Pesticide, Herbicide & Fertilizer Citizen Guide

Pesticides, Herbicides, and Fertilizers (PHFs) can have detrimental effects on our surrounding bodies of water. When it rains, PHFs that were applied to a lawn or garden may be transported along with rainwater to our streams, creeks, and rivers via the City of Alabaster's Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4). Our MS4 consists of storm drains, storm pipes, storm inlets, ditches, flumes, and all other devices used to convey clean and unpolluted stormwater to an acceptable body of water. This stormwater must remain unpolluted because it does not get routed to the Wastewater Treatment Plant for treatment before being discharged to a water body. Nearly all pollutant discharges into the MS4 and surrounding water bodies are deemed "Illicit Discharges" and are illegal.

Stormwater is regulated in the City of Alabaster by an Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit. To comply with this permit and to provide our citizens with guidelines for using PHFs in a responsible manner, The City of Alabaster requests you abide by the following:
  • Use PHFs sparingly and in accordance with label instructions. Do not apply PHFs if rain is expected, near bodies of water, or near the MS4. Remember that any misuse of PHFs resulting in an illicit discharge is illegal in Alabaster
  • Store PHFs properly inside and out of the elements. Dispose of PHFs properly at a household hazardous waste collection facility.
  • Use nontoxic, biodegradable, and water-soluble products when possible.
  • Use natural fertilizers (compost) and natural insect repellents (marigolds, soapy dish water, spearmint oil) in your yard and garden.
  • Do not over irrigate. This can cause PHFs to wash into the MS4 and surrounding water bodies.
  • Do not deposit (blow, sweep, rake, etc.) leaves, grass clippings, or woody debris (tree limbs, brush, etc.) into the MS4 and surrounding water bodies. This equates to an unnatural loading of organic material which can damage the water body and aquatic life. These materials may also block the MS4 and cause flooding.
  • Compost yard waste or bag and dispose using solid waste disposal programs.
  • Divert roof downspouts and other stormwater away from paved surfaces and onto grass or rain gardens.
  • Pick up animal waste and dispose in garbage cans or by flushing down the toilet.
Thank you for assisting the City of Alabaster in maintaining our natural resources for all to utilize and enjoy.