Our Drinking Water
Nantucket’s drinking water comes from a sole source aquifer. We don’t have a backup. That is why it is so important to protect it. One easy, affordable step that you can take is to switch to organic land care practices that carefully evaluate the fertilizers and soil amendments used on the land.
Your Lawn, Our Water
When rain falls, or when you irrigate your garden, excess fertilizers and pesticides will leach down into our sandy soils, eventually flowing into the ocean, a harbor, a pond or a drinking water well. The direction of the water flow on your property determines which “watershed” area you live in.
The Nantucket Land Council has mapped all the watersheds on Nantucket. You can find out which body of water, for example Madaket Harbor or Hummock Pond, the water under your house is flowing toward. Call us for a watershed map & brochure, or see it online at www.nantucketlandcouncil.org.
Fertilizers and Water
Fertilizers, even more than pesticides, are one of the biggest threats to Nantucket’s water quality and our historic shellfishing industry. Excess nutrients from fertilizers that flow from gardens into ponds and harbors cause enormous algae blooms which disrupt the ecosystem, killing eelgrass and aquatic plant life, reducing oxygen in the water, and eventually killing scallops, fish and other marine life. Fortunately, the science and culture behind organic gardening have progressed rapidly, and organic no longer means having a brown lawn that is full of weeds. With today’s techniques, your lawn and garden can be both “green” and beautiful.