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Lawn Treatments Around Water

Having a healthy green lawn is important for a host of reasons, such as increased home value, improved outdoor aesthetics and an enhanced quality of life. But these benefits cannot come at the cost of potentially harming local waterways. In NH, there are very specific professional guidelines and rules that must be adhered to in order to protect our public and private waterways such as wells, streams, lakes, and ponds.

To protect our water, there are rules that define what can and cannot be applied to turf grass including very specific rules about how close to water these products can be applied. For instance, while fertilizers may be used, they are not allowed to be used closer than 25ft from any body of water. Even more specifically and in both NH and VT, the type of fertilizers used cannot contain phosphate (P) and must be in a slow-release formulation to help minimize potential movement into surrounding lakes and ponds. These guidelines apply to professionals as well as individual homeowners, as we all have the responsibility to do the right thing to protect our water resources.

Any water source this is used for drinking has even stricter rules for obvious reasons. This includes surface waterways, wells, and watersheds. The rule is clear – no treatments within 250ft of the water supply itself or those streams/brooks/rivers feeding into the lake or pond within five miles of the source intake! Yes, really. These setbacks must be adhered to unless you a have a special permit waiver that allows for a licensed applicator to apply a very limited group of products used to control weeds, pests and diseases.

This very limited group of products have been determined to be of minimal risk and safe for use around waterways closer than the allowed 250ft. This is important in lake communities as many landscapes are close to the water. A special permit waiver allows some of these landscape areas to be treated in legal and ethical ways while still preserving water quality. This strict waiver request must be submitted annually and approved by multiple NH state agencies including the Department of Environmental Services, Department of Pesticide Control, Fish and Game, State Entomologist, Division of Public Health and Department of Resource Economics & Development. That is quite a list!

Chippers is proud to request and receive a special permit each year, including 2018, that allows us to treat lawns, tree and shrubs around the Sunapee water supply. This includes the towns of Sunapee, Newbury, Georges Mills and New London. Our elite list of approved products and professionally-licensed employees embody our company’s commitment to protect and respect the environment while equally helping protect our clients’ valuable landscapes.