Pesticides, Herbicides, & Stormwater

Pesticides / Herbicides

Pesticides and herbicides are chemicals used to kill "pests." A poison to animal, plant, or both! Over - application and applications where pesticides or herbicides mix with stormwater runoff can result in "non-pests" being killed. The natural environment becomes damaged. In the stormwater business, we are concerned with the impact on those "non-pests" who live in our lakes, canals, rivers, and bay. And also those creatures who drink the water, bathe in the water, and who feed on the ones that live in the water. They all can be severely affected by a chemically-contaminated environment. We have similar concerns for the plant life. Then comes you…would you swim in, drink, or eat a fish from pesticide or herbicide contaminated water? Not me!

Important tips 

We strongly urge you to closely read the application instructions printed on the pesticide or herbicide container. Take special note of usage precautions that relate to fish and other aquatic organisms. Secondly, be aware of the fact that the poison you apply can be carried by rainfall runoff into a nearby surface water body. Use the minimum recommended amount and be sure not to overspread. If the application area slopes into a nearby water body, extra precautions must be taken such as constructing a small earth berm near the water body to contain the runoff on the land side. The FDEP Swale Brochure has a good picture of a berm application adjacent to a lake.


Fertilizer is food. Feeding your lawn can result in overfeeding the aquatic plants in a nearby lake or waterway when the fertilizers are transported there by stormwater runoff. Overfed aquatic plants multiply rapidly, die-off quickly, and their decomposing remains use up large quantities of the oxygen contained in the water body. The resulting low or no oxygen environment causes the death of fish and other living creatures. In the end, we have a water body that stinks and is an eyesore to all. Not to mention, devoid of life!

We avoid causing damage to the aquatic environment in the same manner that we do with pesticides and herbicides. Read the label, follow the instructions, and use the minimum recommended application. Simple! And throw in a berm, if the situation warrants it, to keep that plant food out of the water.

Remember to use pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers only if there is a real need and carefully. The health of our water environment is at stake.

Report Illegal Dumping

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