Good Neighbor Guide to Power Leaf Blowing
Leaf blowing may offer some conveniences for doing yard work, but it comes with responsibilities in being a good neighbor.
What is the Impact?
Improper use of leaf blowers may lead to:
- Pollution of our bays and waterways
- Neighborhood flooding caused by clogged storm drains
- Noise and air pollution
Debris in our streets and storm drains can cause water quality problems in our creeks, lakes and surrounding bays. These problems include fish kills, algae blooms, odors and other concerns.
City ordinances prohibit blowing or depositing leaves, yard clippings or other debris into the public right-of-way, another property, city streets, alleys or storm drains. Violating these city restrictions may result in fines up to $500 for each occurrence. City ordinance allows the use of leaf blowers and other power tools 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays and holidays.
Proper Leaf Blowing
Encourage healthy yards and prevent excess nutrients from entering our storm drains and polluting our waterways by using these techniques.
- Dispose of Them: Collect leaves and landscaping waste to compost them, use curbside pick-up or dispose of them at one of the City’s brush sites.
- Use Them: Mulch them into the lawn or blow them into landscape beds to recycle nutrients. They’ll decompose, returning nutrients to the soil. Additionally, they can help keep sand out of the streets and stabilize loose soils.
Good Neighbor Guide to Pool Maintenance
Swimming pools are a vital part of enjoying the Florida heat. Maintain your pool responsibly to help sustain healthy waterbodies in the Sunshine City.
What is the Impact?
Chlorine and other chemicals used in maintaining pools and spas, which often include acidic or alkaline cleaning compounds, can have a negative impact on the plant and aquatic life in waterbodies, even at low levels. Additionally, turbidity (water cloudiness or haziness) associated with backwashing and cleaning can violate waterbody quality standards.
Dechlorinated swimming pool discharges are authorized in Florida if they do not cause a violation of water quality standards. Follow the below steps when draining swimming pools or discharging filter backwash into the environment:
• Avoid draining/backwashing your pool during periods of drought and during significant rainfall events. Do not drain your pool when more stringent drought watering restrictions are in place.
• The water should be clear and free of solids before draining.
• Direct the discharge over a vegetated surface, like a lawn, so that some level of natural filtration can occur.
• The free chlorine residual must be less than 0.01 mg/L and the pH must be between 6.5 and 8.5. These can be tested using a standard pool test kit. If you need to drain your pool quickly, you can purchase chlorine-neutralizing chemicals such as sodium thiosulfate at your local pool supply store.
• Follow the manufacturer’s instructions before discharging water that has had an algaecide added recently. Algaecides can interrupt normal algal and plant growth in waterbodies and can be harmful to other aquatic life. They should be used with caution.
• Control the rate of discharge across your property to avoid erosion and nuisance conditions for neighboring properties. Nuisance conditions such as the creation of odors, mosquito breeding conditions or flooding can occur when water is ponded for longer than 24 hours.
• Do not discharge on areas recently treated with herbicides, fertilizers or pesticides.
NOTE: Chlorinated pool and spa water cannot be discharged into the sanitary sewer system.
Source: Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Eco-Friendly Business Toolkit: Disposal Guide
Help prevent pollutants from reaching our waterways by complying to these best practices.
Best Management Practices for Landscaping Companies
Did you know that storm drains are NOT connected to sanitary sewer systems or treatment plants? In Pinellas County, storm drains flow directly into our creeks, lakes, Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico without treatment.
Guide for Homeowners Preventing Runoff Pollution
Learn what you can do to help keep our waters clean. From pool maintenance and landscaping to vehicle washing and household hazardous waste.
Hey, It’s Our Water, Too
A fun, educational video from high schoolers’ perspectives that looks into the many activities they do on the water and why it is important to keep the water clean.
On the Lookout for Illegal Discharges
Keeping an eye out for discharges into our streams, lakes, canals or bays of chemicals, trash or other illegal discharges helps to keep our waterways healthy. This video covers what to look for and who to report a discharge to.
Preserving Our Waterways
An educational video that looks at practices we do in our everyday lives that affect water quality of our streams, lakes, canals and bays. It explores how with simple changes to our practices, we can have a positive impact on water quality.