Earth Week Tips from the Sammamish Stormwater Team

Release Date: April 22, 2020
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Our Stormwater Team has rounded up some helpful, Earth-friendly trivia and tips to help celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day.

1. Did you know that vehicle leaks have a huge impact on Lake Washington and our local creeks? If your car has a leak, place a drip pan or cardboard under the engine to catch leaks. Fix as soon as possible. Visit fixcarleaks.org to find information about diagnosing your car leak.

2. Did you know that rainwater and surface runoff is the most common pathway for chemicals to pollute our local creeks and lakes? Never dump chemicals, paint, or rinse water in your yard or down storm drains. Always rinse paint brushes and rollers in a sink, never outside.

3. Did you know that roof moss control is easiest in the summer, when it’s dried out? If treating your roof for moss, you can disconnect downspouts to allow roof water to flow to your landscape instead of to the stormwater system and local creeks. Reconnect downspouts after treatment. Find safer moss control products at growsmartgrowsafe.org.

4. Has your spring cleaning moved outside? Use a broom to sweep up dust and debris. If you have to pressure wash, use cold water only, with no soap or chemicals. Divert wash water to a landscaped area where the water can soak in to the ground.

5. It’s officially spring and time to get our gardens growing. Got questions about how to get started? Get free gardening advice from the Garden Hotline – from choosing the right plants to addressing pests. Call, email or visit their website for advice. 206-633-0224, www.gardenhotline.org/question

6. Consider turning over a new leaf in your lawn care routine. Leave your mower’s bag attachment in the shed and let the grass clippings drop on your lawn. This technique, also known as “grasscycling” or “mulch-mowing”, improves the health of your lawn. The clippings are free fertilizer that help your lawn grow green and dense. As they quickly decompose, the clippings release nutrients back into the soil. https://www.pugetsoundstormgroup.org/eDownload.aspx?no=71&DocID=Itr9Wo2XRYU%3d

7. Now is a great time to weed your garden, while the digging is easier and the weeds are smaller.

  • It’s easier to pull young weeds before they go to seed or start spreading.
  • Pull weeds by hand or with your favorite weeding tool. Remove entire weed, including roots.
  • Weeds should be disposed of in yard waste and, in the case of some noxious weeds, the trash. Do not use for mulch or in backyard compost bin.