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A good lake, one that is ecologically balanced, has a bluish color, good clarity, and a balanced amount of algae and shoreline vegetation. Over hundreds or thousands of years lakes will gradually become nutrient rich. Man has greatly accelerated this process by diverting untreated stormwater runoff into the lakes. Nutrient rich lakes can be identified by their green or brown color, their poor water clarity, and their cattails, torpedo grass, hydrilla, and alga blooms.

The "Maitland for Quality" program has been designed to promote limiting the amount of nutrients that will be available for stormwater to pick up and carry into the lakes. The goal of this program is to vastly improve the lakes' future chances of recovery, while saving the City hundreds of thousands of dollars in retrofit money. By controlling the amounts of phosphorus applied to lawns, modifying application practices, and educating its citizens, the City hopes to endorse an environmentally sensitive approach to saving the lakes by encouraging businesses and residents to become involved in utilizing Best Management Practices (BMPs) designed to help protect the lakes.

The Lakes Advisory Board (LAB), together with the Friends of Maitland's Waterways, and four of the largest turfgrass management companies in Central Florida developed this lake-friendly, yard care program. The "Maitland for Quality" accreditation will be available to all businesses that agree to display the program's logo and follow the BMPs listed in this brochure. Maitland citizens can support this program by hiring businesses that display the program's logo.

Businesses displaying the Maitland for Quality logo have agreed to be environmentally sensitive while doing business in Maitland by implementing the following practices:
  1. Using phosphorous free fertilizers exclusively.
  2. Using supplemental phosphorous applications after soil testing verifies need.
  3. Using Integrated Pest Management practices.
  4. Preventing contamination of waterways and stormwater conveyances when applying fertilizers and pesticides by maintaining a 10-foot buffer from the lake's edge.
  5. Remove fertilizer debris from impervious surfaces to minimize runoff and pollution.
  6. Use spot applications to avoid drift onto non-target areas.
  7. Train application technicians in the proper use of the product:
    1. Follow proper practices/judgment for the mixing chemicals in the field
    2. Use of a self containment or spillage tray when mixing chemicals
    3. Consider weather changes to avoid drifting induced by wind or rainstorms.
  8. Provide customer with educational materials, list of chemicals used and the amounts used, and written recommendations for future service needs.

The proper use of fertilizers and BMP's will prevent the pollution of the lakes
Help promote changing Maitland's nutrient-rich lakes back to balanced ecosystems. A forty-pound bag of 6-6-6 fertilizer contains almost two and one half pounds of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Green plants and grass need these nutrients to be healthy. These same nutrients, in the lakes, however, stimulate uncontrolled growth of undesirable plants. Phosphorus is especially harmful. About twenty percent of the lawns in Maitland are treated professionally, leaving eighty percent treated by homeowners, or by the independent lawn care services hired by the homeowner. Following the City's Stormwater/Lakes Management Plan, hundreds of thousands of dollars are currently being spent to retrofit the City's stormwater drainage system so that nutrients can be removed before they reach the lakes. Costs for removing one pound of phosphorus is estimated at $12,000.

Check the fertilizer bag and look for "zero" available phosphate Limit the amount of available phosphorus used in Maitland by purchasing and using phosphorus-free fertilizers only, and by hiring independent lawn care services or professional turfgrass management companies who display the program's logo.

The appropriate use of phosphorus free fertilizers in our yards will help keep Maitland lakes blue, and yards green.

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