Water Quality – What Can I Do
Most water pollutants come in three forms; toxics kill plants or animals, nutrients stimulate plant growth, and bacteria can cause disease or infections. The most common examples are:
· Toxics include fuels (gas and diesel), pesticides (lawn, bottom paint, copper);
· Nutrients include fertilizers (nitrogen and phosphorus), plant debris, trash and soil;
· Bacteria include sewage, and pet waste.
Here are some tips you can implement to minimize adverse impacts to surface waters. If you are in a condominium consider joining your landscape or storm water lake maintenance committee.
Poisons should be used carefully as intended and never disposed where they may be washed to storm drains. Here are some tips to help you limit adverse impacts.
· Copper exceeds water quality standards in several areas in Naples Bay. The primary source is likely algaecides used in storm water ponds. Other sources of copper include bottom paints and pressure treated wood. If you keep a boat in Naples Bay consider non-copper bottom paint or dry storage.
· Fuels: If possible fill tanks ashore. Know tank limits and don’t overfill, absorb spills, check fuel lines for damage; and replace with alcohol resistant hoses.
· Check your car or truck for drips and oil leaks regularly and fix them promptly.
· Use pesticides only when necessary. Do not use weed and feed fertilizers.
· Properly dispose of toxic wastes (fuels, oils, batteries, pesticides) in
Lee or Collier counties.
Storm water runoff can carry fertilizer, plant debris, and or soil into surface waters. Things you can do to minimize storm water discharges from your property include:
·Reduce fertilizer, use only as needed during growing season (Naples and Lee County no fertilizer applications from Jun. to Oct.);
· If you use reclaimed water for irrigation then reduce fertilizer, (http://www.colliergov.net/Modules/ShowDocument.aspx?documentid=41873)
· Make sure down spouts are directed away from paved surfaces to allow infiltration;
· Use a rain barrel to catch rain and use the stored rain to water plants;
· Retain runoff in your landscape by creating a rain garden;
· Minimize erosion by maintaining runoff flow ways with plants or stone that stabilize soils;
· Pick up and properly manage litter.
· Utilize Florida Friendly landscaping practices.
· Wash vehicles where water will infiltrate soil or at commercial facilities that recycle water.
Collier County bays and estuaries are designated Class 2 Shellfish harvesting so they are extremely sensitive to bacterial contamination. Actions you can take to help include:
· When boating utilize restrooms on shore if possible;
· Never discharge raw sewage;
· Bag and properly dispose pet waste.