Your yard may not be as "green" as you think. Excess fertilizer and pesticides can wash off your lawn when it rains and pollute nearby rivers and streams. Yard waste such as leaves and grass clippings can clog storm drains and harm water quality.
What Can You Do?
How you care for your lawn and yard can have a great impact on the water quality of our local rivers, lakes and streams. Be the solution to water pollution by following these tips:
Fertilizer and Pesticide Application
- Plant bare areas in your yard or cover with mulch to avoid soil erosion.
- Refuel and wash lawn equipment away from streams or where runoff drains to a storm drain or drainage ditch.
- Properly dispose of old oil, gasoline and yard chemicals.
- Inspect irrigation systems periodically to ensure that that runoff is not occurring.
- Consider installing a rain barrel to reduce runoff from your property.
Yard Waste Cleanup
- Consider using native plants. They require less maintenance and chemicals.
- Follow all product instructions for proper application of fertilizers and pesticides.
- Properly identify weeds, diseases, or insects before applying a pesticide. Spot treat only affected areas.
- Close spreaders when going over pavement, bare soil, and other non-vegetated areas.
- Avoid using fertilizers and pesticides during drought conditions or when heavy rain is predicted.
- Store fertilizers and pesticides in enclosed, covered areas.
- Do not blow grass clippings and leaves in the street or down a storm drain.
- Compost grass clippings, plant trimmings, leaves, and other plant material, or bag them for curbside pick-up.
- Another option is to leave grass clippings or leaves on the lawn. Use your lawn mower to shred leaves into smaller pieces so they break down more quickly.