Tips To Minimize Stormwater Pollution At Your Home

Simple things you can do to minimize stormwater pollution at your home include:

  • Avoid washing your car on the driveway or in the street. Use a car wash when available.
  • Direct water from downspouts away from impervious surfaces and onto the lawn, or use a rain barrel to collect water for later use.
  • Don't allow household or automotive chemicals to drain into the storm sewer system.
  • Drain your swimming pool only after chlorine is below detectable levels. If possible, discharge water over a landscaped area before reaching the street. Check your yard for natural drainage ways before doing this to encourage proper drainage, keeping water away from adjacent properties.
  • Keep garbage covered and pick up trash.
  • Keep herbicides and insecticides off impervious surfaces and apply them at the correct rate and time.
  • Pick up pet waste. Pet waste contains harmful bacteria and nutrients that degrade water quality.
  • Prevent soil erosion by maintaining a healthy lawn. Seed bare spots to minimize soil loss.
  • Recent state laws have banned the use of fertilizers containing phosphorus on lawns in Minnesota. The majority of Saint Peter’s area lawns are naturally high in phosphorus and will be healthy without additional phosphorus fertilizer. Fertilizers containing phosphorus may be used on a lawn if a soil test indicates it is necessary or when establishing a new lawn. If you think your lawn needs to be fertilized, conduct a soil test first. For more information on soil testing call the University of Minnesota Extension Service's INFO-U by calling 612-624-2200, message 468, or visit the University of Minnesota website.
  • Select native plants and grasses that are drought and pest resistant for your yard. They will require less water, fertilizer and pesticides.
  • Sweep dirt, grass clippings and leaves away from impervious surfaces. Allowing these to enter the storm sewer adds phosphorus to lakes and wetlands and increases the likelihood of algae growth.