|Look for May, 2013 "Did You Know" tips at links below|
- Agricultural Irrigation
- Crop Production
- Drinking Water
- Lakes / Ponds / Streams
- Lawn and Landscape Irrigation
- Lawns, Landscapes and Gardens
- Livestock Manure Management
- Policy / Law / Economics / Human Behavior
- Stormwater Management
- Wastewater - Domestic Sewage
- Water Basics (groundwater, surface water, hydrology)
- Well and Wellhead Management
Lawns and landscapes can contribute to water quality and quantity issues if improperly designed and managed. Through sustainable design and management, lawns and landscapes can protect water resources and provide many other environmental, economic, and social benefits.
Homeowners can help protect water from pollution and reduce excess water use by:
- Using landscape design practices that reduce the amount of runoff water from their property such as Rain gardens, swales or rain barrels.
- Understanding what types of pollutants can originate from their home and yard.
- Reducing the use of these potential pollutants and/or keeping potential pollutants out of the path of runoff water.
- Using responsible lawn and landscape care practices.
- Every property drains to a waterway whether or not the property is located near surface water.
- In urban areas, stormwater runoff from rain and snowmelt flows from rooftops, paved areas, and yards and is directed to storm drains. Even a light rain or the flow from a garden hose or lawn irrigation system can result in runoff.
- As runoff water flows over surfaces, it can collect and carry pollutants including soil, fertilizer, pesticides and yard waste to storm drains where it is discharged to surface water.
- Water from storm drains or storm sewers is not treated to remove pollutants.
- While the amount of pollutants originating from a residential property may be small, contaminants combine with pollutants from other home lots and from municipal and business properties. When combined, the contaminants can accumulate to amounts that cause environmental problems.
- The above is called nonpoint source pollution. It cannot be easily traced to one source or one property. Virtually everyone contributes to nonpoint source pollution of water resources.
For in-depth information on these topics and how you can make a difference, see these Extension NebGuides and visit the above linked topic pages:
Water Pollution and Our Own Yards
PDF Version (713 KB)
Stormwater Management on Residential Lots (PDF only, 3.33MB, 8 pages)
Yard Waste Management
PDF Version (568 KB)
Pesticide Use in the Lawn and Garden
PDF Version (807 KB)
Landscape Water Conservation
PDF Version (773 KB)
PDF documents require Acrobat Reader.
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Information presented within the lawn and landscape section of this Water Web site has been reviewed by University of Nebraska-Lincoln Stormwater and Greenspace Team. Members include Mary Anna Anderson, Erin Bauer, Sarah Browning, Kathleen Cue, John Fech, Kelly Feehan, Thomas Franti, Roch Gaussoin, Clyde Ogg, Steve Rodie, Jim Schild, Dave Shelton, Richard Sutton and Kim Todd.
Did You Know?
Downspout redirection helps make the most of rainwater when we do receive it. Many downspouts direct rainwater onto pavement where it quickly flows into the street and then down a storm drain; often carrying pollutants with it to stormwater. By directing downspouts onto a planted area, more rainwater soaks in and less runs off. See the link below to our newest Stormwater Management NebGuide titled Disconnecting Downspouts and Impervious Surfaces.
The Stormwater Sleuth comic book Stormwater Sleuth and Running Rain: Keeping It Clean! Slowing It Down! is part of a youth education kit being developed by the university of Nebraska-LIncoln Stormwater Management Team. The purpose is to teach youth across Nebraska about water resources with a focus on watersheds, urban water runoff isues, and rainwater harvesting/green infrastructure.
Lawn & Landscape Links
Site from long running Nebraska public television show features UNL experts giving answers and advice to consumer garden, insect, and lawn questions.