It’s easy to be green. Landscape with low-water plants, efficient irrigation, mulch and compost. It will save you money and be easier to maintain. A helpful tip from Chula Vista Clean Businesses.
Pesticides and Fertilizers
When applying pesticides and fertilizers, use only the recommended amounts and be careful not to over-apply. Pesticides, though helpful in killing bugs, can also damage the important ecosystems that live in creeks, rivers, lakes and San Diego Bay. Additionally, pesticides can be harmful to humans who swim or play in waters that receive runoff from the storm water drainage system.
Fertilizers, used to help our gardens grow, add nutrients to water causing excessive plant and algae growth. Plants and algae are an important part of the aquatic ecosystem, but when too much growth occurs, the dead or dying plant material in the water can deplete oxygen and suffocate other life in the water.
Try not to over-water your lawn. Excess water will simply run off into the street and wash away pesticides and fertilizers before they have a chance to be effective. To avoid fertilizer runoff, check your irrigation system regularly and make sure your sprinkler heads are running properly. You’ll not only lower your water bill, but also prevent over watering and excessive runoff into the street.
We recommend that you choose environmentally friendly pesticides and fertilizers to help protect our delicate ecosystem. You can also try using effective natural alternatives to fertilizers and pesticides. Reference to Project Clean Water IPM Page: www.projectcleanwater.org/html/ipm.html
To prevent leaves and garden clippings from flowing into the storm water system, sweep them into a pile and put them into your Green Waste bin. Avoid hosing or blowing leaves and clippings into the street.
When you garden, be aware that piles of dirt left on your sidewalk or driveway can end up in the street and in the gutter, and eventually in the stormwater drainage system. Soil, compost, or wood chips should never be stockpiled in the street or gutter.
Yard clippings blown or swept into a storm drain can damage aquatic environments by adding too much vegetation to the water, which then removes oxygen and suffocates other aquatic life. Remember, it is illegal to wash lawn waste into the stormwater drainage system.
Recycle your yard waste at the curb for free. You can purchase your own Green Waste bin or contact Allied Waste Services at (619) 421-9400 to purchase one.
You can help prevent sediment or loose dirt from entering the stormwater drainage system by planting vegetation on slopes, and by properly maintaining your landscaped areas. Roots from plants bind loose soil and prevent erosion.
If loose dirt is left on sidewalks or streets after a project, dispose of it in your yard. For large projects, contact a hauling company to remove the dirt for you.
Too much sediment or dirt in our waterways chokes aquatic life by creating murky conditions, filling natural drainage areas, and altering the topography of the land. Clogged drains can cause extensive property damage, including collapsing hillsides, flooding, and potential sinkholes.
Remember, it is illegal to leave piles of dirt exposed, or to let dirt run into the streets and stormwater drainage system. If you have hired a third party to install landscaping or to maintain landscaped areas at your residence, it is ultimately the responsibility of the homeowner to ensure that proper practices are used to prevent discharge to the stormwater drainage system.
Washing Sidewalks and Driveways
Waterwashing or powerwashing flushes pollutants from streets, sidewalks and driveways into the nearest storm drain. These pollutants typically include oil and other automobile fluids, metals from air pollution that have settled, pet waste, lawn waste, bacteria, sediments, and trash.
Instead of using water to clean your sidewalks and driveways, use a broom or a blower to gather waste material and dispose of it in the trash.
If you must clean your sidewalks and driveways by pressure washing, companies that specialize in recovering wash water before it enters storm drains are available for hire. Make sure to clean up fluid spills with a rag, kitty litter or other absorbents, rather than flush the spill down the street and into the stormwater drainage system.