Spring Reminders – April Utility Flyer

CITY OF REDWOOD FALLS

MUNICIPAL SEPARATE STORM SEWER SYSTEM

APRIL UTILITY FLYER

Keep grass clippings off-street and other paved areas

  • Grass clippings contain phosphorus, the nutrient that turns lakes green with algae.
  • Grass clippings from actively growing lawns have 4 to 5 times more phosphorus content than fallen autumn tree leaves.
  • One bushel of fresh grass clippings can contain 0.1 lbs of phosphorus – enough to produce 30 to 50 pounds of algae growth if it finds its way to a Lake or River.
  • When mowing, grass clippings should be directed away from the street, driveways, sidewalks, or other paved areas. Curbside storm sewers can transport grass clippings (along with other street debris and dirt) to the Minnesota River, Redwood River, Lake Redwood, Ramsey Creek, drainage ditches and nearby wetlands.
  • Grass clippings blown on the street, driveways, sidewalks, or other paved areas during mowing should be swept up and returned to the lawn or composted. Never deposit clippings, leaves or garden waste in drainage ditches or slopes leading to the River.
  • For more information, visit our stormwater page at http://www.ci.redwood-falls.mn.us under City Departments/Public Works/Storm Water.

Sweep after mowing

Mowing High – over 2.5 inches – promotes healthier lawn, cleaner water

  • Cut grass to a height of 2.5 to 3 inches. An easy guide is the width of
    a dollar bill, which is slightly wider than 2.5 inches.
  • Lawns mowed higher withstand heat stress better and need less watering.
  • Lawns mowed higher are more competitive against weeds, reducing the need for herbicide use and are more robust and resilient, reducing bare spots and soil erosion.

Use Herbicides According to Suggested Rates of Application

  • For best results, apply at suggested rates listed on the container and keep a watchful eye on the weather for rain.  Rain washes away herbicides and reduces contact time with the intended weeds resulting in poor weed control.
  •  Consider using alternative lawn-care techniques in addition to, or even instead of, pesticides. Try pulling weeds by hand (counts as a workout), or spot-treating weedy areas instead of your entire yard.

Fertilizing/Seeding

  • Be phosphorus conscious! Minnesota’s Phosphorus Lawn Fertilizer Law requires the use of phosphorus-free fertilizer on established lawns unless soil nutrient testing shows a need.
  • Re-establish vegetation on bare soil spots by re-seeding to prevent erosion.

Pets

  • Pick up and properly dispose of pet waste to prevent not only nutrients but also harmful bacteria from reaching our local lakes rivers and streams.

City of Redwood Falls Compost Site

  • The compost site is located near the Redwood Wastewater Treatment Facility on Peabody Road. The entrance is located on Walnut Street immediately west of Swain Street. The compost site is now open and will remain open until the weather dictates its closing. Hours of operation are Tuesday thru Friday 7:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., and Saturday/Sunday 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.., closed on Mondays for maintenance.
  • Grass clippings, leaves and non-woody yard waste will be accepted at the compost site. No branches, paper, glass, metal, or garbage is accepted at the compost site. However, adjacent to the compost site, there is a burn site where branches, sticks, and other natural/un-processed woody debris will be accepted.
  • For additional information regarding the compost and burn site, visit our compost page at http://www.ci.redwood-falls.mn.us under City Services/Environment/Compost.

Your Driveway and Stormwater

As the snow and ice on your driveway melt, revealing the scars in the asphalt left by snowplows, snow blowers and spinning tires, you may consider applying a new layer of sealcoat.  Each year in Minnesota, thousands of gallons of store-purchased sealcoat are applied to driveways and other asphalt-paved areas. Until recently, most of that sealcoat was based on coal tar. However, the cancer hazards of chemicals in coal tar-based sealcoats are now known and other possible hazards are being studied.  That’s why the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency urges people to quit using coal tar-based sealcoat.

  • Why? Because sealcoats don’t stay where they’re applied.
  • When sealcoat wears, it turns into dust that can be blown onto play areas. Children contact this dust or track it onto carpets inside.
  • Sealcoat dust is also washed into our streams and ponds. There, it affects fish and the critters they feed on.
  • There are economic effects as well: removing coal tar-contaminated sediment from stormwater ponds costs property owners and taxpayers a lot.
  • A number of retailers in Minnesota no longer sell coal tar-based sealants.  And a number of contractors no longer use them.

More information about coal tar-free sealants for asphalt, go to the website of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency  www.pca.state.mn.us.