Preventing Illegal Discharges from Landscaping Businesses
Good Working Practices to Follow
- Mowing: Mow at the correct high for the type of sod: St. Augustine and Bahia at 3-4 inches, Bermuda and Centipede at 1.5 inches.
- Grass Clippings & Leaves: DO NOT blow lawn clippings and leaves into the stree or down the storm drain. Blow back onto the lawn or into a bed as free mulch and fertilizer.
- Fertilize Wisely: Minimize use of fertilizers. Use a slow release with a low or middle number (phosphorus). DO NOT fertilize when a large rain event is expecte and NEVER within 10 feet of the water’s edge.
- Good Housekeeping: Don’t leave excess fertilizer in the street or driveway. Sweep it up or blow it back onto the yard.
- Cleaning Up Spills: Use absorbent cleaning agents instead of water to clean work areas. Use dry methods for spill clean up, i.e. sweeping. Keep dry absorbent materials nearby in case of a spill.
- Save the Swales: Keep swales mowed and clear of blockages. NEVER fill in a swale.
- Storm Drains: Keep drains free of debris and vegetation. NEVER put chemicals lawn clippings, soil or other debris down the storm drain.
- Equipment maintenance: Designate a special area to drain and replace motor oil, coolant and other fluids where there are no connections to the storm drain.
- Education & Training: Provide opportunities for employees to learn more about proper best management practices and protecting our waterways.
- Chemical Storage: Be sure chemicals are stored properly, i.e. off the ground, out of the rain, etc, Have a hazardous materials response plan and be sure all employees are capable of implementing each phase of the plan.
- Use integrated pest management practices to reduce the need for chemicals.
- Train employees to properly inspect irrigation systems. Know your clients’ watering days!
- Provide information to employees on invasive plants and proper plants for shoreline areas.
- Never allow an employee to remove shoreline vegetation without first determining the need for a permit
Prevent pollutants from entering our waterways during your landscape services by following the guidelines listed below:
- DO NOT blow grass clippings or leaves down the storm drain or into a waterbody.
- Mow grass at the proper heights. 3-4 inches for St. Augustine and Bahia, 1.5 inches for Bermuda and Centipede.
- Dispose of grease or oil properly. Never dump down the storm drain or sanitary sewer.
- Use fertilizer only as needed. Avoid using fertilizer containing phosphorous (the middle number on the bag).
- DO NOT apply fertilizer or other chemicals within 10 feet of the shoreline or when a heavy rain is expected.
- Keep swales mowed and clear of debris. Never fill in a swale.
- Keep materials and hazardous waste out of the rain and place in a covered area that is designed to prevent runoff.
- Use integrated pest management to minimize the need for chemical applications.
- Overwatering favors the growth of water loving weeds and also creates runoff which may carry harmful pollutants to our waterways. Avoid excess irrigation and watering hard surfaces.
- Know your clients’ irrigation days. Adjust time clocks to water before 10am or after 4pm. Be sure a rain sensor is installed and working properly.
For more information contact:
City of Leesburg