City to conduct free soil fertility testing

PIQUA — As part of its Drinking Water Protection Program, the City of Piqua wants to sample soil from up to 200 lawns this summer. These free soil tests will potentially save property owners money on lawn fertilizer costs, help them better manage their lawn, and allow the City to better understand how land use affects Piqua’s drinking water supply.

To sample a yard, City staff will take a dozen 1-inch wide and 3-inches deep cores from front yards. Test results will include pH, organic matter, K, Mg, Ca, Phosphorus, and Nitrogen. The process leaves holes similar to a lawn aerator, but does not leave anything on the surface. The holes are so small property owners likely will not notice them. The city is offering 200 free soil tests and properties will be selected based on a number of criteria:

• Location in the city

• Yard size

• Location relative to other sampled yards

• Grass features such as species, thickness, and color

If you want your property considered for sampling, please call or email Piqua’s Water Quality Coordinator, Sky Schelle, and give him your address no later than June 29. You do not have to be home while city staff collect the samples. By allowing the City to sample, property owners authorize the City of Piqua to enter their property to take the required number of samples. The sampling will not cause any damage to your property.

The City will notify interested property owners if their yard was selected for sampling, and soil test results will be mailed before the end of the year. The City has no authority to make property owners abide by the recommendations of the soil tests. To have your property considered for a free soil test, contact Schelle at or 778-2059.