The District’s Governing Board, along with the Florida Legislature and Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection, declared April Springs Protection Awareness Month. There are many actions you can take at home to help protect springs.
A spring only is as healthy as its springshed, which is the area of land that contributes water to a spring. Activities within springsheds impact groundwater, and therefore, affect the water flowing from a spring. Help protect local springs by following these five tips at home:
1. Use fertilizer sparingly. Too much fertilizer applied to landscapes can seep into the aquifer or run off into nearby waterways. Use these Florida-Friendly Fertilizing tips to reduce impacts when fertilizing, or hire a Green Industries Best Management Practices certified professional to maintain your lawn.
2. Have septic tanks inspected every two to three years. Septic tanks that are not properly maintained can pollute the groundwater that ultimately emerges from springs.
3. Never dump anything down a storm drain and always dispose of grass clippings, litter, motor oil and pet waste properly to avoid these items entering stormwater ponds, which help prevent flooding and filter out pollutants before they reach water bodies.
4. Plant a buffer zone between the lawn and shoreline and avoid cutting your lawn too short, which reduces its ability to capture and filter water before it enters a stormwater pond or water body.
5. Always dispose of hazardous household chemicals such as industrial cleaners, solvents, automotive fluids and paints at an approved landfill. Never discard of these items or other debris into a sinkhole, which are often directly connected to the aquifer. As a result, hazardous contaminants can seep into the aquifer, our drinking water and springs.
For more ways you can join us in the community effort to restore our springs, click here.