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Nationally, one quarter of the pollutants found in rivers and streams originate from the residential use of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. These materials can enter into our waterways through illegal dumping, run-off from excessive lawn irrigation, and from heavy rains. The following guidelines if followed can greatly reduce the potential of these pollutants from entering our waterways.

  • Use pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer only if there is an actual pest problem (not on a regular preventative schedule).
  • Do not use pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer if rain is expected. Apply only when wind speeds are low (less than 5 mph).
  • Do not mix or prepare pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer for application near storm drains.
  • Prepare the minimum amount of pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer needed for the job and use the lowest rate that will effectively control the issues.
  • Employ techniques to minimize off-target application (e.g. spray drift) of pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer, including consideration of alternative application techniques.
  • Calibrate pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer application equipment to avoid excessive application.
  • Sweep pavement and sidewalk if pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer is spilled or overspread on these surfaces.
  • Purchase only the amount of pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer that you can reasonably use in a given time period (month or year depending on the product).
  • Triple rinse containers, and use rinse water as product. Dispose of unused pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer as hazardous waste.
  • Dispose of empty pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer containers according to the instructions on the container label.

Yard Waste

Bag your grass clippings for curbside pickup. Even better, compost them to make a natural fertilizer for your garden. Reuse centers are great for tree limbs and yard cleanup. Whatever you do, don't leave it on the sidewalk or blow them in the street otherwise it will end up in the  storm drain!  Organic waste in the storm drain causes problems, it just stinks!

Wondering where to take your yard waste? The Washington County Landfill has two locations where yard waste can be taken and turned into compost. This is a free of charge service. 

Washington County Solid Waste Compost Program

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