What is Stormwater?
Stormwater originates from rainfall and other precipitation that runs off of surfaces all over the City - rooftops, streets, lawns, etc. Stormwater makes its way into natural water sources and takes everything from City surfaces with it to these areas. Polluted storm water can lead to fish kills, destruction of wildlife habitat, loss of aesthetic value, impaired recreational areas and contaminated drinking water resources. Help us keep our waterways clean and clear.
10 Things You Can Do to Prevent Stormwater Runoff Pollution (from EPA)
- Use fertilizers sparingly and sweep up driveways, sidewalks, and gutters. (Test your soils to determine the amount needed and apply only when necessary.)
- Never dump anything down storm drains or in streams
- Vegetate bare spots in your yard. (Cover or seed all bare soil and preserve stream side vegetation; sediment is our #1 water pollutant by volume.)
- Compost your yard waste
- Use less toxic pesticides, follow labels, and learn how to prevent pest problems
- Direct downspouts away from paved surfaces; consider a rain garden to capture runoff
- Take your car to the car wash instead of washing it in the driveway. (When you wash your car on a compacted surface, the runoff containing soap, heavy metals, road grime, greases, and oils can enter the storm drains. Unlike sanitary drains, storm drains usually run directly into creeks, ponds, and lakes. Use a commercial car wash facility or find a grassy area at home to soak up the runoff. Protect our area's natural water resources.)
- Check your car for leaks and recycle your motor oil
- Pick up after your pet. (It can carry harmful bacteria, parasites, and viruses).
- Have your septic tank pumped and system inspected regularly
Other Things You Can Do
- Drive less. Walk, bicycle, take the bus or share a ride.
- Sweep driveways and sidewalks instead of hosing them off.
- Reduce the amount of impervious surfaces around your home. Alternatives such as paving blocks, gravel, cobbles, brick and natural stone can replace asphalt and concrete in driveways, parking lots and walkways.
- Pick up litter whenever you see it.
- Participate in community clean-ups and storm drain labeling events, especially around local waterways.
- Store oil, gasoline, antifreeze and other automotive supplies properly. Keep containers tightly sealed.
- Take old paint, pesticides, automotive fluids, and batteries to a hazardous waste handling facility.
Where to Wash Your Car?
1. Wash your car at a commercial car wash where the water is collected and treated.
2. If you wash your vehicle at home, wash it on grass, gravel, or other permeable surface to absorb the water, and do not let wash water reach the street.
3. If you have no suitable area to wash your car, look for an alternative location. Perhaps your friends or neighbors have a suitable area you can use.
When You Wash Your Car?
1. Use a shutoff nozzle on your hose or a bucket to save water.
2. Use biodegradeable soaps or use detergents and soaps sparingly. Better still, just use plain water, a coarse sponge, and a little elbow grease.
3. Do not dump excess water on the driveway, in the gutter, or down the storm drain. Leftover water should be poured down a household sink or toilet so that it will flow to the wastewater treatment plant. Or dispose of waste water onto a garden or lawn.