendly Landscaping to reduce the need for fertilizer.
  • Follow directions on the packaging and apply sparingly.
  • If you fertilize, use slow release fertilizer.
  • Use iron instead of nitrogen to “green up” your lawn.
  • Avoid applying fertilizer or pesticides if heavy rain is on the way.
  • Avoid applying fertilizer and pesticides within 10 feet of rivers, streams, sinkholes, lakes, ponds or drainage ditches.

Discard chemicals properly

Household toxic wastes, such as paints, solvents, automobile fluids, cleaning chemicals, pesticides and expired pharmaceuticals, if improperly disposed of, can seep through the soil and into our drinking water and springs. Properly labeled household toxic wastes may be disposed of properly by contacting the Columbia County Solid Waste Facility at 386-752-6050

Maintain Septic Tanks

While septic tanks do a good job of neutralizing harmful bacteria and viruses from human waste, septic tanks are not designed to remove high concentrations of organic nutrients that are harmful to springs. Release of nutrients from your septic system may be minimized with the following actions.

  • Conserve water – the less water you use, the less wastewater your septic system will have to process.
  • The Florida Department of Health recommends you pump and inspect your septic tank every four to five years to minimize sludge build-up.
  • Stop leaks.  A leaking toilet flap can push hundreds of gallons of wastewater into your septic tank every day.
  • Contact Sallie Graddy or Douglas Keaton at the Columbia County Health Department at (386) 758-1058 for more information.

Conserve water

Water escapes the aquifer in only two ways. It is either drawn out by human consumption or it flows naturally from springs. The Ichetucknee Springs Recharge Basin is, in a sense, a giant bathtub. To keep Ichetucknee flowing at historical levels, Columbia County residents should take reasonable steps to reduce groundwater use.

Ways to save indoors:

  • Fix leaky toilets, faucets and pipes.
  • Upgrade to water efficient toilets and shower heads.
  • Run the dishwasher and washing machine only with full loads.

Ways to save outdoors:


Copyright 2013 Ichetucknee Partnership


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