An edition of: WaterAtlas.orgPresented By: Seminole County, USF Water Institute

Water-Related News

UF/IFAS: Timing of fertilizer ordinances impacts water quality

A new publication by University of Florida scientists on the efficacy of fertilizer ordinances provides an overview of a previously published study that found local fertilizer ordinances can improve water quality, but the timing of ordinances can influence their effectiveness.

The results of this prior study suggest that more research is needed into how and why different ordinances are more or less effective.

Scientists also agree that studies should consider other drivers impacting water quality trends such as toxins or waste from septic and sewage systems and fossil fuel emissions.

The just-published ASK IFAS document synthesizes a 2022 published study led by scientists at UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS). Researchers investigated the long-term impacts of fertilizer ordinances across 160 lakes throughout Florida. The ASK IFAS document also provides additional takeaways on other studies that could help mitigate quality problems.

“This ASK IFAS document is written to summarize the prior scientific publication for non-experts, including UF/IFAS Extension faculty, local regulatory officials, green industry professionals, and concerned citizens,” said A.J. Reisinger, an assistant professor in the UF/IFAS department of soil, water and ecosystem sciences and one of the authors of the study. We encourage the readers to use this information to highlight the effectiveness of fertilizer ordinances, but we also recognize the complex nature of water-quality issues.”