PREVENTING STORMWATER POLLUTION - What We Can Do
Did you know... Water That Flows Into A Storm Drain Goes Right To Our Streams!
Believe it or not, a storm drain actually feeds water directly back into our lakes, rivers, and streams (the source of our drinking water) without going through treatment to remove debris and other pollutants.
Stormwater doesn’t get treated like greywater (drinking water, wastewater, etc.) due to the massive volume of water that can fall during a storm event. For example, 1 inch of rainfall on 1 acre of land generates over 27,000 gallons of water. It’s not really feasible to store and treat that much water in addition to our drinking water.
Therefore, anything you dump into a storm drain affects the ecosystem and water quality of our natural waterways, and in turn, our own physical health.
Dumping chemicals and waste into your storm drain also hurts your wallet. Cleaning up costs resources, time and money. It also requires more treatment of our drinking water and increases infrastructure costs.
Common Stormwater Pollutants:
Yard Waste (leaves, grass)
Motor Oil, Fuel, Grease
PESTICIDES AND FERTILIZERS
Read product labels and use only as directed. Store pesticides in a covered area and in sealed waterproof containers. Never apply before it rains.
GUTTERS, SIDEWALKS, AND CURBS
Keep sidewalks, curbs, and
gutters in your neighborhood clean by disposing of litter.
Brushing built up leaves off of storm drains can help reduce the risk of flooding too.
PAINTS, OIL, HAZARDOUS
Use water-based paints whenever possible. Clean brushes in the sink, not outside (sink water is treated, stormwater is not!). Have oil changes done at a service facility or take your used oil to a neighborhood auto parts store to be properly disposed.
Do not discharge chlorinated or salt water into storm drains. Dechlorinate the water and direct it into your yard, which works as a natural filter for waterborne pollutants, and can help keep your yard watered.
Wash your car in a grassed area so that the soil can filtered the water. If you wash in your car on the driveway, direct water runoff toward the grass and ensure that it is not going into the street or a storm drain.
FOR YOUR HOME AND BUSINESS
When you can, purchase non-toxic products. Store maintenance equipment and products inside or under cover. Properly dispose of hazardous waste. Check for community hazardous waste collection days or events
Take a plastic bag with you when walking pets to collect any waste. Dispose pet waste in the trash, do not rinse waste into curbs, sidewalks, or street drains.
SOIL AND DEBRIS
Control erosion on your property by keeping healthy plants or mulching over exposed areas. Cover piles of dirt, sand, or gravel to prevent it from washing into storm drains.
LAWN TRIMMING AND
Collect yard debris (such as grass clippings and leaves) and dispose of it properly or leave them on your yard as a natural fertilizer. Do not blow or hose yard waste into the street. You can also compost yard debris to create your own organic fertilizer for garden beds.