Fertilizer and Pesticide Usage (Phase II Stormwater Permit compliance)
The City’s fertilizer and pesticide programs are designed around a needs-based program based on soil testing and Integrated Pest Management principles as opposed to an application-based program. In comparing 2013 to 2005, despite an increase in acres, the City applied 12% less Nitrogen fertilizer, 86% less Phosphorous, and 26% less Potassium. Herbicides are used for weed control on only approximately 1/3 of our total acres each year, and insecticide use is limited to only our high value sports turf.
Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP)
The Parks and Recreation Department is a participant in this program with the goals of lowering pesticide use and lowering environmental risks. The department joined the program in the spring of 2007.
Established in 1994, the Pesticide Environmental Stewardship Program (PESP) is an EPA partnership program that works with the nation's pesticide-user community to promote Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices. PESP is guided by the principle that partnership programs complement the standards and decisions established by regulatory and registration actions. The informed actions of pesticide users can further reduce the risks from pests and pesticides by playing a major role in ensuring human health and environmental safety.
Weed Control at Raccoon River Park
Visitors to Raccoon River Park during the spring and early summer are sure to notice the sea of dandelions-either brilliant yellow or fluffy white. The dandelions, along with other weeds in the mowed grass areas in the park, are allowed to grow there due to efforts to keep West Des Moines' drinking water supply safe. The park is home to several shallow water wells that supply drinking water to our residents. State regulations prohibit the application of chemicals, including fertilizers or pesticides, within 200 feet of the shallow wells and 100 feet of a deep well near the softball complex. The softball complex and soccer complex located in Raccoon River Park were planned to be far enough away from the wells to allow chemical treatment of the turf in these areas. Otherwise, the rest of the park is off limits to chemicals.