Town of Harwich Fertilizer and Nutrient Control Regulation

 The Harwich Board of Health's Regulation on Fertilizer and Nutrient Control was adopted by the Board of Health and took effect on January 22, 2021.

The complete Harwich Regulation is available by clicking here. 

Copies of the Regulation can be obtained by emailing or calling the Health Department. 

health@town.harwich.ma.us or 508-430-7509

Highlights include:

  • The application of fertilizer containing nitrogen is prohibited between November 15 and April 15 unless specifically permitted by the enforcement authority.
  • Nitrogen and phosphorus from any fertilizer application shall not be applied to or otherwise be deposited on any impervious surface.
  • Fertilizer shall not be applied within 24 hours before or during a heavy rain event.
  • An application of fertilizer should be watered in with no more than 0.25 inch of irrigation or natural rain within the 24 hour period following application.
  • Fertilizer shall not be applied closer than 100’ to any water body or within the Zone I of a public drinking well.

Purpose

  • To ensure application of fertilizer shall be performed in a manner consistent with best management practices, which from time to time may undergo changes in response to scientific research.
  • To provide a legal mechanism for enforcement against inappropriate and/or improper use of fertilizer.
  • To incorporation the UMASS Extensions Turf Management best management practices as the primary standard for the content and application practices related to turf fertilizer.
  • To provide a regulatory tool that will help Harwich to achieve compliance with the total daily maximum loads for the Town’s water resources prescribed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
  • To provide the standards that will allow reasonable use of fertilizers for the enhancement and maintenance of turf quality.

Applicability

  • This regulation allows for a reduction of nitrogen and phosphorus going into the Town’s waters and wetlands by means of an organized system of education, standardization and regulation of practice.
  • This regulation shall apply to and regulate any and all application of nitrogen and phosphorus through fertilizer within the Town of Harwich.
  • Applications of fertilizer for agriculture and horticulture uses are exempt from the provision of this regulation as they are regulated by the MDAR Fertilizer Regulations.
  • Whoever violations any provision of this regulation may be penalized by a noncriminal disposition process as outlined in the Regulation. A fine of up to $300/day for each day of the violation is possible.