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Posted on: May 10, 2022

Help Keep Our Stormwater Clean at Home and On Your Property

Lawn Care

Help Keep Our Stormwater Clean at Home and On Your Property


Rain that runs off from lawns can be a major contributor of pollution to stormwater. Simple tasks that we perform to take care of our properties, such as raking up leaves, mowing, applying fertilizers, watering and cleaning can impact our streams, wetlands or rivers where they can harm human health, wildlife and the environment. Here are some tips to help keep our stormwater clean as you maintain your properties and lawns: 

Lawn Care

  • Mow your lawn so no more than one-third of the length of the grass is removed
  • Leave the grass clippings on the lawn or compost
  • Compost or throw away leaves and other organic matter instead of putting it in the streets (Excess leaves and organic matter can contribute to nutrient levels in streams, wetlands or rivers)
  • Don’t dump leaves or grass clippings near streams, wetlands, rivers or wooded areas
  • Instead of raking up you leaves try mulching them with your mower into smaller bits.  This can have the same effect as adding store-bought fertilizer
  • If you have an excessive amount of leaves, please use the Town’s annual curbside leaf pickup
  • Sweep grass from paved areas back on the lawn
  • Hand pick or spot treat for weeds or not at all


Watering

  • Do not over water.  Excessive runoff wastes water and can wash away chemicals you may have added to your yard
  • Direct downspouts to a depressed area or a garden bed so the water soaks into your yard instead of rushing out to the street


Fertilizing

  • Fertilize only when necessary.  Have your soil tested before you apply so you know what nutrients you need for your yard
  • Do not fertilize if it the forecast calls for heavy rain in the next day or two
  • Make sure to follow all fertilizer instructions and use only what you need.  Too much fertilizer can runoff your yard and into storm drains and streams, wetlands, or rivers
  • Use compost whenever possible instead of fertilizer. Compost has many benefits such as providing sufficient nutrients for your landscape but also improving soil health
  • Keep a mowing and fertilizing buffer around streams, wetlands, rivers or wooded areas so that erosion and nutrient loading are minimized


Yard Design

  • Consider installing a rain garden and directing your roof drains to it
  • Incorporate swales and berms to your landscape so runoff is contained and doesn’t leave your yard
  • Consider using bricks, flagstone, stone, gravel, and other porous materials instead of impervious surfaces, such as asphalt and concrete
  • Plant trees and shrubs to capture and hold rainwater before it can reach the ground


Exterior Cleaning

  • Use dry cleanup methods, such as a broom and dust pan whenever possible
  • If you must use water, divert it to landscaping where it can infiltrate


Always Remember: ONLY RAIN IN THE DRAIN


For more information visit the Town Of Tewksbury’s Stormwater Website.


If you have any questions you can contact Arthur G. Markos at amarkos@tewksbury-ma.gov or 978-640-4440 ext. 237.

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