Lawn & Garden Care

What's the Problem?

Clean rivers, streams, and lakes are an important part of life in the Flathead Valley. From drinking water, recreation, and aquatic life, clean water provides many benefits. 

When excess fertilizers or pesticides are applied to lawns and gardens, rain or overwatering can cause the fertilizers or pesticides to runoff onto streets and into storm drains. The stormwater system pipes flow to local rivers and streams and dump this polluted water into them without any treatment. 

Sprinkler watering the sidewalk

What Should I Do?


  • Rain Gardens and Grassy Swales are designed and planted with native plants and can provide places for rainwater to collect and soak into the ground. Rain from rooftops or paved areas can be directed to these areas instead of storm drains.
  • Vegetated Filter Strips are areas of native grass or plants developed along roadways or streams. They can trap pollutants from stormwater picked up from flowing over streets and driveways.  
  • Use Natural Yard Care Solutions instead of chemical fertilizers and pesticides so that the area is safer for people, pets, and wildlife. Apply only when necessary and in recommended amounts.
  • Mow Periodically because higher grass absorbs more water and reduces runoff. A mulch mower can provide nutrients for your lawn and retain more water.
  • Cover Soil with wood chips or mulch to reduce erosion. Use bricks or wood as a barrier to contain soil in a garden.
  • Use Permeable Pavers that allows rain and snowmelt to soak through and decrease stormwater runoff.

Conserve Water 

  • Use Rain Barrels to water lawns and gardens. Rain barrels collect rainwater from rooftops in mosquito-proof containers. 
  • Go Gold and let your grass go dormant during the summer.
  • Plant Native Plants to reduce the need for water.
  • Avoid Overwatering to reduce runoff. A soaker hose releases water directly to the ground.