Educating Homeowners to Help Improve Water Quality
Consider some or all of these conservation actions:
- 1. Plant trees and other native vegetation to help encourage water filtration. If a property borders a stream, plant trees along the banks. Trees help to stabilize the bank and filter excess nutrients.
2. Fertilize lawns only when needed to establish vegetation or when called for by a soil test. If applying fertilizer, use a spreader calibrated to apply the minimum recommend rate.
3. Reduce energy consumption. Power plants contribute to pollution rot the atmosphere in the form of nitrogen oxides which, when deposited on land by rainfall area source of excess nitrogen in waterways.
4. Reduce fuel consumption. Car exhaust is also a significant source of atmospheric nitrogen.
5. Do not connect sump pumps, cellar drains, or roof drains to the sanitary sewer system. Modern sewage systems are designed to handle sewage only, not stormwater—which can overwhelm a system and potential cause overflows.
6. Minimize or eliminate the use of a garage disposal. Instead use a backyard composter. It reduces the burden on sewer systems and creates with which to fertilize gardens.
7. Compost grass clippings and autumn leaves. They are a natural source of fertilizer for plants and trees.
8. Minimize stormwater runoff by using rain barrels, rain gardens, and pervious surfaces. These are natural filtration systems into the ground rather than letting water run off to storm drains.
9. Maintain septic tank systems since overburdened or malfunctioning systems contribute nitrogen to groundwater and local surface water.