The Grand River Dam Authority and the City of Tahlequah Stormwater Department are teaming up to offer a "Landscaping for Water Quality" workshop on Tuesday, Nov. 16, from 6-8 p.m. at the Tahlequah Municipal Armory. To register, visit https://landscaping_workshop.eventbrite.com/.

"The City of Tahlequah is excited to be partnering up with GRDA to host a water quality workshop available to all city residents. We look forward to seeing the participation of our citizens in this event and future events," said Mohamed Bassime, Tahlequah stormwater manager.

The workshop will focus on simple changes residents can make in their lawn care management to help improve water quality. Increasing mowing height, getting a soil test before applying fertilizers, reducing pesticide use and picking up pet waste are a few of the things that residents can do.

Residents can also reduce stormwater runoff, which is one of the nation's leading uncontrolled sources of water pollution. As stormwater flows over the land, roads, houses, and other impervious surfaces, it picks up pollutants like oil, fertilizer, pet waste and trash and carries it to a nearby stream, river, or lake. This type of pollution is referred to as nonpoint source pollution because it comes from a variety of sources, and not one specific point. By reducing runoff from their properties, residents can help reduce nonpoint source pollution.

One way to do this is by installing rain barrels at downspouts to catch rainwater to store for later use. The water can be used for a variety of purposes besides watering plants, though it needs to be properly treated to be drinkable.

GRDA has donated 25 rain barrels to help residents in the City of Tahlequah reduce runoff, and as part of the workshop, participants will learn how to install and use a rain barrel and the water it collects. The first 25 Tahlequah city residents who register for a workshop will receive one of the free barrels.

"We are excited to be able to provide this extra service to one of our customer cities," said Jerry Cook, GRDA manager of customer relations. "GRDA strives to live up to our five Es of Excellence with environment being one of the most important. By offering these types of workshops we can help our customers protect their water resources and give back to the communities we serve."

The City of Tahlequah has been buying wholesale power from GRDA since 1947 and their partnership has been expanded through collaborations like this workshop.

"It is great to see that the money we spend on power is coming back to our community in a different way that can help preserve one of our most valuable assets, our water," said Mike Doublehead, general manager of Tahlequah Public Works Authority.

For more questions about the workshop, contact the Tahlequah stormwater manager, Mohamed Bassime at stormwater@cityoftahlequah.com or Jeri Fleming with GRDA's Ecosystems and Watershed Management Department at jeri.fleming@grda.com.

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