Drain Commissioner

Michael Rivard

Bay County Building
515 Center Avenue, Suite 601
Bay City MI 48708-5941
Voice: (989) 895-4290
Fax: (989) 895-4292
[email protected]

Yard Waste Policy

Keep yard waste out of our rivers and county drains

As you travel through the Kawkawlin River Watershed, either by boat or by car, you will notice a disturbing trend- property owners using our river and county drains as dumping sites for yard waste. This "out of sight, out of mind" philosophy is not new, but it has no place in the protection of our water quality, not to mention that it is against the law.

Disposing of yard waste can lead to unsightly algae blooms and aquatic weed growth, lower dissolved oxygen levels in the water and may lead to the release of ammonia - which is toxic to fish. In addition, it appears that many property owners are under the impression that by disposing of yard waste onto their streambanks, they are protecting it and lessening erosion. Wrong!! Building up yard waste on streambanks actually leads to more erosion! By covering and smothering the plants that are growing on the streambanks, valuable soil saving root systems are destroyed at a much faster rate than natural breakdown.

The disposal of yard waste to the surface waters of the state is covered under State Act 451, making the practice not only unlawful, but also punishable.