Clean Water Starts At Home – and
what you do in your yard and garden can either help protect
or can be a potential pollution source.
Your yard and garden might be the
last place you would look for pollution problems. But behind
a beautiful landscape – there
may be activities that threaten water quality. On average,
residential landscapes can use several times more chemical
fertilizers and pesticides on a per acre (or sq. ft.) basis
than is used
on agricultural land. If applied improperly, these chemicals
find their way
ground water resources.
Other problems can occur:
exposed soil washes away during a storm, the sediments can
harm wildlife habitat and choke water bodies.
waste can be composted or mulched, serving as a valuable soil
amendment, however, if allowed to wash away, it can become a
pollutant, or simply excess
waste that washes into surface waters can be a major water pollutant
and a potential health risk.
lawn and garden watering can waste large amounts of water,
increase the potential for pollution from other activities
such as fertilizer and
pesticide applications, and can actually degrade plant health
While the contribution from your individual yard may seem small,
the effects of chemicals, soil loss, and wasted water from hundreds
or thousands of homes in your region can really add up.
By following the basics for a healthy landscape, you can have
a beautiful yard that also helps to protect water quality. Additional
benefits often include reductions in money, labor, and supplies
needed to maintain a healthy landscape. So, learn more about
the basics by reading the following pages. Consider your yard
and garden care practices and where possible, adopt healthy landscape
Remember – Clean Water Starts
URI CE Home*A*Syst Fact Sheet:
What You Can Do About Nonpoint Source Pollution
Landscapes fact sheets and resources
For information about our small
acreage livestock education program