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Fox River Grove bans phosphorous in most fertilizers

Published: Sunday, July 6, 2014 12:31 a.m. CDT • Updated: Sunday, July 6, 2014 12:37 a.m. CDT

FOX RIVER GROVE – As a way of educating residents about the effects of phosphorous on the water stream, the village has decided to ban the use of phosphorous in fertilizer on lawns in most cases.

The Fox River Grove Village Board on Thursday approved an ordinance that bans the use of phosphorous in fertilizers that would take the amount of phosphorous on a lawn beyond the median level in the village.

Village President Robert Nunamaker said if a lawn is struggling and needs help to grow, a resident can use a fertilizer with phosphorous up to an acceptable level.

Trustees Michael Schiestel and Trustee Steve Knar voted against the ordinance and questioned how it would be enforced.

“We’re never going to enforce it,” Knar said. “This is just a waste of paper in my opinion.”

Schiestel added that fertilizers that have phosphorous are fertilizers for new lawns.

Most board members conceded it would be very difficult to enforce the ordinance but said it was more of an education issue.

The village expects it will be mandated by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to remove phosphorous from wastewater at its wastewater treatment plant requiring possible upgrades.

“This [ordinance] is one way I feel we can be proactive,” said Trustee Joanna Colletti. “Maybe we’re not enforcing it, but it’s on the books. This is good for our environment, good for our community. This is something we can do for our community to help our neighbors downstream and help our community be a better water-quality community.”

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