Public Works

Common landscaping activities can serve as a source for stormwater pollution, from grass clippings and other yard waste, to fertilizers and pesticides. There are a number of best management practices that can be implemented to eliminate landscaping related contaminants out of our stormwater.

Best Practices for Preventing Stormwater Pollution

Recycle Yard Waste: Recycle leaves, grass clippings and other yard waste. Do not blow, sweep, rake or hose yard waste into the street. Let your customers know about natural recycling of grass by leaving clippings on the lawn when mowing instead of using a grass catcher. Grass clippings will quickly decompose, returning valuable nutrients to the soil.

Use Fertilizers, Herbicides & Pesticides Safely: Fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides are often carried into the storm drain system by sprinkler runoff. Use natural, non-toxic alternatives to traditional garden chemicals. If you must use chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides spot apply rather than blanketing entire areas, avoid applying near curbs and driveways and never apply before a rain.

Recycle Hazardous Waste: Pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides and motor oil contaminate landfills and should be disposed of through a Hazardous Waste Facility. Contact the Cedar Rapids/Linn County Solid Waste Agency at (319) 373-4771.

Planting: Plant native vegetation to reduce the need of water, fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides.

Prevent Erosion: Erosion washes sediments, debris and toxic runoff into the storm drain system, polluting waterways. Prevent erosion and sediment runoff by using ground cover, berms and vegetation down-slope to capture runoff. Avoid excavation or grading during wet weather.

Store Materials Safely: Keep landscaping materials and debris away from the street, gutter and storm drains. On-site stockpiles of materials should be covered with plastic sheeting to protect from rain, wind and runoff.

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