RESIDENTS

Three Key Strategies

Walkways, roofs, lawns, and driveways around our homes often shed rainfall into the roadway and down street drains. These flows that run off can pick up contaminants from surfaces along the the way — trash, pet waste, fertilizers, detergents, salt, and motor oil — and move through drains out to pollute nearby streams, rivers, lakes, ponds, and wetlands.

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Image courtesy: City of Richmond, VA, Stormwater Utility

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SOAK UP THE RAIN

Redirect rainfall so that it soaks up close to where it falls. This can be achieved through rain gardens, porous paving, or through use of rain barrels or cisterns to capture and reuse storm water.

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FERTILIZE LAWNS LESS

Get a soil test before you 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 soil nutrient testing,  click on "Get a Soil Test" at the UMass Testing Lab. It is simple and inexpensive.

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CARE FOR YOUR SEPTIC SYSTEM

Keep your septic system in good working order with regular inspections and maintenance. If you use a garbage disposal in your home, pumping should occur every year. Otherwise, pumping ought to occur every 3 years typically. If you have a nearby well, good practice with septic will also reduce risk of contaminating your drinking water supply.