Protecting Mesquite's Water Quality

Sometimes, people pollute our waterways without even knowing it.  When it comes to our urban streams, the more you know, the cleaner the flow.

Mesquite has two types of drainage systems:  a sanitary sewer that carries sewage wastewater to a treatment plant and a storm drain that carries rain and other runoff directly to our streams.  Contaminated runoff, called non-point source pollution, is a major cause of pollution in Mesquite's waterways.  We can reduce the pollution by keeping waste such as litter, lawn care chemicals, and other waste out of our storm drains and storm water pipelines.

Fertilizer Use Recommendations
  • Apply only the recommended amount to needed areas, avoid driveways and sidewalks.
  • Water the fertilizer after application but do not over-water since that pollutes the runoff.
  • Get a soil test.  The Texas Extension Service performs soil tests for a minimal charge.  You provide the Service with a pint of dry soil without rocks, sticks and debris.  In two to three weeks, the Service will provide you with the soil sample results.  The test results show you what nutrients your soil needs so you can purchase the correct type of fertilizer.  For more information, contact the Texas AgriLife Extension Office, part of the Texas A&M University System at (214) 904-3050.

How to Reduce Fertilizer Use
  • Choose plants that resist drought and enhance the growth of other plants.
  • Use a mulching mower and cut 1/3 of the height of the grass.  Clipped grass adds nutrients back into the soil.
  • Cut grass more often and only when it is dry.  Use sharp blades.
  • Compost yard waste and use it on flower beds and gardens.  For more information on composting, call the Mesquite Garden Club at (214) 803-3437.

Caring for your lawn properly can both enhance its appearance and contribute to its environmental benefits.  Healthy grass provides feeding ground for birds, who find it a rich source of insects, worm and other foods.  Thick grass prevents soil erosion, filters contaminants from rainwater, and absorbs many types of airborne pollutants.  Grass also is highly efficient at converting carbon dioxide to oxygen, a process that helps clean the air.

Proper Disposal
Cap the empty container or bag, wrap it in newspaper, and promptly put it in the trash.
Bring unused fertilizers to the next Household Pollution Collection Event.  For more information, call Keep Mesquite Beautiful at (972) 329-8331.

For More Information
Many of the local nursery and garden stores in Mesquite can provide you with information on safer alternatives to fertilizers as well as the types and amounts of fertilizers to use on your lawn.  In addition you may want to contact Mesquite’s KMB organization or the Mesquite Garden Club at (214)-803-3437.

Since foreign substances can pollute our waterways and cause flooding, you should never pour products down a drain, sewer or manhole.  It also is a violation of City Ordinance 3575, Water Pollution.  Do your part to keep the storm water drainage system clean.  If you spot a blocked drain or suspect illegal dumping of products in the storm water drainage system, call (972) 216-6276, for Code Enforcement or (972) 329-8537 for the Storm Water Specialist and the problem or concern will be investigated.