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I recently heard about a ground water contamination problem in Charleston, RI. Can you shed some light of what is going on? Dave

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I recently heard about a ground water contamination problem in Charleston, RI. Can you shed some light of what is going on? Dave Nitrate contamination of private and public well water is so severe in areas around Charleston, RI that other sources of drinking water are needed now or are close to being needed. While the major problem is sewage waste disposal through septic systems, a significant source of the contamination is coming from lawn fertilizers applied by both landscaping companies and homeowners. Synthetic chemical fertilizers that are commonly used put way too much nitrogen and phosphate into the soil. Only 35% of synthetic lawn fertilizers ever reach the grass roots, the rest leaches through the soil into streams, lakes and drinking water supplies. Of the 35% of the fertilizers that reach the grass roots, only a small fraction of that is needed. The Town of Charleston is advising homeowners: "A pristine, green, weed free lawn is not desirable for our drinking water. The Town of Charleston strongly recommends that fertilizer NOT be applied to lawns due to increasing levels of nitrogen in our drinking water," and their own Potable Water Working Group feels strongly that fertilizers should be completely banned. The town is working with all commercial landscaping companies that serve their area to institute a process to minimize nitrates in their drinking water. The Charleston process has features that Sprigs & Twigs has embraced for a number of years in our Organic Lawn Care Program:

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About Linda Lillie

Linda K. Lillie is the President of Sprigs & Twigs, Inc, the premier landscape design and maintenance, tree care, lawn care, stonework, and carpentry service provider in southeastern Connecticut since 1997. She is a graduate of Connecticut College in Botany, a Connecticut Master Gardener and a national award winning landscape designer for her landscape design and landscape installation work.

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