Our air is cleansed by plants through the process of photosynthesis. Green plants take in carbon dioxide and water and use the energy from sunlight in photosynthesis, which produces carbohydrates for the plant to live off of and releases the true breath of life ...pure oxygen.
* A turf area 50' x 50' produces enough oxygen to meet the every day needs of a family of four and each acre of grass produces enough oxygen for 64 people a day.
* One acre of grass produces more oxygen per year than one acre of rainforest.
* The grass and trees along our country's interstate system produce enough oxygen to support 22 million people.
* Turfgrass is the best defense against soil erosion. Grass binds the soil more effectively than any other plant. The reason is that each grass plant has an extensive root system. Up to 90% of the weight of a grass plant is in its roots. A single grass plant grown under ideal conditions has over 300 miles of roots.
* Healthy turf areas absorb rainfall 6 times more effectively than a wheat field and 4 times better than a hay field. A thick healthy lawn reduces runoff to next to nothing. No wonder newly excavated earth is so quickly replanted in turfgrass.
* Runoff can be reduced by establishing new lawns and turfgrass areas. The biology of turfgrass makes lawns a near ideal medium for the biodegradation of all sorts of environmental contamination. Turfgrass purifies the water as it leaches through the root zone and down into our underground aquifers. Soil microbes help break down chemicals into harmless materials. This filtration system is so effective rain water filtered through a good healthy lawn is often as much as 10 times less acidic than water running off a hard surface.
* The cooling properties of turf are so effective that temperatures over turfed surfaces on a sunny summer day will be 10 - 14 degrees cooler than over concrete or asphalt. Or to put it another way, consider the fact that on a block of eight average homes, the front lawns have the cooling effect of 70 tons of air conditioning!
NOTE: The above survey data was collected by the Maryland Agricultural Statistics Service which also tabulated the results and wrote the findings.
AS OF JANUARY 2009, IN SUFFOLK COUNTY NEW YORK, YOU MAY NOT APPLY ANY FERTILIZER TO LAWNS FROM NOVEMBER 1 THRU APRIL 1 OF EVERY YEAR. THIS LOCAL LAW (#41-2007) WAS PAST TO PROTECT LONG ISLAND SURFACE AND GROUND WATER FROM POTENTIAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES RELATED TO NITRATE CONTAMINATION.
We must all work together to help keep Long Island's water safe. Hermann Lindau & Son, Inc. has completed the required Suffolk County Nitrogen Fertilizer Turf Management Course given by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County.
Dishwasher Detergent and Nutrient Runoff Law
The Dishwasher Detergent and Nutrient Runoff Law (Chapter 205 of the laws of 2010), was signed into law by the Governor on July 15, 2010. This law will improve water quality in New York by reducing phosphorus runoff into the State's waterbodies. It will also reduce costs to local governments and private entities required to remove excess phosphorus from stormwater and wastewater, and will improve recreational and other uses of the state's waters.
The Dishwasher Detergent and Nutrient Runoff Law amends section 35-105 and adds a new Title 21 to Article 17 of the Environmental Conservation Law.
Prohibit the use of phosphorus-containing lawn fertilizer unless establishing a new lawn or a soil test shows that the lawn does not have enough phosphorus.
Prohibit the application of lawn fertilizer on impervious surfaces and require pick up of fertilizer applied or spilled onto impervious surfaces.
Prohibit the application of lawn fertilizer within 20 feet of any surface water except: where there is a vegetative buffer of at least 10 feet; or where the fertilizer is applied by a device with a spreader guard, deflector shield or drop spreader at least three feet from surface water
Prohibit the application of lawn fertilizer between December 1st and April 1st
Require retailers to display phosphorus containing fertilizers separately from non-phosphorus fertilizers and to post an educational sign where the phosphorus-containing fertilizers are displayed.
This provision DOES NOT impact agricultural fertilizer or fertilizer for gardens
Picking the Right Fertilizer Fertilizer labels have three bold numbers. The number in the middle is the percentage of phosphorus in the product, e.g. 22-0-15. Use of products with 0.67 in the middle or lower is not restricted. Products with a number higher than 0.67 may only be used if a new lawn is being established or a soil test indicates it is necessary.
Getting a Soil Test The NYS DEC recommends that soil testing be done by a laboratory that routinely performs soil nutrient analysis testing. The results tend to be more accurate than home test kits and most labs will also provide fertilizer application recommendations. Labs can be found through a web search or through the local Cornell University County Cooperative Extension office. Please see "Offsite Links" at the right. Tests generally cost in the $10 to $20 range (in 2010). Soil may also be tested using a test kit, but these tests tend to be less accurate and do not come with fertilizer recommendations.
Beginning August 14, 2010, the law prohibits the sale of newly stocked, phosphorus-containing dishwasher detergents for household use. Retailers may sell-through any inventory of phosphorus-containing dishwasher detergent in stock as of August 14 for 60 days, or until October 13, 2010.
Starting on July 1, 2013, the law prohibits the sale of phosphorus-containing dishwasher detergents for commercial use.
There is no change to the phosphorus limits for detergents used to clean dairy equipment or food processing equipment.
Retailers and distributors of dishwasher detergents and lawn fertilizers
Landscapers and lawn care professionals
Households, consumers, anyone managing lawns
Why is this law important?
Phosphorus impacts our water.Phosphorus enters the environment in many ways. Wastewater treatment plants (WWTP), defective septic systems, agricultural runoff, fertilizer, manure, decomposing leaves, and urban/suburban runoff all contribute phosphorus to the environment. Phosphorus going into the State's water has been linked to: reductions in oxygen in waterbodies necessary for fish to breathe; algae that turn water bodies green; and algae and algae by-products that degrade drinking water.
Detergents and lawn fertilizer can have unnecessary phosphorus.New York took action to reduce phosphorus in most household products in the early 1970's, eliminating its use in hand dish soap and laundry detergents but exempted dishwasher detergent, which was not very common at the time. Fertilizers contain phosphorus to help spur plant growth. However, in many areas of the State, sufficient phosphorus to foster lawn growth is naturally occurring or exists due to many years of over fertilization. Phosphorus from dishwasher detergents and lawn fertilizer has the potential to significantly affect t New York State's water resources.
Dishwasher detergents may contain up to 9% phosphorus and can account for 9% to 34% of total phosphorus in municipal wastewater.
Lawn fertilizer contains up to 3% phosphorus and can account for up to 50% of the soluble phosphorus in stormwater runoff from lawn areas. While automatic dishwasher detergent and lawn fertilizer are only two sources of phosphorus, they are sources that are easy and inexpensive to control.
Local governments can save money at no cost to consumers. This law will help local governments to reduce phosphorus loads and meet water quality standards in areas where there is excessive phosphorus. Over 100 waterbodies in New York are impaireddue to phosphorus including: the East of Hudson New York City Watershed; Lake Champlain; Onondaga Lake; Cayuga Lake; parts of Lake Ontario; and the Chesapeake Bay watershed.
Removing phosphorus at a WWTP costs approximately $1 to $20 per pound. By reducing levels of phosphorus entering the environment, communities can save through the use of less chemical treatment and the generation of less sludge.
Preventing phosphorus from getting into stormwater is cost effective compared to building phosphorus control systems, which can be very costly to municipalities (local taxpayers).