Prevent Water Pollution - Green Landscaping

Lake Minnehaha

What Is Stormwater Pollution?

Maitland has 21 scenic lakes in a 6.5-square-mile area. Many of these lakes are surrounded by development, which contributes to large amounts of rain runoff with each storm. The initial flush of stormwater that does not evaporate or soak into the soil often washes across lawns, parking lots, roads and other surfaces, picking up all kinds of pollutants that can be collected by drainage systems, flowing out to retention areas, ponds and natural lakes.


Polluted storm runoff contributes to poor water quality and algal blooms in our lakes. Storm runoff can erode shorelines destroying aquatic habitats, which harms and can kill fish and wildlife. By changing a few habits, we can all reduce stormwater impacts and help keep our community clean, safe and healthy.

Start at Home

  • Help control litter by securing trash cans to keep animals out.
  • Inspect and pump septic tanks regularly. Use non-hazardous household cleaning products.
  • Never allow anything but rainwater to flow into the street and down storm drains.
  • Use paints, solvents and cleaners sparingly. Store properly to avoid spilling.
  • When using water-based paint, brush-out as much paint as possible, then rinse brushes and rollers in the sink. (If you have a septic tank then rinse them over the grass.) Take unwanted paint to a hazardous waste collection center.

Yard Fertilizers

  • Do not apply chemicals/fertilizers before heavy rains, avoiding fertilizing between June 1 to September 30. Use mulch (not cypress) to prevent weeds and erosion.
  • Adopt practices that prevent pest problems and decrease chemical use. Identify pests before spraying and use the least-toxic pesticide. Buy pesticide in amounts you will use and follow label directions.
  • Install swales and rain gardens to keep stormwater on site. Use phosphorus-free fertilizers. Use fertilizers containing at least 50% slow-release nitrogen.
  • For lawns, apply no more than one pound total nitrogen per 1000 square feet at any one application. If you use a broadcast spreader, it must have a deflector shield.
  • Keep all fertilizers, year round, at least 15 feet away from wetlands or surface waters.

Yard Waste

  • Use leaves and pine needles as mulch. Compost yard waste and kitchen scraps.

Conserve Irrigation

  • Utilize Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ principles. Turn off irrigation during Florida’s rainy season (June 1 to September 30). Install a rain or moisture sensor. Direct sprinkler heads toward the landscape, away from paved surfaces. Inspect sprinkler heads and downspouts often and repair when needed.
  • Use a rain barrel to capture runoff to use later for irrigation. Fix leaky hoses and dripping outside faucets.

Cars, Pools & Pets

  • Take your vehicle to a car wash or wash your car on the lawn to reduce runoff. Use a nozzle to shut off water while washing.
  • Always discharge water from your pool to slowly percolate into a landscaped area, after chlorine and saline levels are at zero. Never discharge your pool, spa, or fountain water to a driveway, sidewalk, street, storm drain or stormwater pond.
  • Treat pet cleaning dip and other flea protection products as household hazardous waste. Never dispose of flea dip on the ground, in storm drain or down a sink. Check with your veterinarian for alternative safe tick and flea treatments.
  • Pick up pet waste.

Maintain Wetland Buffer & Shore Vegetation

  • Replant white-sand beaches with native aquatic vegetation.
  • If you have waterfront property or live next to a wetland, maintain a 25 foot buffer zone (a planted area with no fertilizing or mowing) between your landscaping and any delineated wetland or waterway’s normal high water mark. This plant buffer will help to capture nutrients before entering the waterway.