Fertilizers pollute waterways

  • Nutrients in fertilizer fuel the growth of algae.
  • Algal blooms can occur almost overnight, which lead to bad odors and potentially toxic conditions.
  • Bacteria that eat dead algae use up a lot of dissolved oxygen, suffocating fish and other aquatic life.
  • Strawberry Creek drains into San Francisco Bay, where algal blooms cause severe detrimental impacts on marine life.

What can I do?

Use organically-sourced fertilizers. They break down more slowly and are generally less soluble in water than synthetic fertilizers.

Avoid applying any fertilizers (organic or synthetic) where they can wash into natural waterways and storm drains. The State Water Board mandates the following boundaries. Apply at least:

  • 5 feet away from pavement
  • 25 feet away from a storm drain inlet
  • 50 feet away from a waterway (like a creek)

When applying any fertilizers,

  • strictly follow label directions
  • use as little as possible
  • apply when no rain is predicted within the next two days