Oklahoma City officials warn resident against too much fertilizer

A sprinkler waters the grass on Bascom Hill at University of Wisconsin-Madison during a summer morning on June 25, 2012. This week’s forecast calls for increasingly hot, dry weather with temperatures well into the 90s and much-needed rain nowhere in sight. (Photo by Jeff Miller/UW-Madison)

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OKLAHOMA CITY – With spring upon us, many Oklahomans are working to make sure their lawns are immaculate.

As a result, some of those residents will turn to fertilizer to make their lawns lush.

However, Oklahoma City officials are warning residents to be careful when using fertilizer because it can pollute rivers and streams.

“Local studies indicate that many homeowners unknowingly over apply fertilizer on their lawns,” Raymond Melton, environmental protection manager, said. “This can lead to polluted waterways.”

The EPA reports that fertilizer can cause too much nitrogen and phosphorus in the water, harming water quality and wildlife.

Officials suggest that you have your soil tested to determine how much fertilizer you need. Also apply fertilizer during dry weather and on a day with little to no wind.

Experts say you should also bag or mulch excess yard trimmings from sidewalks and driveways to reduce fertilizer and pesticides from blowing into storm drains. Avoid overwatering and consider mulching to reduce the need to fertilize.

Store any unused fertilizer in a dry area, or recycle it at the Household Hazardous Waste Facility.

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