York County SC Homepage


Did you know that incorrect lawn care can be the biggest contributor to water pollution?
Watering the Lawn
Why? This water may contain fertilizers, pesticides, soil and animal wastes that will run directly into the stormwater system which then ends up directly in our local creeks, streams and Lake Wylie.
 Did you know that just one sprinkler head uses 15 gallons of water per minute? Most lawns require at least 30 minutes of watering. So just one sprinkler head uses 450 gallons of water each time the lawn is watered. So do the math: One yard with approximately 9 sprinklers uses 4,050 gallons of water.
If you must water your lawn please use the following storm water friendly tips:

  • Water during the cooler times of day when more water can be absorbed.
  • Turn-off the irrigation systems if it is raining.
  • Only water when necessary.
  • Properly maintain irrigation systems-Fix any broken sprinkler heads.
  • Install a rain barrel or rain garden to conserve water.
  • Cover any bare spots to avoid erosion.

Incorrect Use of Lawn Chemicals
Why? All excess chemicals that are not absorbed by the ground are washed off into the storm water system which then ends up directly into our local creeks, streams and Lake Wylie. The introduction of fertilizers and pesticides can kill fish and aquatic bug species which are a major food source for fish. They can also cause major algae blooms.
 Did you know water pollution from incorrect usage of fertilizers and pesticides is the fastest growing problem today? They are the biggest cause for mass fish kills in streams and lakes.
 When using yard chemicals please use the following guidelines:

  • Read and follow all package directions carefully.
  • Have your soil tested every three years to ensure you are using the correct fertilizers.
  • Do not use pesticides or fertilizers near creeks or streams.
  • Never fertilize your yard before to a large rainfall.
  • Try and use organic materials instead of synthetic chemicals.
  • Try and keep fertilizers and pesticides off paved surfaces.
  • Use a drop spreader instead of rotary spreader in smaller places.

Yard Waste-Lawn Clipping & Leaf Piles 
Why? Clippings and leaves that are blown or washed into the storm drain system can clog the systems resulting in flooding.
 Did you know when the clippings and excess leaves end up in the creeks and stream they can act like fertilizers, which can cause massive algae blooms and fish kills?
What can I do with the grass clipping and leaves in my yard?

  • Compost yard clippings and leaves in plant beds. They make great mulch.
  • Collect and bag yard waste. Most trash collection agencies with collect and compost the waste.
  • Blow grass clippings back onto your yard. They will act like a fertilizer and also help your yard maintain moisture.

Check out these other great resources

(Some links/contact information may not be accurate)

Conservation landscaping: Sea Grant

Lawncare: Sea Grant

Guide for healthy yards

EPA Fact Sheet Grass clippings

EPA Yard Waste Composting


Pesticides can be very harmful to wildlife, humans, aquatic life,  and water quality when not used properly. 

Pest Management for home owners: Sea grant

Check out Safe Pesticide Alternatives for home owners. Sometimes getting rid of "pest" can be done with household materials. Saves you time and money and most importantly it is safer for the environment.  

Government Websites by CivicPlus®
Arrow Left Arrow Right
Slideshow Left Arrow Slideshow Right Arrow