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Water Quality and Use

  MG Manual Reference
Ch. 16, pp. 4 - 5

Sound fertilizer and pesticide management practices are designed to give the user knowledge to supply lawns and gardens with a specific nutrient or pest control. Proper handling and application practices are essential to maintain high groundwater quality. Following are some general handling practices that should be observed when applying any form of lawn or garden chemical:
Follow Label Instructions Carefully - Lawn and garden products have been tested extensively. The application instructions have been developed and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) over a period of several years. Failure to follow these instructions may lead to ineffective treatment and may increase the risk of groundwater contamination. Be sure to read all label warnings carefully. Some products list specific warnings with regard to surface and groundwater contamination.
Mix Accurately - More is not better. Overdosing will not lead to healthier lawns or do a better job of controlling pests. Application rates exceeding label recommendations will increase cost of application and the chance of contaminating groundwater supplies.
Backflow Prevention
Prevent Spills and Back-Siphoning - Chemical spills near wells can directly enter the groundwater. Spills should be avoided and should be cleaned up immediately. When mixing lawn and garden chemicals with a garden hose, a drop in water pressure can cause the entire contents to be back-siphoned directly into the water supply. To prevent back-siphoning, the end of the fill hose should always remain above the water line in the fill tank. An anti-backflow device should always be used when drawing mix water directly from a well. These devices are relatively inexpensive and are readily available from product suppliers.
Dispose of Wastes Properly - To avoid any localized groundwater contamination, empty containers should be disposed of in a manner consistent with the product label. All containers that have been used to hold or mix chemicals should be rinsed thoroughly. Left-over product can be avoided by mixing only the quantities that are necessary to do the job.

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