Nutrient Runoff Prevention


The Nutrient Run Off Experiment explores one way in which we impact the rivers and streams in Kansas. We learned from the experiment that it is important to avoid applying fertilizer right before a storm. Even applying the fertilizer one hour before a storm can reduce the phosphorus levels in the runoff significantly*. What else can we do to prevent pollution from entering our rivers and streams?

* In Diana Restrepo's experiment, the phosphorus level in the runoff was at 9.5 ppm when the rain immediately followed the fertilizer application and 4.5 ppm when the rain was poured one hour after the fertilizer was applied. 

Preventative Measures
  • Place Plants Strategically Plants serve as a buffer and prevent fertilizer, pesticides, and other contaminants from entering bodies of water. Plants that are strategically placed near the bottom of a slope, on property lines, or circumscribing crops or gardens are useful in preventing runoff.
  • Head to the Car Wash According to the May 2002 issue of Stormwater magazine, "most commercial car washes use 60 percent less water in the entire washing process than a home wash uses just to rinse off a car. Special pressure nozzles mix 50% air in with the water to create pressure without volume."
  • Clean Oil Spills Oil runs off of paved surfaces and enters the water supply. To clean an oil spill, absorb it into cat litter and seal it securely in plastic bags. Then dispose of it in accordance with your hazardous waste collection center.
  • Do not Litter Litter endangers animals and may clog waterways or contaminate the water.
  • Use Eco-Friendly Products Use environmentally-friendly alternatives to pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Dispose of Hazardous Waste Properly The Kansas State Fire Marshal has composed a list of hazardous waste materials. 
  • Monitor Water Usage Do not water your land in excess. The runoff created by this to the point where you create runoff nor hose down your sidewalks. This water carries contaminants into our water sources. Conserve water and money by sweeping your sidewalks!
  • Disposal of Yard Waste Leaves, compost, branches, etc. all can clog our drainage systems and waterways. Options for yard waste disposal include chipping the material for mulch, hauling the material to a disposal site, or hiring a hauling service to dispose of it for you.