Keep leaves, litter, and debris out of the street, gutter and storm drains. Storm drains outlet directly into streams and rivers. This means the water is essentially untreated. Whatever is in the gutters washes directly into our wetlands and is a source of pollution. Instead, bag your leaves and take them to the compost site.
Grass clippings contain valuable nutrients that provide up to 25% of your lawn’s fertilizer needs. Grass clippings should be either left on the lawn or bagged, not left in the gutter or any other hard surface. Mulching your grass reduces the need for fertilizer because the nutrients are released back into your lawn as the grass clippings break down. Leaving the grass clippings on your lawn all summer is equal to one application of fertilizer per year. And the less fertilizer applied to your lawn translates into a reduction of fertilizer runoff reaching our wetlands.
Over watering your lawn can do more harm than good. Excess watering promotes runoff which transports grass clippings, leaves, fertilizer and other “pollutants” from lawns, sidewalks, and driveways ultimately carrying them into the water system.
Fertilizing should be completed with a phosphorus-free fertilizer. Verify the middle number on the fertilizer bag is a zero (e.g. 18-0-12). Keep all fertilizer off of the pavement and gutters by sweeping it back onto the lawn where it can be of a benefit.
Do not use toxic pesticides, motor oil, gasoline, or kerosene on your lawn to remove weeds. Try removing weeds by hand or use a handheld tool to assist you.
Pick up pet waste and dispose of it in the trash.
Properly discharge chlorine from swimming pools through your sanitary sewer system and not your storm sewer system so the water can be treated prior to re-entering the natural water system.
Properly dispose of any unwanted materials from your garage. Take all unwanted paints, solvents, cleaners, engine oil and pesticides to Pierce County Solid Waste in Ellsworth. Under no circumstance should they be dumped down the storm sewer.
Wash your car either using a bucket with biodegradable and phosphorus free soap or at a commercial car wash where the excess goes down the sanitary sewer where it is treated. If you notice that some household hazardous waste was not disposed of properly and is in the storm water conveyance system, please contact city hall at 715-262-5544.