The entire team here at WKBN 27 First News is working to do our part to help protect the water of our community. There are many simple examples of how residents can do their part to make sure our Valley’s water is safe and clean. The Keep It Clean campaign launched by WKBN 27 is our initiative to educate the public on the importance of keeping our water clean and protecting the environment.
Below you will find 10 Tips to Protect Our Valley’s Water:
1. Be Aware of Your Grass Clippings
– Many people decide to pick up and bag their grass, especially during while the grass is growing extensively in the Spring. Those bags of grass just add to landfills. Instead, if you recycle your grass clippings back into your yard they act as a natural fertilizer for your soil.
– If you are cutting your grass or trimming don’t leave grass clippings on your driveway, sidewalk or street. This grass along with any fertilizer on it could find its way into a nearby storm drain. It is recommended to use a broom and sweep up these loose clippings and dispose of them (using water from a hose to clean off your driveway not only wastes water, but also carries that grass down the drain and into local streams.
2. Pick Up Your Pet Waste
– Picking up your pet waste regularly can actually have a substantial impact on the environment. For starters, you don’t want to step in it, but this waste can also get transferred with rain and melting snow ending up in your storm drains, streams and rivers.
– Specifically dog waste can have an impact on water quality because of the bacteria that it brings into the water system. This bacteria can have an impact on any aquatic life in the region, as well as be a threat to human health.
3. What Goes Down Your Storm Drain
– We all are familiar with storm drains on our streets. The majority of water that flows into these drains is from a hard rain or melting snow. This “stormwater” comes off our houses, across lawns and down streets. It carries everything from excess fertilizer, pet waste, oil and chemicals directly into these drains.
– One important fact is that these storm drains do not carry this water to a treatment plant. These drain directly into local waterways…so be aware of what is being washed into those drains.
4. Use a Rain Barrel
– A rain barrel is a container that collects rain water from a roof or downspout around your home. This water can serve many purposes for you around your house. It can be used to water plants or flowers, clean your car, wash tools or water your grass.
– This will collect water which in turns helps the environment by stopping it from running off into storm drains. Also, this water can be used instead for the above activities instead of getting water from your house – thus saving on your water bill!
5. Build a Rain Garden
– Creating a rain garden may be a bit of a project for your house, but it can be beneficial in the long run. A rain garden is a shallow depression constructed with gravel, mulch and plants that captures and holds runoff water from around your house. The water that it holds is used by the plants that are a part of the garden.
– This is a simple and effective way to reduce runoff, filter pollutants in the water and add some beauty and color to your yard. A rain garden is currently part of the Mill Creek Metroparks offices in Canfield, you can contact them for more information on how to construct one on your own.
6. Be Aware of Fertilizer Guidelines
– Does your lawn need fertilizer and if so, how much? If you are using fertilizer, it is important to know what is best for your lawn and apply the fertilizer properly. Using more fertilizer is not a good thing and can cause harm to your lawn and the entire environment.
– If you over fertilize your lawn and are not careful, these extra chemicals can find their way into local streams and rivers. This can cause problems for the ecosystem and harm any wildlife in those regions.
7. Easy Way to Protect Streams
– If you have a stream or lake on your property, you have to be extra careful on how you take care of this environment. It may look nice to cut your grass right up to the edge of the stream, but cutting and trimming that close causes soil erosion and isn’t good for the stream or your yard.
– It is recommended to leave a small barrier between your yard and the stream. In this area you should allow for the growth of native plants to the region, this will help protect the stream and keep your lawn from disappearing.
8. Prevent Septic Problems
– If you have a septic system at your home, it is very important that you manage it properly so that you don’t cause contamination of the environment and sources of drinking water. A failing system can be detrimental to the overall environment releasing toxic chemicals, bacteria and other toxins.
– The two most important items to remember with a septic system are to get it checked regularly and pump out your system every three years.
9. Cattle Concerns
– Farmers play an important role in protecting our environment for many reasons. Cattle or other livestock are the main concern when it comes to the contamination of drinking water. Having these animals in the stream introduces many new contaminates to the environment.
– To solve this problem, farmers should give the animals a separate alternative form of drinking water and keep them out of the stream. This will protect the stream and our watershed.
10. Know How to Wash Your Car
– Be aware of some easy ways to make washing your car safer to the environment. First, don’t waste water when washing – make sure you have an automatic shutoff hose or take your car to a car wash that recycles water.
– Know what type of soap you are using on your car….biodegradable soap will be the best kind for the environment. If you are washing your car at home, let this water was into your lawn or garden – this is better than down your driveway and into the street.
These are just some tips that could help protect the water here in our Valley. Join with WKBN 27 First News and lets do our part to make our Valley a better place and Keep It Clean.