The City of Key West, Florida

The Southernmost City in the Continental United States


Please Keep Pollution Out of The Ocean

A major component to improve our nearshore water quality involves the treatment of our island's stormwater runoff. Currently, storm runoff carries various pollutants (oils, trash, fertilizer, etc.) into our storm drains where they are eventually released through 63 outfalls into our nearshore waters with very little filtration taking place.

Landscape and Lawn Care

Keep fertilizer out of our nearshore waters.  When fertilizer seeps past the roots into the water table or runs off into canals and storm drains water quality deteriorates and algae blooms.

Fertilize Properly Tips

  • Use slow release fertilizers and move fertilizer to just below soil surface.
  • Do not fertilize within 10 feet of the water or before a heavy rain event.
  • Sweep up spilled fertilizer, pesticides, and herbicides.  Store products in dry covered areas to prevent products from being washed into storm drains. 
  • Use phosphorous-free fertilizer.
  • Use non-toxic pesticides.
  • Treat only problem areas. 
  • Dispose of lawn and garden chemicals at the Hazardous Waste Drop-off event.
  • IFAS Extension BMP for Lawn
  • IFAS Extensions Landscaping

Household Hazardous Waste Disposal

Chemicals the are washed into storm drains, canals, and nearshore waters can increase algae growth and kill off smaller aquatic animals.

On the first Saturday of every month, City of Key West residents may dispose of household chemicals for FREE.  Bring toxic chemicals, such as cleaners, paint, automotive fluids, lawn maintenance, and pool chemicals, to Indigenous Park, 8:00AM to 12:00PM.

Cigarette Butt Disposal

Cigarette butt litter is toxic and harmful to marine life. Cigarette filters contain cellulose acetate, a plastic that does not biodegrade and persists in the environment.

Cigarette butts are carried in stormwater runoff through storm drains into nearshore waters and canals. Cigarette butts left on beaches and parks leach toxins into the ocean. Birds, turtles, sea mammals, and fish ingest discarded cigarette butts. 

Free Pocket Ashtrays available at City Hall, at 1300 White Street.

Pocket Ashtray


Dog Waste

Pet Waste Disposal

Pet waste contributes to stormwater pollution and degrades nearshore water quality.

Pet waste deposited on sidewalks, lawns, streets, beaches and parks washes into storm drains and the ocean during rain events, contaminating the water with bacteria, parasites, viruses, and nutrients. 

Picking up pet waste is the best action to take to keep nearshore waters clean. Bring a bag for picking up pet waste.

Sec. 10-8 Key West, FL Code of Ordinances

Car Washing and Maintenance

Car washing is a pollution problem because metals and automotive fluids are washed off in the soapy water, into streets and down storm drains, and out to the ocean and nearshore waters.  Soapy water and dirty car wash water are harmful to fish and aquatic life.

It is best to wash your vehicle without letting the water runoff into the street.  Washing your vehicle on the lawn is best to let the grass absorb the water.  Then, dump the soapy water in the bucket into a sink drain, not into the street and storm drains.  Storm drains do not go to a treatment plant.

Park your vehicle on the grass or gravel area, where water will filter into the ground and not run off into the street and storm drains.  Use a hose with a shut-off nozzle to reduce water consumption and excess runoff.  Please dump soapy water out in the sink.

Run off   Reducing Pollution in Urban Environments 

Rain events generate stormwater runoff that flows over streets and parking areas, picking up trash, fertilizer, oils, cigarette butts, and debris that pollutes nearshore waters. 

Construction Industry Stormwater General Permit

Sediment and pollutants from construction sites can significantly impact nearshore water quality.  Large and small construction sites must obtain a stormwater permit and implement pollution prevention practices. 

Florida Department of Environmental Protection Construction Activity

FDEP HPDES Generic Permit

Construction Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan Template

Reef Relief NOAA Keep America Beautiful

Contact Us

John Castro
John Paul. Castro,
Utilities Director
City Hall
1300 White St
Key West, FL 33040
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