Illinois Community Bans Phosphorus Fertilizer

Libertyville ordinance prohibits homeowners, renters and businesses from applying phosphorus, with few exceptions.

A community roughly 40 miles northwest of Chicago has become yet another from around the country to ban the use of fertilizers containing phosphorus.

A story in the Daily Herald, a newspaper based in Arlington Heights, IL, reported how another nearby community, Libertyville, is enacting a new rule as of March 1 that is designed to protect water quality in lakes, streams and ponds.

Libertyville's ordinance prohibits homeowners, renters and commercial businesses from applying fertilizer containing phosphorus to lawn or turf areas, impervious surfaces, drainage areas or buffer zones. Exceptions include areas determined by soil tests to be lacking in phosphorus, flower beds, vegetable gardens, newly seeded or sodded lawns, and crop farms. Violators can be fined $100 to $1,000 per offense.

According to the report, Libertyville is the 11th Lake County community to ban the use of fertilizers containing phosphorus. Vernon Hills banned phosphorus in 2009. Others include Antioch, Lindenhurst, Round Lake Park and Round Lake Beach.

Mike Adam, senior biologist with the Lake County Health Department, said, "The fertilizer industry has kind of responded and taken out phosphorus from a lot of the lawn fertilizers already. In many cases, you don't need phosphorus for a healthy lawn."