Cornell University : Cornell Cooperative Extension
Homeowners Lawn Care Water Quality Almanac

                [Home] [Useful Contacts] [Useful Links] [Order Almanac]

Problem-Solving Index

[January] [February] [March] [April] [May] [June] [July] [August] [September] [October] [November] [December]

February              Know Your Pollutants

Learn about how lawns can preserve water quality

What pollutants around the home should concern us?
Introducing sediments, metals, pesticides, fertilizers, tree leaves, grass clippings, and household cleansers and automobile fluids into water bodies or ground-water can all threaten water quality.
How does a dense, healthy, lawn protect water quality?
The lawn filters and purifies the water as it enters the soil en route to groundwater. Studies show that lawns reduce surface runoff compared to paved surfaces or bare soil.

What not to do

Common sources of stormwater pollutants

Nutrients or Pesticides  Hydrocarbons  Silt Sand

To Watershed   Nutrients

Pollutant  Source
silt, sand, and clay particles and other debris  bare soil when establishing lawn; debris removed from vehicles, rooftops
nutrients (N, P, etc.) fertilizer discharged onto pavement, yard waste (tree leaves, grass clippings), pet waste
vehicle exhaust, automobile fluids, burning leaves and garbage
pesticides  pesticides discharged onto pavement, applied immediately before heavy rain

February is a good time to
recognize and inventory the pollutants around your home.
assess the risk of these pollutants entering a water body.
minimize paved surfaces and bare soil areas.
set target dates for action. 


January ] [ February ] March ] April ] May ] June ] July ] August ] September ] October ] November ] December ]
Almanac Home ] Problem-Solving Index ] Useful Contacts ] Useful Links ] Order Almanac ]

[Adobe Acrobat Version of Almanac (4.6 mb - long download]] Get Acrobat Reader

This page last updated on
November 05, 2000

CCE Home ©2000 Cornell Cooperative Extension.