run off soil fertilizerCounty warns that improper lawn care could lead to water contamination

FREEHOLD, NJ – The Monmouth County Health Department reminds residents to be cautious when putting down fertilizers this spring as an excess of fertilizers and over-watering can lead to contamination of our water supply.

“Waste water runoff is a major component polluting our waterways,” said Freeholder John P. Curley, liaison to the County Health Department.  “Proper lawn irrigation practices will help protect our waterways and save homeowners time and money.”

No matter where a property is, storm water can carry fertilizers, pesticides, motor oil and other pollutants directly into our waterways.

“This spring many residents will be out tending to their lawns and in some areas, such as areas that may have been damaged by Superstorm Sandy, there may be a tendency to over-fertilize,” said Freeholder Deputy Director Serena DiMaso, liaison to the Shade Tree Commission. “Residents need to be aware that what they do to their lawn or property can impact our waterways even if they do not live near water.”

The Monmouth County Shade Tree Commission advises residents to irrigate when the soil is nearly dry and take care to water only the lawn, not the sidewalk or the driveway.

“Irrigating slowly will ensure that water doesn’t run off or compact the soil,” said DiMaso. “Using a rain barrel to collect water for irrigation will save you money, too.”

Residents should also test their soil before selecting and applying fertilizers to make certain that they are using the proper products and reducing the risk for over-fertilizing and water contamination.

For more information about water pollution control visit the Environmental and Consumer Health page on

If you have questions about your garden or lawn care, call the Monmouth County Master Gardener’s helpline at 732-303-7614 or stop by the Horticultural Library at Deep Cut Gardens on Red Hill Road in Middletown.