Don't ruin summer fun - skip the spring fertilizer and keep Echo Lake clean

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Echo Lake covered with green scum last summer
Photo by Gidget Terpstra
Did you know spring lawn fertilizers can ruin summer fun at Echo Lake? 

Spring rains wash fertilizer off lawns and into storm drains, which ultimately flow into nearby streams or even straight into Echo Lake.

Toxic algae on Echo Lake 
Photo by Ann Michel
Fertilizers feed lake weeds and, combined with warm summer temperatures, can spawn toxic algae blooms. 

Last year, the lake was closed for several weeks due to toxic algae blooms.

How to have a healthy lawn AND protect summer fun on the water? Skip the spring fertilizer completely!

Instead, spread a thin layer of compost and leave grass clippings on the lawn. Grass clippings will break down and naturally fertilize your lawn.

Warning sign. Photo by Marla Tullio
If you need to fertilize, choose a slow-release organic fertilizer and apply it in the fall. 

Not only do these protect water quality in our streams and lakes, but they help build the healthy soil that your lawn needs to grow!

Water from rain, lawn watering, and wash water that flows off our properties and into streets picks up any pollution it touches, like fertilizers, car leaks, and pet waste. 

Most of this water flows into storm drains and ditches, where it is then piped to the nearest natural waterway. This water is not cleaned, meaning pollution the water has picked up flows straight into our streams, lakes, and Puget Sound. 

Water runoff from rain, garden watering, and wash water can harm natural waterways across the City, even if you do not live right next to a stream, lake, or Puget Sound.

Christie Lovelace
Surface Water Program Specialist
City of Shoreline


Anonymous,  April 27, 2022 at 9:49 AM  

Make it a law.
Also, ban Roundup.

Save our waterways.

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