Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.)

Degree Granting Department

Geography, Environment and Planning

Major Professor

Kamal Al-Sharif, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Martin Bosman, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Mark Rains, Ph.D.


Yard Practices, Fertilizers, Fertilizer Ban, Watering Schedule


In order to tend to the world’s dwindling freshwater supplies, sustainable alternative methods need to be integrated in order to keep up with the world’s increasing demand. Reclaimed water (RW) is one of the sustainable methods adopted by some Floridian cities such as Tampa, Tallahassee, and St. Pete that provide an alternative water source for non-potable uses. However, despite this alleviating effect RW has on freshwater supplies, it is crucial to recognize the potential harm it poses on neighboring waterbodies due to the residual contaminants it still contains, including Nitrogen (N) and Phosphorous (P). As such, studying residents’ knowledge and behavior about RW provides an insight into certain behavioral trends that potentially explain elevated levels of N and P in certain waterbodies. This study surveyed households living in the vicinity of Joe’s Creek Watershed and are using RW in irrigation provided by Pinellas County Utilities Department (PC) and the City of St. Pete Water Resources Department (SP). After looking at these residents’ yard practices, no harmful behavioral trend was observed to explicate the health of neighboring waterbodies. RW users are aware of the irrigation regulations set for them. However, weakness in information communication between city and County officials and RW users on fertilizer use and regulations was recorded. It is recommended that the city of St. Pete revisits their loose regulations on RW and the irrigation schedule set for their customers. More outreach material on fertilizer application and regulations need to be made available and accessible to the public.