Do’s & Don’ts Around the Home

Overview

So what can you do to help protect surface and ground waters from so-called nonpoint-source pollution? You can start at home. Begin by taking a close look at practices around your house that might be contributing to polluted runoff: You may need to make some changes.

  • Compost your yard trimmings: 
    • Compost is a valuable soil conditioner which gradually releases nutrients to your lawn and garden 
    • In addition, compost retains moisture in the soil and thus helps you conserve water
  • If you elect to use a professional lawn care service, select a company that employs trained technicians and follows practices designed to minimize the use of fertilizers and pesticides
  • Keep storm gutters and drains clean of leaves and yard trimmings:
    • Decomposing vegetative matter leaches nutrients and can clog storm systems and result in flooding
  • Leave lawn clippings on your lawn so nutrients in the clippings are recycled and less yard waste goes to landfills
  • Preserve existing trees, and plant trees and shrubs to help prevent erosion and promote infiltration of water into the soil
  • Spread mulch on bare ground to help prevent erosion and runoff
  • Test your soil before applying fertilizers: 
    • Avoid using fertilizers near surface waters.
    • Over-fertilization is a common problem, and the excess can leach into ground water or contaminate rivers or lakes.
    • Do not apply pesticides or fertilizers before or during rain due to the strong likelihood of runoff
  • Use landscaping techniques such as porous walkways to increase infiltration and decreased runoff
  • When landscaping your yard, select plants that have low requirements for water, fertilizers, and pesticides