Changes to Landscape Fertilizer and Irrigation Regulations within Alachua County

​Various changes to the countywide Alachua County Water Quality Code designed to protect water quality and groundwater supplies go into effect on October 1, 2019.

Changes to the landscape fertilizer regulations prohibit the use of fertilizers with nitrogen from July through February and require that fertilizers containing nitrogen contain no less than 50% slow-release nitrogen. New regulations also prohibit phosphorus unless a deficiency is verified. The three numbers on a fertilizer bag are nitrogen, then phosphorus, and finally potassium. This means the middle number on the bag must be zero unless you have conducted a soil or tissue test to verify the need for phosphorus. Signage about the fertilizer rules must be displayed at all stores that sell fertilizer and Alachua County Environmental Protection (ACEPD) staff are currently distributing signage.

Major changes to the landscape irrigation regulations also go into effect October 1, 2019. Irrigation design standards will be applicable within city and town limits, which means all new irrigation systems (or major modifications to existing systems) within Alachua County will go through an approval process to ensure that they meet new efficiency standards. Additionally, all new automatic landscape irrigation systems (or systems that are modified by 50% or more) must have a soil moisture sensor-based controller or a weather-based controller to avoid irrigation during sufficient rainfall. Homeowners installing their own systems must also comply with the Code and are encouraged to call Water Resources staff at 352-264-6800 for assistance.

For more information, visit the Alachua County Water Resources website or contact ACEPD Water Resources Program Manager Stacie Greco at 352-264-6829 or Sgreco@alachuacounty.us.

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