Homeowners can make a difference at home and in their neighborhoods which can both have a direct impact on the rebirth of Onondaga Lake or the watershed where you reside.

Here are a few ways that homeowners can help make an impact:

1.) “Connect the Drops” – by learning how litter in our streets and litter in our lakes and waterways, homeowners can take action by “blocking litter” in their neighborhoods by spending as little as 10 minutes per week to help pick up litter near their homes. You can learn more about the Block Litter program at www.blocklitter.com to sign up.

2.) Use a leaf bag – Homeowners should collect leaves and other yard debris and place them into leaf bags. This will prevent leaves and other debris from being blown or carried into nearby storm drains.

3.) Make your property a sustainable one – Diverting your gutters into a garden or planting trees around your property are easy ways to absorb stormwater naturally. Homeowners should also consider using porous surfaces for sidewalks, driveways or walkways on your property.

4.) Connect a rain barrel – Rain barrels are easy ways to capture and recycle stormwater. Connect the rain barrel to your gutter system and reuse the water to irrigate your lawn, water your plants or wash your car.

5.) Use and dispose of chemical products properly – DO NOT dispose of gasoline, paint, motor oil, fertilizer, pesticides or any other chemicals by pouring them down your household or storm drains. Homeowners should contact the Onondaga County Resource and Recovery Agency for instructions on disposal of these products.

6.) Making sure your sump pump is not attached to your sanitary sewer.

7) Look for the Zero – Before buying lawn fertilizer, check the back for a set of three numbers showing the percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Buy a bag with a “0” in the middle, which represents the percentage of phosphorus in the fertilizer. Phosphorus is one of the leading causes of water pollution; it can wash off your yard and pollute lakes and streams. Excess phosphorus in waterbodies can cause algae overgrowth, including harmful blue-green algae. As always, make sure you follow the directions on the bag for proper application rates and methods.

  • Home Garden

    Click the links below to download a Residential Rain Garden brochure (PDF): English Espanol ...(read more)