NDOT encourages Nevadans to use best landscaping practices to protect stormwater runoff | Carson City Nevada News

CARSON CITY, Nevada – The Nevada Department of Transportation’s environmental division, which oversees disciplines such as rainwater, air quality, noise, wildlife biology, environmental engineering, and cultural resources, encourages Nevada residents to follow residential landscaping best practices regarding pesticides and herbicide use. Spring gardening is the best time in Nevada, but remember water-wise practices when conducting landscaping activities in residential areas.

“Most people are surprised to learn that homes can be a source of pollution,” said James Murphy, environmental program manager for the Nevada Department of Transportation. “The Nevada Department of Transportation encourages Nevada residents to take steps to prevent pollution of our waterways, such as avoiding overwatering and using pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers sparingly, with caution, and in accordance with product labeling.”

In Nevada, sewer systems and storm sewers are separate systems. Water that goes down the drain from a toilet or sink in a house is sent to a sewage treatment plant, where it is treated and filtered. Conversely, water that flows into gullies via driveways and roads flows directly into a storm drain that flows untreated into lakes, rivers and streams. Runoff from landscaped areas can contain fertilizers, pesticides, or other materials that are harmful to lakes and streams.

Charles Schembre, an environmental scientist with the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection, said the most important thing residents can do is avoid watering the sidewalk. Installing a buffer between the lawn and the sidewalk (e.g. rocks, wood mulch or plants) will prevent it from running off onto the sidewalk. This is an important component in reducing the runoff of pollutants into storm sewers.

Never throw anything down the drain as it flows directly to Nevada’s rivers and lakes. If you see someone pour something down a drain, call 888-331-6337 to report an illegal discharge.

GARDEN TIPS TO KEEP POLLUTANTS OUT OF NEVADA’S WATERWAYS
Use soil health practices and be economical with organic fertilizers and pesticides. Be sure to follow the instructions on the product label. Consider planting trees, seeds, and plants that are native to Nevada and require less water.

Selective herbicide applications target weeds and avoid impacts on desirable plant species. Avoid spraying in conditions where herbicides can drift to non-target plant species (when wind speed is> 15 mph). If possible, use organic mulch or other pest control methods.

Install a buffer between the lawn and the sidewalk to prevent irrigation from draining onto the sidewalk.
Pick up animal waste and dispose of it properly.

Use a commercial car wash or wash your car in the grass so the water soaks into the ground instead of going into the storm sewers.

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