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Phosphorus Fertilizer Prohibition

June 2, 2017 03:03 PM

Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for healthy plant growth; however, it is already present in sufficient levels in local soils. The application of excess phosphorus degrades water quality by causing excessive growth of algae and other aquatic plants, depleting dissolved oxygen and reducing biodiversity. Since reducing phosphorus runoff protects water quality, Winnetka’s Environmental and Forestry Commission was directed by the Village Council to develop an ordinance banning the use of phosphorus-containing fertilizers in Winnetka. The Ordinance was adopted by the Village Council on March 21, 2017.

State law already prohibits the application of phosphorus-containing fertilizers by commercial enterprises. The Village’s ordinance complements the state law, and allows exceptions for the Park District, for residents whose phosphorus levels are low, and for newly sodded or seeded lawns. Phosphorus-free and organic fertilizers are an effective alternative that can be found at most hardware stores. If you have any questions, please contact the Public Works Department at 847-716-3568.  Click here to see a green gardening guide by the Solid Waste Agency of Northern Cook County.


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