Make a difference with simple changes in your home and lawn maintenance.
- Every three to five years, pump out the solids that accumulate in the bottom of your septic tank to ensure proper function, prevent pollution in streams and groundwater, and avoid expensive repairs.
- Landscape with native wildflowers, shrubs and trees to enhance property values, attract birds and other native wildlife, discourage invasive species and contribute to healthy watersheds. You will also reduce your need for fertilizing and extra watering.
- Install a rain garden (a prepared depression planted with native plants) or rain barrels to help reduce the impact of stormwater runoff and reduce water costs.
- Allow streamside areas to remain vegetated with shrubs and small trees, or plant native grasses, shrubs and small trees in these areas. It creates natural habitat and armors streambanks against erosion.
- Minimize your use of herbicides and pesticides, as these cost money and can wash into streams during storms and kill plants and animals.
- Minimize impervious surfaces like paved roads and driveways, as well as rooftops, which prevent water from soaking into the ground and contribute to downstream flooding.
- Avoid dumping anything into sinkholes which can pollute groundwater, wells, and ultimately streams and rivers.
- Avoid clearing or filling wet areas as these naturally filter and retain water runoff, reducing sedimentation and flooding.
- Participate in available recycling programs curbside and at solid waste drop-off facilities and use hazardous materials drop-off events in your community to dispose of household materials such as paints, cleaners, automotive fluids and electronics.
Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation
Division of Natural Heritage <
217 Governor Street
Richmond, VA 23219
Virginia Native Plant Society
400 Blandy Farm Lane, Unit 2
Boyce, VA 22620
- Have your soil tested before fertilizing your lawn and garden. Follow fertilizer application instructions, as excess fertilizer wastes money and can wash into streams, damage aquatic habitats and degrade water quality.
Virginia Extension Agency