When Caring for Lawns and Gardens, Help Keep Our Local Waterways Clean and Healthy

It’s springtime and many residents are beginning to work in their yards and gardens.

Therefore it’s time to remind our residents that common landscape practices and the overuse of pesticides and fertilizers can harm our local waterways.  As spring rains flow over yards and impervious surfaces like driveways, streets, roofs and parking lots, it picks up pollutants and transports them to our local creeks, streams and lakes.

The following guidelines will help keep our local waterways clean and healthy.

  • Never sweep or blow yard wastes such as leaves, grass clippings or tree limbs/trimmings into the streets, gutters, channels or any waterway. These wastes will decay in our creeks and storm drains, using up oxygen and releasing nutrients that can cause excessive algae growth. These wastes can also clog storm drains, increasing the risk of localized flooding.
  • Read the Label! Select and apply fertilizers or pesticides according to the manufacturers label instructions.  This will minimize harmful effects on non-target or beneficial species and reduce environmental hazards.
  • Apply fertilizers or pesticides sparingly; use a slow-release product, and/or a low toxicity product when possible. Remove excess fertilizer or pesticide from impervious areas such as driveways and sidewalks.
  • Remember to properly store and dispose of all household chemicals. Click here to learn more.
  • Develop an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan using native plants that require less water, less pesticides and/or fertilizers. Click here to learn more.
  • Never apply fertilizers or pesticides when the forecast calls for rain!

Visit the Stormwater Management webpage to find out other ways to prevent stormwater pollution.