Fertilizer Ordinance

Pitch in to protect Barrington's public waters

The Barrington Town Council has enacted Ordinance No. 2020-17 to conserve resources and protect our environment by regulating outdoor application of nitrogen and phosphorus-based fertilizers in order to reduce the overall amount of excess nitrogen and phosphorus entering the public waters. 

You can do your part by protecting our waters through environmentally sound care of our lawns and gardens, and by adhering to a 2020 Town Ordinance limiting the use of certain fertilizers that degrade local waters within the Barrington-Palmer-Warren Rivers watershed. 

Despite the many improvements that have been implemented to protect these waters, activities carried out within Barrington have resulted in substantial degradation of Barrington’s public waters.

This is an important step towards conserving resources, and we urge you to comply with the ordinance and help protect our environment.

Who Is Affected? 

  • Businesses and Organizations operating in Barrington
  • Commercial Property
  • Owners and Property Management Companies
  • Homeowners, Residents and Landscape Contractors
  • Houses of Worship
  • Schools and Daycare Providers (public and private)
  • Town of Barrington

Usage of Nitrogen and Phosphorus (Controlled Nutrients)

1) Should be organic, slow-release, water-insoluble application.
2) Only be applied to turf and other plants at the lowest rate necessary:

  • Nitrogen: A single application not to exceed 0.5 pounds of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet and an annual aggregate total application not to exceed 1.0 pound of nitrogen per 1,000 square feet.
  • Phosphorus: Shall not be applied unless soil test identifies phosphorus deficiency.

Do Not Apply or Deposit Fertilizer

  • Within 100 feet of Public Waters Resources Areas.
  • From October 31st - April 1st  unless specifically approved in advance by the Town Council.
  • On any Impervious Surface.
  • Within 24 hours before or during a rain event forecasted by the National Weather Service resulting in more than .5 inches of precipitation in a 24-hour period.


  • Agriculture and horticulture uses.
  • Gardens, including vegetable and flower, trees, shrubs and indoor applications including greenhouses.
  • In the first growing season, establishment of new vegetation or repairing of turf following substantial damage.
  • Yard waste compost or other similar materials primarily organic in nature and applied to improve physical condition of soil.