Lake-friendly living isn’t just for those who live along the shores of Upper Saranac Lake. Everyone in the watershed makes daily decisions that affect the lake’s water quality. From deciding whether or not to fertilize your lawn or pave your driveway to what vegetation to cut, there are many different ways to live lake-friendly. But it isn’t about giving up anything — it’s about finding out what works for you. It is about educating yourself so that your decisions and actions will help protect Upper Saranac Lake for years to come.

What you can do to help protect the Upper Saranac Lake watershed:

  1. Have your septic tank inspected and pumped out. Record it and make a note to pump out within the next three years.
  2. Install vegetative buffers on your property. Proper landscaping can screen out boat noise, provide habitat for animals, prevent erosion, slow runoff, and remove pollutants.
  3. Pick up after your pet. Pet waste can contain harmful bacteria.
  4. Refrain from fertilizing your lawn. Grass clippings act as mulch, providing your lawn with the nutrients it needs. If you feel the need to fertilize, use phosphorus-free lawn fertilizer.
  5. Control Soil erosion. Soil erosion can be prevented by covering exposed soil with vegetation or mulch. Keep roof drains, sump pump drains, and other surface water runoff from running directly into the lake.
  6. Think before you flush. Do not dispose of household hazardous wastes in sinks or toilets. Properly dispose of paints, chemicals, cleaners, gasoline, oil, or other toxic materials that could kill the good bacteria in your system.
  7. Inspect your boat’s engine for any gas or oil leaks.
  8. Use water efficiently. The less water you use, the less water that enters your septic system and the lake. This helps your septic system operate properly and reduces stress and the risk of a failure on your system. Avoid frequent use of a garbage disposal. Run dishwashers and washing machines only when full.
  9. Report suspected invasive species sightings and any environmental concerns to the lake manager.
  10. Tell a friend. Share this list with friends and neighbors. Encourage them to try these tips.