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[ Madison lakes: the problem with leaves ]

leavesbootsdtEven if you don’t live on the shoreline, there are things you can do to help improve the quality of Madison’s lakes, especially in the fall.

According to information from the Clean Lakes Alliance, leaves release phosphorus when they break down, representing one of the largest sources of urban phosphorus pollution. When left in the street, leaves make a phosphorus-rich tea that washes down storm drains and directly into our lakes. It only takes one pounds of phosphorus to produce 500 pounds of algae in our lakes. Yikes!

Here are some things you can do:

  1. Your neighbors might think you’re crazy, but rake leaves that have blown into the street. This prevents the leaves from going into the gutter and storm sewers into our lakes. If you have a mulching lawn mower, then mulch the leaves with the rest of them on your lawn!
  2. Get into composting.
  3.  Use leaves as garden mulch. You’ll save money because you won’t have to buy mulch at the store, and your plants will thank you!
  4. Learn about Madison’s Leave the Leaf Campaign.
  5. Get involved with the Clean Lake Alliance.

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