What can you do to protect water quality?
- Limit pesticide use. Use nonchemical methods or least-toxic pesticides wherever possible. Ask
a UC Master Gardener for help with pest problems.
- Avoid using pyrethroid insecticides. These products, including bifenthrin, cypermethrin, and
permethrin, are among the most toxic to aquatic animals.
- Control ants by reducing food sources, excluding them from homes, and using baits in
containers, instead of spraying.
- Cut back on fertilizer. More is not better. Actively-growing turf, flowering shrubs, and some annuals and fruit trees require regular feeding, but ornamental trees
- Use slow-release fertilizers, including composted organic
fertilizers, which are less likely to move into water. Measure and apply them according to label
- Don’t let fertilizer or pesticides get onto hard surfaces
such as sidewalks or driveways. Sweep any material that accidentally lands
on hard surfaces back onto lawn.
- Dispose of garden chemicals correctly. Never sweep, hose off,
or pour leftover pesticides or fertilizers into drains or gutters.
- Reduce your landscape’s need for water. Choose water-efficient plants
and garden designs.
- Minimize runoff by using mulches in beds and permeable materials for walkways
and driveways. Aerate and add organic matter such as compost to heavy or compacted
- Check and maintain your irrigation system so water does not run off your
landscape onto hard surfaces and into gutters.
- Improve watering efficiency and distribution by using equipment such as
drip irrigation, soaker hoses, and “smart” irrigation controllers
and rotor heads.
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