Best Management Practices

Ideas for Conserving & Improving Water Quality

Lawn Care

Excess fertilizers and pesticides applied to lawns and gardens drain off and pollute the streams. In addition, yard clippings and leaves can wash into storm drains and contribute nutrients and organic matter to streams.

Ways to help:
  • Compost or mulch yard waste. Don't leave it in the street or sweep it into storm drains or streams.
  • Cover piles of dirt or mulch being used in landscaping projects.
  • Don't over water your lawn. Consider using a soaker hose instead of a sprinkler.
  • Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly. When use is necessary, use these chemicals in the recommended amounts. Use organic mulch or safer pest control methods whenever possible.

Septic Systems

Leaking and poorly maintained septic systems release nutrients and pathogens (bacteria and viruses) that can be picked up by stormwater and discharged into nearby water bodies. Pathogens can cause public health problems and environmental concerns.

  • Don't dispose of household hazardous waste in sinks or toilets.
  • Inspect your system every three years and pump your tank as necessary (every three to five years).

Auto Care

Washing your car and degreasing auto parts at come can send detergents and other contaminants through the storm water sewer system. Dumping automotive fluids into storm drains has the same result as dumping the materials directly into the water body.

  • Repair leaks and dispose of used auto fluids and batteries at designated drop-off or recycling locations. Your nearest auto part store would be able to recycle or can let you know where to go.
  • Use a commercial car wash that treats or recycles its waste water, or wash your car on your yard so that the water can infiltrate into the ground.

Pet Waste

Pet waste can be a major source of bacteria and excess nutrients in local waters.
  • Flushing pet waste is the best disposal method.
  • Leaving pet waste on the ground increases public health risks by allowing harmful bacteria and nutrients to wash into the storm drain and eventually into the local waters.
  • When walking your pet, remember to pick up the waste and dispose of it properly.