You may have several projects around your home planned for this Fall. We have some suggestions for you to use during your cleanup activities that will help to keep our neighborhood environment safe and healthy.
Many outdoor cleaning jobs can produce runoff, containing water, chemicals and detergents. Try to use products in the correct amounts for the size of the job. If there are storm drain inlets or swales near where you are working, discharges of chemicals and debris should not be allowed to flow into them.
Yard work may result in piles of grass clippings, brush and leaves. This material can be composted for later use as a soil conditioner and to protect bare ground from erosion. Lawn clippings can be easily left on the ground so that nutrients are reused by the grass. If you fertilize, consider slow-release products, especially in areas with sandy or compacted soil, steep slopes and near waterways. This can prevent excess leaching of the fertilizer into groundwater and reduce the potential for pollution of streams. Try to keep storm gutters and drains clean of yard wastes to prevent clogs and flooding during rain events. Never dump leaves, grass clippings or brush in storm inlets, swales or creeks. Check out the opportunities for disposal of yard waste at area recycling centers and plan your yard work to take advantage of these sites. There is information on the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) website at www.recyclespot.org for area recycling centers.
If you have a swimming pool that you have enjoyed this summer, you also have the opportunity to do your pool maintenance in an environmentally-friendly way. We now encourage you to drain your pool water to the sanitary sewer system through your household plumbing. Filter backwash, debris and chemicals make this water unsafe for disposal to our waterways. Clear water with the chlorine removed can be used on your lawn, but you must be responsible when draining it and prevent it from flowing onto neighbors’ yards. You can use a hose to control the drainage rate.
All automotive wastes must be properly disposed or taken for recycling. Never pour used oil onto the ground or into a storm drain or ditches. Used oil is not a safe weed killer!
Take the opportunity to participate in community cleanup activities. You can help to spread this useful information so that we all help to keep our environment clean, safe and healthy. Call Independence Water Pollution Control at 325-7711 for further information.
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