Commercial Landscape Maintenance


Yard waste, sediments, and toxic lawn and garden chemicals used in commercial landscape maintenance often make their way into the Madison County storm drain system and do not get treated before reaching the streams and rivers. This pollutes our drinking water and contaminates local waterways, making them unsafe for people and wildlife. Follow these best management practices to prevent pollution, protect public health, and avoid fines or legal action.

For more information, please contact Stormwater Program Management at (731) 423-2041.

Best Management Practices

  • Recycle Yard Waste: Recycle leaves, grass clippings, and other yard waste. Do not blow, sweep, rake, or hose yard waste into the street. Let your customers know about grasscycling - the natural recycling of grass by leaving clippings on the lawn when mowing instead of using a grass catcher. Grass clippings will quickly decompose, returning valuable nutrients to the soil.
  • Use Fertilizers, Herbicides, and Pesticides Safely: Fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides are often carried into the storm drain system by sprinkler runoff. Use natural, non-toxic alternatives to traditional garden chemicals. If you must use chemical fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides spot apply rather than blanketing entire areas, avoid applying near curbs and driveways and never apply before a rain.
  • Recycle Hazardous Waste: Pesticides, fertilizers, herbicides, and motor oil contaminate landfills and should be disposed of through a Hazardous Waste Facility.
  • Use Water Wisely: Conserve water and prevent runoff by controlling the amount of water and direction of sprinklers. Sprinklers should be on long enough to allow water to soak into the ground but not so long as to cause runoff. Periodically inspect, fix leaks, and realign sprinkler heads.
  • Planting: Plant native vegetation to reduce the need of water, fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides.
  • Prevent Erosion: Erosion washes sediments, debris, and toxic runoff into the storm drain system, polluting waterways. Prevent erosion and sediment runoff by using ground cover, berms, and vegetation down-slope to capture runoff. Avoid excavation or grading during wet weather.
  • Store Materials Safely: Keep landscaping materials and debris away from the street, gutter, and storm drains. On-site stockpiles of materials should be covered with plastic sheeting to protect from rain, wind, and runoff.