Florida’s many lakes and water systems may appear large and numerous, but they are immensely delicate. Irresponsible use of fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides and lack of care in invasive species management have put Florida’s water systems at risk.
Florida’s aquifers are the source of our drinking water. Our aquifers are replenished only through the natural process of “recharge,” which occurs when surface water filters down through layers of soil, clay, and limestone to return to the aquifer system deep underground. Orange County has developed numerous innovative solutions to preserving our groundwater supply, including water reclamation facilities for irrigation use.
Fertilizer and Our Water
Orange County has introduced a series of protections for our water based on the proper use and application of fertilizers. Improper use of fertilizers in both commercial and residential applications is a direct cause of pollution in our state’s water bodies. Excess nitrogen and phosphorous (the key nutrients in most lawn fertilizers) are washed away and end up in our lakes, rivers, and springs. The resulting algae blooms and pollution can trigger fish kills and increase water toxicity. To find out how and when you can safely apply fertilizer to your lawn, visit www.ocfl.net/FertilizeResponsibly
Planting native Florida species along our lakes and waterways goes a long way in preserving ecosystems. Not only does shoreline planting prevent erosion from wind and water, but it also helps mitigate nutrient pollution runoff from lawns, agriculture, and recreational spaced like golf courses. To find out how you can sustainably plant your shoreline, visit the University of Florida’s resource page here.
Water Quality in Florida
Living in Florida, it’s easy to take for granted the luscious springs, lakes and rivers. But what was an abundance before, is now in peril. All rivers in Orange County and 75% of our largest lakes are impaired.
Recently, in Orange County, Charter Amendment #1 passed and holds corporations and government entities accountable when they knowingly pollute our waters.
Believing that access to clean water is a fundamental right, Commissioner Wilson serves on Orange County’s Water Cooperative Board.
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