Follow These Tips to Keep Arlington Waterways Clean and Healthy
By Melissa Walker, Environmental Education Specialist
Posted on April 22, 2020, April 22, 2020

Leaves in a storm drain

The City’s Stormwater Management Division would like to remind our residents that common landscape practices and the overuse of pesticides and fertilizers can harm our local waterways. When it rains, excess water flows from yards and impervious surfaces like driveways, streets, roofs and parking lots picks up pollutants and transports them to our local creeks, streams and lakes. The following guidelines will help keep our local waterways clean and healthy.

• Never sweep or blow yard wastes such as leaves, grass clippings or tree limbs/trimmings into the streets, gutters, concrete channels or any waterway. Yard wastes will decay in our creeks and storm drains using up oxygen and releasing nutrients which can cause excessive algae growth. Yard wastes can also clog storm drains increasing the risk of localized flooding.

• Compost and recycle yard wastes. This reduces the cost of chemical fertilizers and reduces stormwater pollution. Sweeping your grass clippings back onto your lawn provides vital nutrients to your landscape.

• Apply fertilizers or pesticides sparingly; Use a slow-release product, and/or a low toxicity product when possible. Remove excess fertilizer or pesticide from impervious areas such as driveways and sidewalks. Never apply fertilizers or pesticides when rain has been forecast!

• Read the Label! Select and Apply fertilizers or pesticides according to the manufacturers label instructions. This will minimize harmful effects on non-target or beneficial species and reduce environmental hazards.

• Remember to properly store and dispose of all household and lawn chemicals. Clean up spilled chemicals quickly with sand or cat litter. For more information visit

• Develop an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) plan using native and adaptive plants that require less water, pesticides and fertilizers. Visit our Texas Smart Yards page at to learn more.

• Report Illegal Dumping – The community’s help is essential in catching and deterring illegal dumping into the storm drain system, creeks, streams and lake. Call the action center at 817-459-6777 or file an online report at

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