Spring is in the air.

As thoughts turn toward spring cleaning, prepping the yard for summer and enjoying longer walks in warmer weather, the Green Lake Association (GLA) reminds everyone that taking simple actions can help protect Big Green.

Below are five easy steps to help take care of the lake this spring:

1) Never dump household chemicals like paints, cleaners, solvents, oil, or any chemicals down storm drains. Everything that flows into storm drains eventually makes its way to the lake.

2) Never flush or dump old medications down the drain. Even water that is treated at a wastewater treatment facility can still have pharmaceutical components present,as they can be very difficult to remove. Instead, drop old medications off at a disposal facility. Many pharmacies have a place to drop-off old medications for proper disposal.

3) Pick up after pets. Animal waste contains nutrients like phosphorus. Waste left on the road, trails or even the yard can wash off into storm drains or nearby streams, where it contributes to nutrient pollution in the lake.

4) Reduce bare soil spots in yards and keep lawn clippings off hard surfaces like driveways and the street. Soil, grass and leaves all naturally contain phosphorus. When they are washed away during rainstorms, it travels via storm drains to Green Lake. By keeping these off the driveway and out of the street, it helps prevent excess nutrients from polluting Big Green.

5) Don’t use fertilizer that contains phosphorus. Phosphorus pollution is the greatest threat to Green Lake’s water quality. Those who choose to use fertilizer on their lawn should make sure the middle number (indicating nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium) on the fertilizer bag is zero. Consider using compost instead or mulching grass clippings and leaves in place as a natural source of fertilizer to feed the lawn instead of weeds growth in Green Lake.

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