Water and Air Quality
Landscaping practices protect water quality by reducing/eliminating pollutants
that would otherwise end up in our waterways. One htmlect of River-Friendly
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) — a holistic approach to controlling insects, plant diseases, weeds, and other pests. University of
California’s IPM program/UC-IPM
is an excellent source of information on IPM practices.
Making a Difference
The County's Animal Care Facility at 3839
Bradshaw Road Center includes a demonstration rain garden.
You can help keep our waterways clean:
- Choose plants that use
fewer water-polluting chemicals to stay healthy
- Adopt IPM practices using non-chemical methods to control weeds and
- Create your own
landscape with mulch, and use pervious concrete, to increase on-site
infiltration and reduce runoff
- Keep soil covered to reduce soil erosion
- Plant trees to increase soil stability
- Keep pesticides off hard surfaces where they can be easily washed into
the storm drain system
Using Alternative Control Methods
There are many ways to control pests other than by pesticides.
Mulch - Eliminate or mow weeds before they go to seed to keep them from spreading. Mulch suppresses weeds and makes those that do grow easier to pull.
Insect Pests. Check out Our
Water – Our World for ways to control insect pests that reduce or eliminate the need for pesticides.
County Stormwater Quality Partnership encourages River-Friendly Landscaping
as a means to improve the water quality of our local creeks and rivers
Compared to standard landscaping practices, River-Friendly Landscaping
practices promote better air quality:
- by reducing the pollutants released into the air by power equipment and
- by removing pollutants from the air by planting trees.
Low emissions – Consider upgrading to low emission
equipment. Use hand tools where feasible. Gas powered garden tools (lawn mowers,
chain saws, leaf blowers, etc.) emit 5 percent of the nation's air pollution.
According to the US EPA, a gas-powered lawn mower emits 11 times the air
pollution of a new car, per hour of use. Consider upgrading to low emission
equipment. Use hand tools where feasible.
Compost or reuse plant debris on site. Plant
debris hauled to the landfill in vehicles
also results in polluting the air. Additionally, materials placed in a landfill
frequently decompose without oxygen, emitting more greenhouse gases. Instead,
compost or reuse plant debris on site.
Plant trees! Trees help clean and cool the air by
absorbing dirty air and removing pollutants. The USDA Forest Service, Center for
Urban Forest Research estimates that the 6 million existing trees in the
Sacramento region remove approximately 4,000,000 lbs of air pollutants annually.
Trees also intercept significant amounts of rainfall each year, on the order of
500 gallons for every large tree, thus helping to control stormwater runoff.
- Select trees that match the microclimate and soil characteristics.
- Select California natives or other low water use species.
- Sacramento Shade, a partnership between SMUD and the Sacramento Tree
Foundation, offers over 30 types of free shade trees. Contact the Sacramento
Tree Foundation at (916) 924-8733 ext 121 for more information.
For More Information