The way we care for our homes and yards affects our lakes, and there are measures you can take to keep our lakes healthy. Here are five things the Clean Lakes Alliance says you can do to help keep the lakes clean.
Rake for the Lake: Rake the leaves out of the gutter in front of your home. Leaf litter is filled with algae-creating phosphorus, and it’s released into storm sewers that connect to the lakes. Leaves can be composted, mowed into the lawn or used as mulch.
Create a Rain Garden: A rain garden is a small depression in your yard that collects rainwater. Rain gardens provide a place for rain to go as it washes off driveways, patios and rooftops. When planted with wildflowers, rain gardens can add appeal to your home while attracting butterflies and songbirds.
Harvest rainwater: Connecting a rain barrel to your downspout will allow you to collect rainwater and save money on your water bill.
Sink the rain: Protect the lakes by limiting the use of hard, water-impervious surfaces around your home. When considering a new patio or driveway, opt for a porous paving or water-permeable pavement. During the winter, limit the use of salt, which is damaging to cars, driveways, soils and the lakes.
Watch what you send down the drain: Conserving water in and around your home helps protects drinking water and the lakes. Less water use means less water softener salt entering the environment. Do not send salt, medicines or antibiotics down the drain because wastewater plants are not able to treat them. The MedDrop program offers a safe and eco-friendly way to dispose of unwanted pharmaceuticals.
For more information, visit www.cleanlakesalliance.org/resources .