Hard to think sometimes, that the things we may do or use in our yards can end up harming nature, including our precious water supply.  It’s National Groundwater Awareness week, highlighting the importance of preserving and protecting groundwater resources for drinking, bathing, recreation, agriculture, medical uses, and much more.  While Marin doesn’t rely on groundwater for our main drinking water supply, much of California does. It everyone’s job to keep our water supply healthy. 

Chemicals used in and around the home can end up soaking into soil, or washing into gutters, storm drains, and streams by rain or irrigation. Garden chemicals not only threaten aquatic life; they can also affect the quality of our drinking water. Follow these tips to keep our groundwater, rivers, creeks, and oceans clean.

  • Limit pesticide use by using non-chemical methods or least-toxic pesticides wherever possible.
  • Don’t use insecticides for lawn insects unless you are sure insects are causing the damage.
  • Cut back on fertilizer, more is not better. Actively growing turf, flowering shrubs, and some annuals and fruit trees require regular feeding, but ornamental trees don’t. Use a mulching mower to recycle lawn clippings and reduce fertilizer applications.
  • Don’t let fertilizer or pesticides get onto hard surfaces such as sidewalks or driveways. Sweep any material that accidentally lands on hard surfaces back onto the lawn.
  • Dispose of garden chemicals correctly. Never sweep, hose off, or pour leftover pesticides or fertilizers into drains or gutters. Dispose of unused products at your local household hazardous waste site.

Learn more about the problem of nutrient pollution, and Pesticides and Water Pollution. The Sources and Solutions: In and Around the Home and what you can do in and around your home.

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