Residential Water Use Lawns, Gardens & Landscapes

Home and Yard Pollutants

Water pollution can arise from a variety of sources. Soil, grass clippings, fertilizer, pesticides, paint thinners, and motor oil can pollute water if picked up by stormwater runoff. These pollutants can harm lakes, rivers and streams in many ways. Read on for more information on how our water supply can be polluted and how to do your part to keep it clean while maintaining your landscape. 

Don't Let Leaves Smother the Turf

Leaves
Leaves. Useful to the tree. Great for jumping in. Not much fun to clean up. Find out what you should be doing with those fallen leaves to let them help you and your landscape in the long run.

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Melting Snow is Stormwater Run Off

ice melt on concrete
When we think of stormwater runoff we often think of rain. Snow melt during winter can also become stormwater runoff and carry pollutants to surface water. During winter the ground is usually frozen and melting snow cannot infiltrate into soil as a light rainfall will do. Depending on the amount of snow, this can lead to increased runoff during winter.

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Safe Winter Pesticide Storage

Store liquid and dry pesticides formulations correctly during winter.
As the growing season draws to an end and we put away our gardening equipment, it’s also important to store any remaining pesticide products properly to prevent contamination and maintain product effectiveness for next year. But even more important, being careless with pesticide storage is an open invitation to disaster, in the form of a pesticide poisoning or spill which could contamination ground or surface water.

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Lawns, Water Quality and Phosphorus Fertilizer

Fertilizer on the sidewalk
Phosphorous is an essential plant nutrient. Phosphorous can also lead to impaired water quality in surface water like lakes and ponds. Applying phosphorous responsibly is important to turfgrass growth and to water ecosystems.

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Nitrogen Fertilizer for the Lawn, Not the Street

Fertilizer spilled on concrete
Fertilizer spilled on concrete. Photo by Brad Jakubowski, Penn State University

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