Protect Water Quality

Regulatory compliance is the first step in aligning golf course management with BMPs. New York State has some of the nation’s strictest state regulations on pesticides and fertilizers. Golf course superintendents must be aware not only of regulations on the purchase, storage, handling, and application of fertilizers and pesticides, but also how these and other potential water quality contaminants can potential impact water quality.

Potential Water Quality Contaminants

Fertilizers and pesticides maximize productivity and performance in a variety of agricultural and horticultural settings, including golf turf management. Although application practices can affect water quality, the environment may be at a greater risk from spills of larger volumes of the concentrated chemicals used to mix fertilizers and pesticides for application. Regardless of how the chemicals are released into the environment, superintendents should understand the fate of these inputs as well as other potential sources of contamination, such as sediments, hazardous materials, and waterfowl, in order to prevent or to mitigate any potential effects on water quality. Read more

Potential Water Quality Impacts

If water quality contaminants reach surface waters or groundwater, the potential water quality impacts can include the following:

  • drinking water impairment, if nitrogen as either nitrate (NO3) or nitrite (NO2) are present at levels above health-based risk values in drinking water, which may adversely affect health
  • nutrient enrichment of surface waters
  • sedimentation due to eroding soils
  • toxicity to aquatic life

Each potential impact is discussed below. Read more