Nationally, one-quarter of the pollutants found in rivers and streams originate from the residential use of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers. These materials can enter our waterways through illegal dumping, run-off from excessive lawn irrigation, and from heavy rains.
Tips for Pollution Prevention
The following guidelines if followed can greatly reduce the potential of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers from entering our waterways:
- Use pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer only if there is an actual pest problem (not on a regular preventative schedule).
- Do not use pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer if rain is expected. Apply only when wind speeds are low (less than 5 miles per hour).
- Do not mix or prepare pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer for application near storm drains.
- Prepare the minimum amount of pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer needed for the job and use the lowest rate that will effectively control the issues.
- Employ techniques to minimize off-target application (e.g. spray drift) of pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer, including consideration of alternative application techniques.
- Calibrate pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer application equipment to avoid excessive application.
- Sweep pavement and sidewalk if pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer is spilled or overspread on these surfaces.
- Purchase only the amount of pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer that you can reasonably use in a given time period (month or year depending on the product).
- Triple rinse containers, and use rinse water as product. Dispose of unused pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer as hazardous waste.
- Dispose of empty pesticide/herbicide/fertilizer containers according to the instructions on the container label.