Test your water knowledge!
Problem: Even during or after a rainstorm, sprinkler systems are running. It is easy to set up an irrigation system and not think about it again. However, this usually leads to overwatering your lawn. Not only does overwatering waste limited fresh water, it also pollutes nearby water bodies. On average, a lawn only needs one inch of water every week during the summer to stay healthy and green.
Action: Changing your irrigation system is a straightforward solution to using less water (and saving money). Simply set your irrigation system to water less frequently and turn it off if it has rained recently, so your lawn isn’t getting too much water. You could also reuse water by purchasing and installing a rain barrel. A rain barrel collects rain from downspouts. You can then attach at hose at the bottom to water your garden, thereby conserving water.
Resources: For more information on water-saving tips for home lawns, visit:
For more information on rain barrels, visit: recycleminnesota.org/work/compost-bins-rain-barrels/
Quick tip: A quarter-inch of water per week (minus any rainfall) is all that is needed to keep lawns alive during the summer.
Problem: Leaving grass clippings on the street may seem harmless, but it is a large source of water pollution. Grass clippings left on the street will travel to the nearest body of water via storm drains. Grass clipping are particularly bad for lakes, because when they break down, they release phosphorous. Too much phosphorous in lakes fuels algae blooms.
Action: Grass clippings are best left on the lawn. Blowing or sweeping grass clippings back onto on your lawn will give nutrients back to your growing grass, keeping it healthier and greener. It also protects our lakes and creeks from becoming polluted.
Resources: For more mowing practices for healthy lawns, visit: extension.umn.edu/lawncare/mowing-practices-healthy-lawns
For more earth-friendly lawn care practices, visit: ninemilecreek.org/mow-high-sweep-clean/
Quick tip: Grass clippings add the equivalent of one fertilizer application to your lawn each year.
Problem: After a rain event, all the water runoff flows to the nearest storm drain. On its way to the drain, water will pick up anything in its path including grass clippings, fertilizer, dog droppings, leaves, and more. Unlike a water treatment plant, storm drains do not filter out any pollutants. Anything that travels with the water to a storm drain also travels to the nearest body of water. Stormwater runoff is one of the biggest sources of pollution to our lakes and creeks in urban areas.
Action: You can help keep pollution out of storm drains. Adopting a drain through the Adopt a Drain program is an excellent way to help keep our lakes and creeks clean. Adopting a drain involves selecting a storm drain near your home and pledging to keep it clear of leaves and debris. This simple act helps keep our waterways free of unnecessary pollutants. Remember to also sweep up grass clippings and clean up after your pets to keep our lakes and creeks clean.
Resources: To adopt a drain, visit: adopt-a-drain.org/
For more information on ways you can help keep the streets clean, visit: ninemilecreek.org/get-involved/how-can-i-help/