Creek Week: Yard Debris is Part of Stormwater Pollution

Everyday activities, such as mowing the grass and spraying for weeds, can contribute to stormwater pollution, warns the Mooresville Stormwater Division. As part of the Division’s annual Creek Week, they’re making citizens aware of these pollutants and how to minimize them from reaching our local waterways. 

Yard waste can clog storm drains and other drainage ways, leading to flooding. The Mooresville Stormwater Division advises not raking, sweeping, blowing, or placing any grass, branches, leaves, or pine straw into the storm drainage system. It’s best to not place them near or in the path of a storm drain because rain can pick the waste up and carry it to the storm drain and clog it. That yard waste then decays in our local waterways, using up oxygen and releasing pollutants that can kill plants and other organisms that live in the water.  

The Stormwater Division recommends:
•    Mow often enough to leave the grass clippings on the yard – they’re good fertilizer
•    Mow away from pavement, including road and driveway
•    Keep leaves off the street
•    Make compost by mixing grass clippings with leaves and soil

While spring isn’t here yet, we’re seeing flowers and trees already blooming, weeds popping up, and grass growing. Improper use of pesticides and fertilizers used to treat grass, weeds, and other headaches can impact water quality. The Mooresville Stormwater Division urges homeowners to use them as instructed on the label and not before a rainstorm. These chemicals could wash into storm drains and pollute local creeks, streams, and Lake Norman. 

Car care and maintenance can also contribute to stormwater pollution. One quart of motor oil can contaminate 250,000 gallons of water! It’s important to properly dispose of oil, anti-freeze, and other car maintenance liquids. While washing the car in the driveway seems harmless, the dirty water full of soap, oils, grease, and heavy metals travel down the road and into the storm drain system, then pollute our local creeks, streams, and lakes.

Another contaminant you may not think about – pet waste. You can read this article on how pet waste can damage our local creeks, lakes, and streams. 

The Town of Mooresville’s annual Creek Week is March 6-11, 2023. Click here to sign up for family-friendly events during Creek Week.