Protecting Tulsa'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.

Tulsa has two types of sewers: a sanitary sewer that carries wastewater to a treatment plant and a storm sewer that carries rain and other runoff directly into our streams. Contaminated runoff, called nonpoint source pollution, is a major cause of pollution in Tulsa's waterways. We can reduce the pollution by keeping waste such as litter, lawn care chemicals, and other waste out of our storm sewers.

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 OSU 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 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 OSU Extension Office, (918) 746-3701.

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 your 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 Tulsa County Master Gardeners at (918) 746-3701.

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, worms 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

  • Drop off your household pollutants at our year-round facility. CallĀ 311 to make an appointment. Learn more...

  • The M.e.t has a list of Hazardous Waste companies for commercial fertilizer applicators to contact to properly dispose of fertilizer.

For More Information
The Master Gardener Hotline, (918) 746-3701, provides information on safer alternatives to fertilizers as well as types and amounts of fertilizers to use on your lawn.

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. Do your part to keep the drainage system clean. If you spot a blocked drain or suspect illegal dumping of products in the drainage system, call (918) 596-2100, and an inspector will investigate.