UACES Facebook Northwest Arkansas Stormwater Education Program | Collect and redirect water before it goes to waterways
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Northwest Arkansas Stormwater Program

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Fertilizing your lawn? Don’t guess – Soil Test!

Excess fertilizer can run off into storm drains and into local creeks and streams. Don’t waste money, only apply what is needed! Soil testing is free in Arkansas when you bring 2 cups of dry soil in a zippered storage bag to your county extension office during regular business hours.


Mow Right and Keep Grass on Site!

If grass clippings enter storm drains, they are carried to creeks and streams causing algae growth and water pollution. Follow these easy steps to protect water while keeping a healthy lawn!

  • Follow the 1/3 rule - Never remove more than 1/3 of the leaf blade when mowing 
  • Raise mowing heights to the highest recommended height during stressful periods 
  • Sharpen blades after every 10hrs of use
  • Avoid mowing within 48hrs of pesticide application
  • Leave grass clippings on the lawn to grass cycle nutrients. Grass clippings left on the lawn can contribute up to 30% of a lawn's nitrogen requirements for the year!
  • Always sweep or blow grass clippings back into lawn to keep them out of streets and creeks!

If yard waste enters storm drains, it flows untreated to creeks and streams. Too much yard waste creates more food for plants. In water, this plant food increases algae growth. High levels of algae growth decreases oxygen in the water. Without oxygen fish can't survive and recreational activities may decrease. 

What is the NWA Urban Stormwater Education Program?

Seventeen Northwest Arkansas cities, Benton and Washington counties, and the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville are partnering with the U of A Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service and the NWA Regional Planning Commission on a regional approach to stormwater management.

Both the EPA and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality have recognized the collaborative NWA Urban Stormwater Education Program as an innovative and effective pollution prevention education effort to help protect the region's water resources. 

Arkansas Stormwater Education

sprinkler on a lawn creating water pooling in the street
If you have an automatic sprinkler system, don’t set it and forget it. Check your irrigation for excessive watering or misdirection of spray onto streets and sidewalks.

What is stormwater runoff? 

When it rains, snows or sleets in Arkansas, where does that water go? Does it soak into the ground? Does it sit in puddles until it evaporates? The water actually does both of those things, but some of the water will also flow over the land surface, heading downhill to the nearest ditch or stream. This is called stormwater runoff.

Why is stormwater education important?

In Arkansas cities and towns, the water cannot soak in through the pavement, rooftops, and concrete like it can into the soil. This means that there's more stormwater runoff in cities than in forests and fields. The water flows off impervious surfaces such as driveways, rooftops, sidewalks, and parking lots, and usually flows straight into a storm drain. These openings along roads and in parking lots connect to pipes which carry the water directly to your local stream or lake. 


What can you do about stormwater management?

Learn more about stormwater policy and management, find out why stormwater is an issue.

We encourage you to explore  what you can do about stormwater, including the environmentally friendly way to wash your car and what you can do about residential stormwater.


Know the Flow

Stormwater flows untreated down our streets and drains directly to local creeks. Thanks for doing your part to keep it free of trash and other pollutants such as pet waste, chemicals, auto fluids, fertilizers and yard waste.