Stopping the Flow

Stopping the Flow

By John Rupnik, Chairman SMLA’s Buffer Landscaping Committee

The US Environmental Protection Agency who has reported that runoff from lawns, roads and rooftops is a primary cause of pollution in our waterways. The easiest path for these pollutants to access our pristine water is across our grass. This problematic flow causes many issues with water quality, the most challenging being the growth of algae. With the recent water quality monitoring results showing some areas with elevated bacteria, I wanted to provide you with an actual example of a problem and potential action steps you might take to correct it.

They say “A Picture says 1,000 words”.  

All that fertilizer is going right into the lake!


Easy way to stop the flow


Potential actions steps? Plant a Buffer garden at our shoreline. SMLA Master Gardeners will work with homeowners to develop garden plans that are designed to manage erosion and provide a natural buffer or filter that will keep harmful sediment, and pollutants out of our lake. If you’re interested in getting started give us a call at 540-719-0690 or email us at The 

The mission of the Smith Mountain Lake Association is to protect the water of SML and promote safe recreation. Our all-volunteer, non-profit organization has been working on this mission for the past 50 years because we believe that clean, clear, safe water is a responsibility not an automatic right. If you would like to see more about what we’re doing, please visit our website at or join us on Facebook.