Three Key strategies
How you care for your property can impact nearby streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, and wetlands. Roofs, walkways, parking lots, and lawns often direct rainfall into the roadway and down street drains. These flows that run off your property can pick up contaminants from surfaces along the way — trash, pet waste, fertilizers, detergents, salt, and motor oil — and move through drains out to pollute nearby waters.
PREVENT DUMPSTER AND COMPACTER "JUICE"
Keep dumpsters and compactors covered at all times so that rainfall does not run through garbage, leak "juice" onto parking lots, and wash off into storm drains. This "juice" can contain oil, grease, sediment, and bacteria. If you see such liquid, work with your solid waste contractor to make sure the dumpster is frequently emptied, lids are in good condition, and that the dumpster and/or compactor are water tight. Also, locate your dumpster and compacter as far away from storm drains as possible.
PREPARE FOR AND PREVENT SPILLS
Walk your grounds to identify the specific areas with the greatest risk of spills or leaks. Make sure spill kits appropriate to the area are installed and well stocked at all of these high-risk areas. Most importantly, employees should be trained and tested through simulations in how to respond. For more tips on preventing spills, click here. To learn more about oil spill prevention, visit the Mass.gov webpage.
FERTILIZE LAWNS LESS
Get a soil test before you or your grounds contractor apply any fertilizer to your lawn or garden. The results will let you know what your lawn and garden actually need in terms of nutrients. For more information, click on "Get a Soil Test" at the UMass Testing Lab. It is simple and inexpensive. To read more about lawn and yard care, click here.