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Lawn Fertilization and Wells: A Guide to Preventing Fertilizer Pollution in Water

More than 15 million households in the United States rely on a private home well for their drinking water. That number grows even larger when you realize it does not include the many businesses that also rely on well water for normal operations.

Learn how to prevent well contamination from lawn fertilization below.

How to Prevent Lawn Fertilization Pollution in Your Well

It doesn’t matter if you need to protect your home well or the well used to irrigate hundreds of acres of farmland. The following 5 tips will help you avoid well water contamination from fertilizer.

1. Proper Storage

Prevent fertilizer pollution in water by properly storing your fertilizers when not using them. Choose a secure location that’s safe from flames, animals, children, vandals, and the elements.

Choose a covered, well-ventilated space. It should contain a secondary method of containment in case a spill does occur. This usually means a hard, impermeable floor with no drainage.

2. Best Practices for Mixing and Loading

Apply the same thought process when choosing a place to mix and load your fertilizers. You may only spill a little bit, but do it enough times and fertilizer ends up in the water. The fertilizer accumulates in the soil then runs off during a rainstorm.

Always mix and load over an impermeable pad, if possible. Some popular manufactured brands even allow you to recycle excess liquid rinsate collected in the pad.

If you can’t use an impermeable pad, avoid mixing near wellheads and move the site every year. Be careful when filling any equipment and aim to use a closed system for transfers whenever possible.

3. Plan for Spill Cleanup

Create a solid plan of what to do in case of a spill. Small spills only become a problem when you do not take action to clean them up. Know how you plan to clean both dry and liquid spills so you deal with them as quick as possible.

For large spills, contact the Division of Environmental Response and Remediation (DERR) in the Department of Environmental Quality

4. Disposal of Containers

If you purchase your fertilizer in bulk, the manufacturer generally takes care of the containers for you.

If you use bagged fertilizers at home, you need to pay more attention. Be sure you always dispose of all fertilizer containers at a sanitary landfill away from your home well and other water sources.

5. Appropriate Application 

Finally, knowing exactly how much fertilizer you need can prevent many contaminations. Applying too much fertilizer means some doesn’t get absorbed. If it has nowhere else to go, it leaks into your well.

Record how much fertilizer you use to help calculate your application the following year. It saves you money and minimizes the risk of polluting your well and local waterways.

Build a Better Well in Arizona

Now you should better understand how to prevent well water contaminants from fertilizer. You don’t need to stop all lawn fertilization. Just pay attention to how and where you use your lawn fertilizer.

Have you already got well water issues near Phoenix, Arizona?

You may need to contact Empire Pump Corporation. They specialize in installing and rehabilitating water well systems in agricultural, industrial, commercial, and residential settings.

Empire Pump Corporation also offers well water testing so you can know for sure if you have a problem or not. Contact them today at 623-582-5069!


Are you concerned about lawn fertilizer or other contaminants in your well water? We can help! In addition to being the top residential water well pump replacement company in Phoenix , Empire Pump specializes in water testing and well water treatment to ensure that you have safe drinking water from your well. Call 623-582-5069 now to schedule an appointment or to have your questions answered!

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