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Posted on: September 13, 2017

RAKE YOUR LEAVES WITH CARE TO KEEP HEALTHY WATER

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Fall is almost here which means it is almost time to rake those leaves. But did you know...leaves have a large connection to water quality because as they decompose they steal oxygen in the water leaving fish with nothing to breath. Just like humans, fish need oxygen too! As you dust off your rake and get ready for fall remember these few steps to not pollute our waterways and the oxygen fish need to breath.

  • Instead of raking, put your leaf blower in reverse so it sucks in rather than blows out or mow over the leaves shredding them into tiny pieces. 
  • Use mulch around flower beds. As leaves decompose they add vital organic matter to the soil (composted organic matter is called "black gold" for a reason.)
  • Do you have bunch of leaves? Save these browns to add to the greens you compost, if you have a compost pile.
  • If you do need to rake, be sure to pick up the leaves - never rake them into the street. If it does happen to rain before the leaves are picked up they may flow into the closest storm drain, causing big problems for fish. 

For more helpful tips on ways to protect our stormwater, visit Iowa Stormwater Education Partnership