Top Tips to Reduce Pollution and Runoff
In Your Yard
Limit Fertilizer Use
Only use the bare minimum. Test your soil before fertilizing to learn what nutrients are needed and fertilize only in the fall.
Compost helps to create a rich soil amendment for your lawn and garden and is better for the environment that chemical fertilizer.
Ditch the turf and make your backyard more interesting with native plants! Native shrubs, trees, and flowers will absorb more runoff than grass, help improve water quality, and can benefit wildlife.
Bare soil can be like concrete in terms of its ability to absorb water. Cover bare soil with mulch or plants to slow stormwater runoff.
Increase Permeable Surfaces
Replace concrete patio slabs and other impermeable surfaces with permeable pavers that allow water to soak in. For driveways, consider also leaving a strip of grass up the center.
Like other plant roots, tree roots help absorb and filter runoff. Tree canopies also slow rainfall and spread it over a larger area.
Plant a Rain Garden
A rain garden is a shallow basin designed to catch and slow runoff. It's frequently planted near downspout outlets. The design includes soil layers, mulch, and plants, all of which filter rainwater as it seeps into soil. Learn more here.
Around Your Home
Properly Dispose of Hazardous Waste
Each locality has a hazardous waste drop-off center. Check with your locality’s website to see which items should be taken to the drop-off and which can be put into the trash. Remind contractors never to wash or dump anything in a storm drain or street.
Visit a Car Wash
Commercial car washes are regulated and send their water to a waste water treatment plant. Washing at home means soap and suds runoff into the environment.
Install a rain barrel or cistern to catch stormwater runoff from roofs. Use this water to irrigate garden plants.
In Your Community
Limit Winter Salt Use
Only apply the amount of salt necessary to reduce snow and ice traction. Know which types of salt to use and other maintenance tips for residents here.
Pick Up After Your Pet
Where ever the poop falls, pick it up and put it in the trash.
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