Lush lawns can be the envy of the neighborhood, but did you know that lawn chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides can easily travel by sprinkler runoff into your neighborhood’s stormwater drains?
It is this polluted sprinkler runoff that enters our stormwater drains that often connects directly to our local streams, creeks and finally to our rivers. Fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides can be toxic to fish, wildlife, and the water itself. Chemicals in the runoff water can upset the natural balance of microorganisms, nutrients and molecules that help to maintain a healthy homeostasis.
Among other things, fertilizers in our waterways promote unhealthy growth of algae that chokes out oxygen for fish. Herbicides can hinder the growth of beneficial plant material and oxygen in our waterways. Pesticides collect in insects, frogs and fish, as well as the wildlife that are part of that food chain.
Be a Steward of Our Waterways
- Don’t allow sprinkler runoff – Adjust sprinklers, use shorter watering duration, aerate lawns to promote water absorption, don’t water when windy
- More is not better – Sparingly use fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides
- Always follow label instructions – Avoid chemical applications when rainy or windy
- Always choose non-toxic – Use chemical alternatives or the least toxic lawn products
- Invite the good bugs – Pesticides kill the good and the bad bugs; instead, invite the good predator insects, like the ladybug, antlion, lacewing and praying mantis
- Never pour unused chemicals into drains – Chemicals do not belong in stormwater drains, indoor drains, sinks or toilets
- Properly dispose of unused chemicals – Take all unused lawn chemicals to the County’s Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off Center for disposal, free of charge for residents only.