Some of the key problems affecting Jacksonville’s lakes, streams, and rivers are caused by us- local homeowners and business owners. Everyone that lives in Duval county lives and probably works in what is considered an Impact Zone, meaning we are in a close enough proximity to major waterways and the aquifer to effect water quality on a local level and beyond. Some of the things that we should all be aware of:
Nutrients from fertilizers, septic tanks and animal wastes enter our waters causing excessive growth of algae and aquatic weeds. Try natural and organic fertilizers. If you are not willing to make the switch, use your fertilizers sparingly, and be aware of forecasted rain and over-watering to prevent any runoff. Make sure you read the instructions and not over apply.
Heavy metals and pesticides can kill aquatic organisms and contaminate ground water. Similar as in the above paragraph- use as little as you can get away with. Also, you can try natural means of removing weeds and unwanted vegetation.
Bacteria from septic tanks and animal wastes will contaminate shellfish and other marine life and can be harmful to humans. Please make sure your system is functioning properly and report any issues that you may see around town.
Sediments from soil erosion can clog fish gills and shellfish filtering systems by cutting off their oxygen supply.
The only thing that should be going down storm drains is water. Pollutants that should be watched for: Sand, Dirt, Oil, Grease, Weed Killers, Pesticides, Fertilizers, Yard Clippings, Pet Waste, Constructions Waste, Concentrated Household Cleaners and Soaps, and many others. You may see some variations of this reminder sign stamped to storm drains around Jacksonville.