Simple Ways to Prevent Stormwater Pollution

raingardenIt’s not difficult to prevent stormwater pollution around your home.  Follow the simple tips below to get started – and make sure that anyone that does work around your house (landscapers, contractors, handymen) follow the same rules as well!

Dog runningPick up after your dog.  Pet waste carries high levels of harmful E. coli bacteria and other pathogens that can wash into storm drains and waterways, increasing public health risks and causing infections.

When you walk your dog, make sure to carry a plastic bag with you so that you can pick up the waste and dispose of it in a trash can.

safety_sign_poisonDispose of household chemicals properly.  Avoid spilling oil, gasoline, antifreeze, and paint on paved areas or onto soil—and never put down a storm drain. Clean up leaks and spills using an absorbent such as kitty litter or sand.  Sweep up immediately and dispose of properly.  Never pour chemicals or hazardous waste into storm drains!

Recycle or properly dispose of household products that contain chemicals, such as:

  • insecticides
  • medications (do not pour down a sink or toilet!)
  • pesticides
  • paint
  • solvents
  • used motor oil & other auto fluids

organic fertilizerUse lawn chemicals sparingly.   Avoid spreading fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides on paved areas and sweep up any spills.  Never use more than the directions call for, and choose phosphate-free fertilizers whenever possible.

In addition, don’t pile grass clippings, leaves, or other yard waste in streams or wetlands, and keep yard waste from being washed into storm drains.  Consider starting a compost pile in your yard.

Click image for larger view.
Click image for larger view.

Maintain your septic system.  Leaking and poorly maintained septic systems release nutrients and pathogens (bacteria and viruses) that can be picked up by stormwater and discharged into nearby waterways. Pathogens can cause public health problems and environmental concerns.  Learn how your septic system works to eliminate stormwater pollution, and to avoid costly clean outs and repairs.

car-washWash your vehicle near the lawn.  When washing your car or boat, park it in a spot where the soap will run off into grass, rather than going into the street and down the stormdrain.

swimming poolSwimming Pools and Hot Tubs
•  Never discharge pool water directly into a storm drain.
•  Dechlorinate pool, hot tub or spa water with neutralizing chemicals, if water is to be discharged into the ground.
•  If water cannot be dechlorinated, the water must be collected by a pool maintenance company.

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