Did you know that by not properly applying fertilizer to your yard can degrade the quality of our stream, rivers, and lakes? Fertilize responsibly and only feed your yard what it needs. It is important to always test your soil before fertilizing. You can contact your local MU Extension office for complete instructions on testing your soil. In certain areas you may be eligible for a free soil test and fertilizing plan, check with your local watershed groups to see if this is offered in your area.
Your home can shed a lot of water in a rain storm. In a 1 in rainfall event a 1000 sq. ft. roof sheds around 600 gallons! When water sheds from your property it picks up pollutants that can eventually end up in your local stream, rivers, and lakes. By looking at your home as its own watershed you can act to prevent runoff from ever leaving by building a rain garden. Rain gardens are shallow depressions filled with native plants. Rain gardens are both functional and aesthetically pleasing making them a great investment for a home. To learn more about rain gardens visit 10,000 Rain Gardens a rain garden campaign occurring in the Kansas City area or contact your local watershed groups.
Keeping your grass taller than 3 inches reduces the amount of erosion occurring from your lawn. Sediment is the leading pollutant in our waterways. Sediment also picks up other pollutants such as heavy metals and leads to water quality degradation.
Regularly inspect your vehicles for leaks. Cars, trucks, and recreational vehicles contain fluids that can be harmful to our environment if not maintained properly. If you notice a leak of any fluids it is important to fix those leaks and properly dispose of excess unneeded fluids.
Cleaning and home improvement products can clutter our closets and garages. Please think before you dump, many household chemicals can contain hazardous pollutants that can degrade our natural environment. These pollutants if disposed of improperly can make their way to our surface and groundwater. Please take your household chemical waste to your local collection center.
Rain barrels are a great way to reduce runoff from your home and give you a wonderful supply of free water for non-potable uses. Did you know in a 1 in rainfall event a 1000 sq. ft. roof sheds around 600 gallons! Rain barrels are now very easy to find or you can easily construct your own.
It is important to have your tank pumped every 2-3 years. If properly designed, constructed and maintained, your septic system can provide long-term, effective treatment of household wastewater. If your septic system isn’t maintained, you might need to replace it, costing you thousands of dollars. A malfunctioning system can contaminate groundwater that might be a source of drinking water.
In urban areas and suburban areas pet waste has been shown to greatly increase the amount of bacteria occurring in in nearby water bodies after a rain event. A 20lb dog will create 137 lbs. of doodo a year! Calculate how much you dog doodos. Please pick up after your pet, there are many alternatives to the “let it lay” method. EPA states that flushing your dog doodo is the best method but you may want to also consider a pet waste composter/digester.
According to EPA it takes only one gallon of oil to contaminate one million gallons of drinking water. Oil can also seriously harm aquatic plants and animals. Oil particularly affects submerged vegetation because oil blocks sunlight, hindering photosynthesis. Motor oil causes 40 percent of the pollution in America's waterways. If that motor oil were recycled, water pollution could dramatically decrease. Used motor oil is a hazardous waste. It contains heavy metals, contaminants and dirt discarded by the engine during use. Fortunately, used motor oil is dirty rather than worn out, so it can be recycled. However, motor oil is toxic to humans, wildlife and plants. As such, it should be disposed of at a local recycling or disposal facility. Many of your local automotive shops will take used motor oil. Before disposal, used motor oil should be stored in a plastic or metal container with a secure lid, rather than dumped in a landfill or down the drain.