As summer kicks into gear, there are numerous ways to help local waterways stay clear of debris and pollutants produced by warm-weather activities such as fertilizing lawns and plants, lawn mowing, and walking your dog.
As the much-needed monsoon rains are forecast in the coming weeks, water running in the streets and gutters produced by these rains will pick up all the “gunk” left on roads and sidewalks. This includes fertilizers, unattended pet waste, leaves, grass clippings, and other pollutants that get washed away in stormwater drainage.
The result is nutrient pollution in lakes and creeks. This is not only unsightly, but it also degrades water quality. Excess nitrogen and phosphorus can cause nutrient pollution and an overgrowth of algae, ultimately removing oxygen from lakes and creeks—endangering fish, lessening recreational opportunities, degrading water quality, and eventually leading to a decline in safe drinking water.
Picking up dog poop is critical, as this waste contains phosphorous and nitrogen. There are an estimated 1.4 million dogs in Colorado, and each dog generates 12 ounces of waste per day and 274 pounds per year—which adds up to a total of 390 million pounds statewide.
Along with cleaning up after a pet, here are other ways to make a difference in water quality:
Learn more about the County’s stormwater management program.