Tips for reducing stormwater pollution around the yard:

Pet Waste

Park sign: Pick Up After Your DogPet waste contains various forms of bacteria which should not be left on the ground. The next time you take Fido for a walk:

  • Pick up after your pet.
  • Pet Waste belongs either in the trash, flushed down your toilet, or buried in your yard.
  • Carry pet waste bags, on walks and car rides.
  • Carry extra bags to hand out to less conscientious dog-walkers.
  • Tie the bags either onto the leash or your dog's collar.

Back to top

Yard Maintenance

Dispose of yard waste properly to minimize adverse impacts to the environment by keeping waste out of storm drains.

  • Select native plants that require less water and maintenance.
  • Direct lawnmower so the clippings blow back onto the lawn rather than into the street.
  • Sweep and bag leaves and grass clippings or bag the lawn clippings as you mow. Then put out the bags for collection.
  • Prevent debris left by high wind events or leaf bowing from entering the storm system.
  • Recycle and compost organic materials whenever possible.
  • Spot treat your weeds to avoid putting toxic chemicals in rivers and streams.

Back to top

Lawn and Pest Control Chemicals

lawnYard chemicals are toxic to fish as well as to the humans who eat the fish. Whether you do the yard work yourself or hire a contractor, keep these products out of the storm water system.

  • Follow product label instructions when using fertilizers, pesticide, insecticides and fungicides.
  • When applying chemicals, only use the amount and concentration needed for the job. "More is NOT better". Excess product will be carried off when it rains.
  • Don't over-water your lawn. Excess water will carry pollutants to the storm drain system
  • Try to find and use least toxic, and most environmentally friendly products to control weeds, add nutrients to your lawn and control pests/ insects.
  • Consider physically pulling weeds in place of chemical treatment or using ladybugs to control bugs.
  • Never throw pesticides, insecticides, or fertilizers in the trash or into a storm drain.
  • Take the unused products to a household hazardous waste collection center.

Back to top

Water Conservation

Up to 70% of home water use is on landscaping. Properly managed outdoor water use can reduce non-stormwater discharges from your property.

  • Check sprinkler / irrigation system for leaks
  • Adjust sprinklers to prevent over spray
  • Adjust watering schedule for the season
  • Consider rainwater harvesting
  • Convert lawn to xeriscape. Some communities offer incentive programs to offset the cost of this conversion. For more information about water conservation in your community, visit the Water - Use It Wisely website and click on the appropriate municipal member logo.


Next: Car Care