Landscape features can improve the curb appeal of a business or residential building, absorb and filter storm water runoff from paved surfaces and provide green space for recreation and even urban habitat. Trees and shrubs also provide natural screening and help buffer noise, while vegetation helps to improve air quality.
Many landscaped areas require maintenance to keep them healthy and looking attractive. Lawn care and landscaping practices are a common source of water pollution. Fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides contain chemicals that are harmful to the environment, wildlife and humans. Prober handling and disposal of these products is important. Using native plants can reduce the amount of maintenance requirements and provide habitat for beneficial insects and birds.
TO PREVENT WATER POLLUTION
- Avoid or limit the use of fertilizers, pesticides and heavy herbicides. Avoid applications before or during heavy rainfall or sprinkler use.
- Select appropriate fertilizers and follow the manufactures’ recommendations and directions for proper use. Consider testing your soil to see if you need fertilizer.
- Do not over fertilize.
- When using a spreader, avoid getting fertilizer on paved are-as. Sweep up any granule off hard surfaces and put them back onto the lawn or properly dispose of the excess.
- Spot apply pesticides as opposed to broadcast spraying or blanket applications.
- When possible, remove unwanted vegetation manually in-stead of using herbicides.
- Do not wash fertilizer spreaders or other landscape equipment where the wash water can run off into a storm drain.
- Do not blow grass clipping or leaves onto sidewalks or streets. Do not dump yard waste into storm drains.
- Cover bare ground with vegetation or mulch to prevent soil erosion.
- Consider replacing areas of high maintenance turf with areas of native plants, ground-covers, shrubs and trees.
- Control areas where pedestrian traffic has damaged turf or plants. Consider using alternative materials such as river rock, wood chips or mulch in heavy use area.