Streamside Livin'   Thurston County Storm & Surface Water ProgramStreamside Livin'
  We've Been Slimed!
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Most folks don't realize it, but when fertilizers get into our streams and lakes, they cause algae to grow much more than it would naturally. When a big mass of algae starts to die, it may smell bad to you, but it's suffocating to us fish! Decaying algae actually removes oxygen from the water and can even cause fish to die.


Here's how you can help!

  • Keep grass clippings and compost piles away from streambanks so nitrogen won't leach into the water. Call the Thurston County Waste Line at (360) 786-5494 for information on composting, or visit the demonstration sites at Dirt Works behind Yauger Park in West Olympia, or at Closed Loop Park at the Thurston County Waste and Recovery Center.

  • Do away with those grass clippings altogether. When it comes to your lawn, "Cut it High and Let it Lie." Mow your lawn 2 to 2 1/2 inches high and leave the clippings on the ground to add free nutrients to your soil.

  • Use natural fertilizers made from plant and animal by-products like cottonseed meal or bone meal. These slow-release fertilizers are less likely to leach into streams, and they help create healthier soil. Call the Common Sense Gardening Program at (360) 754-4111 for more information on fertilizing.

Did you know? "Cutting it High and Letting it Lie" does not contribute to thatch build-tip. Thatch is last year's roots and stems caused by poor soil, too much water, and too much quick-release fertilizer.


Trees Please!
Native Plants Get Our Vote
Slow the Flow
Muddy Water Blues
No Poisons Please

We've Been Slimed!
A Word About Waste
The Salmon Life Cycle
We're on the Go!
Streamside Livin' Home

Thurston County
Storm & Surface Water Program

929 Lakeridge Dr. SW, Olympia, WA 98502

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  • Call the Thurston County Storm & Surface
    Water Program at (360) 754-4681
    or TDD (360) 754-2933
Page last updated: 3/99
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