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What can you do to promote water quality in Kentucky?
Participate in a local litter clean-up
Removing litter from streams and roadways is an easy activity for all ages that helps to create a cleaner Kentucky for everyone! Litter and illegal dumping pose a major threat to water quality in the Bluegrass. Check out our events page for upcoming community litter clean-ups, or for click here for instructions on how to organize your own litter clean-up. Report a litter-bug if you see someone littering!
Use and dispose of harmful materials properly
Don’t dump them on the ground! Hazardous waste that is dumped on or buried in the ground can contaminate the soil and can move down into the ground water or be carried into nearby surface waters by runoff during rainstorms. You might be surprised to learn that a number of products you use at home contain hazardous or toxic substances. Products like motor oil, pesticides, leftover paints or paint cans, mothballs, flea collars, weed killers, household cleaners and even a number of medicines contain materials that can be harmful to surface water and ground water. Make sure to always dispose of these materials properly. If you are unsure of how to dispose a specific material, please call 311 in Lexington or Bluegrass Greensource (859) 266-1572.
Join the Kentucky Watershed Watch
Do you live close to a stream or river? Do you love science? Do you want to help protect the future of Kentucky streams and rivers? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you should consider joining the Kentucky Watershed Watch. Once trained, volunteers test and monitor the condition of streams and rivers. This data can then be compiled and compared to past samples and samples around the state. This data can be used to make recommendations for improving and/or protecting water quality and/or to help educate others in the community.
If you are wondering which watershed you live in, check out the interactive map on the KY Department of Environmental Protection. And if you aren’t even sure what a watershed is, check out Kentucky River Watershed Watch to find out.
Organize a storm drain stenciling project
Many people don’t know that storm drains lead directly to our waterways. Everything that enters a storm drain or storm inlet is washed into nearby streams, lakes, and rivers without going through a treatment plant. Only rainwater should go down the drain!
Stenciling storm drains educates citizens so that everyone knows that pollutants don’t belong in storm drains. Organizing a storm drain stenciling project is a great volunteer opportunity. Contact Bluegrass Greensource to schedule your next storm drain stenciling project. Click here for more information on storm drain stenciling.
Don’t overuse pesticides, herbicides, and/or fertilizers
Many people apply fertilizers, herbicides, and/or pesticides to make lawns thick and green, flowers colorful, and vegetable crops weed-free and abundant. Many pesticides are used to keep bugs from ruining what the fertilizers have helped to produce. However, many people do not realize that many of these fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides contain hazardous chemicals that can travel through storm water and/or the soil and contaminate both drinking water and ground water.
Take some time and consider whether you really need these chemicals to get the desired result in your lawn. If these chemicals are used at all, they should be used in moderation. For more information about responsible lawn care click here.
Invite Bluegrass Greensource to your school, business, or community organization
Bluegrass Greensource can provide water quality and conservation education to your school, business, or community organization. To find out water educational opportunities are available in your community, please contact Bluegrass Greensource at email@example.com or call (859) 266-1572.
Sponsored by Kentucky American Water: