Did you know how you manage your yard impacts the health of Long Pond?
Whether you live directly on the pond or several blocks away, you influence water quality in the bodies of water that surround you. When rain falls, it runs over your yard, sidewalks and roadways and into nearby waterways, picking up chemicals and debris it encounters along the way. All of the lands that surround and drain to a body of water are called a watershed - learn more about watersheds here!
This means that fertilizers and other chemicals you apply around your property may inadvertently end up in Long Pond. The cumulative impacts of these chemicals from across the watershed can have serious impacts on aquatic health and may fuel invasive weed growth.
The plants in your yard also play a role in protecting water quality. Planting the right plants in the right spots can help slow runoff and filter out pollutants that may harm water quality, with the added benefits of beautifying your yard, providing wildlife habitat, and saving time and money with fewer waterings.
What you put in the ground matters too.
For those that live on Long Pond, your household's wastewater - everything you wash down the drain from your sink, shower, toilet and washing machine - gets treated right in your yard.
Wastewater flows from your house and into an underground treatment system, called a septic system. This is a buried, water-tight container that uses soil to remove the solids from your wastewater. Septic systems also remove harmful bacteria; however, only advanced systems will remove the nutrients found in wastewater. Some older houses may have a different type of system called a cesspool. These older systems do not remove bacteria or nutrients from wastewater.
Treated water from your septic system or cesspool flows through your yard and into the groundwater. Once it enters the groundwater, it can then flow into nearby wells or into Long Pond. Pathogens and nutrients in groundwater pose serious health risks to nearby wells and fuel aquatic plant growth in Long Pond.
Caring for your septic system and making sure it is functioning properly by pumping and inspecting it regularly, are important to protect your health and water quality!
Learn more at our upcoming Long Pond Friendly Living series of informational meetings!