Become a Lake Friendly Certified Home
If you’re practicing natural yard care, building healthy soil, reducing run-off, and watering wisely- you may qualify as a Lake-Friendly Certified Home.
Take our Lake Friendly Certification Quiz to see if you qualify!
Check out the top Lake Friendly actions you can take to help reduce algae in Lake Stevens.
Did you know? Even biodegradable soap can cause harm to local waterways. The only exception for washing your car at home is if you wash it on a grassy area, or other surface that can absorb the soapy water. If biodegradable soap doesn't have a chance to come in contact with soil microbes, it won't break down. When people wash cars in their driveways, the soap and grime flows over pavement into the nearest catch basin or ditch, which eventually connect to streams, rivers and lakes.
When applied improperly, excess fertilizer can wash into waterways causing problematic algae blooms. This is especially true if the fertilizer contains phosphorus. If you choose to fertilize, be sure to check the bag to make sure the middle number is zero. Fertilizer which contains phosphorus feeds algae. Always use minimal fertilizer, follow the directions exactly, avoid fertilizing before a rainstorm,.
Use a mulch mower to leave your clippings on your lawn. Grass clippings are a natural fertilizer. Or, simply use your green yard waste bin. Need a bin? Contact your local curbside company. When lawn clippings and other yard debris are dumped in ditches, behind fences, or in concentrated piles that aren't being composted, they can be carried into waterways, causing excess nutrients to be added to the lake which causes algal blooms.
Cover bare soil with mulch, native landscaping, or a garden bed. Bare soil is easily eroded (especially with our wet winters). Soils are naturally high in phosphorus, so soil erosion creates an influx of phosphorus into Lake Stevens - which fuels algae growth.
When septic systems aren't properly maintained they can leak sewage into local waterways. If you have a septic system, we recommend checking it regularly, at least every 1-3 years, and pumping it every 3-5 years.
Ducks and other waterfowl congregate in areas where they are habitually fed. When high concentrations of waterfowl stay in one place, their fecals accumulate in the water - adding nutrients that feed algae blooms. The presence of high concentrations of waterfowl may also increase the risk of swimmers itch.
Landscaping your waterfront can help to reduce soil erosion while buffering the lake from stormwater pollution. There are many beautiful examples of shoreline landscaping that create privacy, reduce noise, and create visual interest while also maintaining beautiful views and lakefront access.
Downspouts connect to the storm drain system, which carries water into local waterways - including piped directly into the lake. By disconnecting the downspout, you can divert the water into a rain barrel or use a splash block and plant landscaping that will absorb and filter the water.
The City of Lake Stevens and Snohomish Conservation District host classes in the spring and fall that help landowners transition to natural yard care, lake-friendly landscaping, proper septic system care, and Lawns to Lettuce edible gardening classes. Our staff is available to visit your home to do a FREE consultation at any time to help you address any natural resource concerns.