The Billings Outpost

Ways to reduce runoff

Direct downspouts away from paved areas and onto areas such as relatively flat or slightly sunken lawn areas, grassy areas, landscape beds, or rain gardens.

Collect rain water in barrels, cisterns, stormwater planters, or other rain harvesting methods for watering landscaping.

Plant and maintain dense, healthy plant cover, especially on slopes.

Plant practical grass areas. Avoid planting high-maintenance turfgrass on steep slopes, in deep shade, or in areas where maintenance is not reasonable. Instead, select adapted or native turfgrasses or other ground covers.

Increase the use of properly sited landscape beds to reduce large expanses of grass.

* Keep impervious non-plant (driveways, roofs, decks, etc.) surfaces to a minimum. Where feasible, use permeable surfaces such as bricks, cobblestones, gravel, turf pavers, porous pavement, mulch, or others.

Manage soils to increase water saturation into the ground and promote healthy root growth. Add organic matter to soil prior to planting or by topdressing and using organic mulches after planting.

Use water conservation practices. Water early in the morning to retain moisture and avoid overwatering.

Keep fertilizers, pesticides, and yard waste (grass clippings, tree leaves, soil, etc.) off paved and other impermeable surfaces. Sweep them into a dustpan or use a leaf blower to redistribute them out of the path of runoff water. Do not dispose of them on the street.

Apply fertilizers and pesticides based on the directions to ensure application of the correct amount. Avoid over applying products and consider using low/no phosphorous fertilizer and select the least toxic pesticide that will effectively control identified pests.

Store and dispose of household hazardous waste.

(pesticides, paint thinners, cleaning products, oil, anti-freeze, etc.) according to label directions.  Do not dump old or excess products into the sink or toilet, street gutter or ditch, storm drain, or onto the ground.

* Recycle, reuse, or reduce plant waste. Leave grass clippings on lawns or compost them. Chip woody waste for compost or to use as mulch.

* Remove leaves, litter, and other debris from roof gutters and street curbs.

* Pick up litter and clean oil drips and fluid spills from pavement.

* Scoop pet feces, secure in bag and place in the trash for disposal.

* Wash cars at a commercial carwash, not in the driveway.  Cleaning soaps and chemicals can end up in the street and run down the city stormdrain system to the river.

* Do not stockpile soil, mulch, or other bulk materials on impervious surfaces during landscape projects.

Copyright 2012 Wild Raspberry Inc.

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