What's the problem with fertilizers and pesticides?
Fertilizer isn't the problem, if it's used carefully. If you use too much fertilizer or apply it at the wrong time, it can easily wash off your lawn or garden into storm drains and then flow untreated into the Straight River.
Just like in your garden, fertilizers in stormwater ponds, ditches and rivers makes plants grow. In water bodies extra fertilizers can mean extra algae and aquatic plant growth. Too much algae harms water quality and makes boating, fishing and swimming unpleasant. Algae decomposition uses up oxygen in the water that fish and other aquatic organism need to survive.
How can you help?
Here are a few ways you can help:
- Don't blow or rake leaves and other yard waste into the street or gutter
- Don't over irrigate. Use drip irrigation, soaker hoses or micro spray system and water early in the morning
- If you have a spray head sprinkler system, consider adjusting your watering method to a cycle and soak. Instead of watering for 15 minutes straight, break up the session into 5 minute intervals allowing water to soak in before the next application
- Keep irrigation systems well maintained and water only when needed to save money and prevent over-watering
- Recycle yard waste or start your own compost pile
- When mowing your lawn, mow so that grass clippings are blown back towards your lawn instead of into the street