Fertilizers

While fertilizer is good for our lawn, it’s bad for our water. Fertilizer that enters our lakes and streams can cause algae to grow and use up oxygen that fish need to survive.

Pollution Prevention Tips
So what can you do to help?
  • Sweep it. Sweep excess fertilizer and grass clippings from pavement back onto your lawn so that they don’t wash into storm drains.
  • Buy zero and go slow. Contact the Macomb County Michigan State University Extension office at 586-469-6430 to get a soil test. Choose a fertilizer with 0 phosphorus. Phosphorus can cause algae growth. Also use an organic or slow-release nitrogen fertilizer, which causes less harm to water. Many local hardware stores carry earth-friendly fertilizing options.  
  • Hire smart. Select a lawn care service that follows the practices noted above.
  • Mow high. Keep your lawn at 3 inches in height or more. Taller grass strengthens roots and shades out weeds. Also, remember that the nutrients from grass clippings left on your lawn act as a great fertilizer.
  • Make fertilizer-free zones. Keep fertilizer at least 10 feet away from the edge of any lakes, streams, or storm drains.
For More Information
For more easy steps on protecting our lakes and streams, visit the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments website.