Summer Lawn "Watershed" Care

What can you do to help keep our rivers and watersheds cleaner? Let's look at your summer chores or activities that have an impact on the storm water runoff from your yards.  Here is a list of what your can do to keep our rivers, streams, lakes and Great Lakes healthy:

  1. When you fertilize your lawn or gardens, use only phosphorus free fertilizers.  As of January 1, 2012 a Phosphorus ban went into law in Michigan.
  2. When applying fertilizers, keep a minimum 10 foot buffer zone from ditches or curbs.  This prevents the fertilizer from getting into storm drainage systems.
  3. Fertilize only in the fall for a healthy lawn in the spring.
  4. When mowing your grass, do not blow grass clippings into the street or ditch.  Do not dump grass or leaves into storm drainage systems or county drains.  When these materials decompose, they take the oxygen out of the water that goes to our rivers.  These materials also add nutrients that cause algae growth.
  5. Do not dump materials or liquids down the catch basins in our streets.  All of these storm drains go directly to our rivers, streams, lakes and ultimately to our Great Lakes.  What you dump in the drains is what you will be fishing for or swimming in this summer.  The Drains are only for the Rains!