Stormwater flowing over driveways, lawns, and sidewalks pick up debris and other pollutants. This can flow directly into natural water bodies and could make its way into underground drinking water. By practicing these household habits, homeowners and businesses can protect local streams, rivers, lakes, and wetlands.
Vehicle and Garage
- Use a commercial car wash
- Check vehicles and lawn equipment for leaks and spills, and make repairs quickly. Clean up spilled fluids with absorbent material such as kitty litter or sand.
- Recycle used oil and other vehicle fluids at participating gas stations.
Lawn and Garden
- Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly. Use only the recommended amounts. Avoid application if the forecast calls for rain.
- Use only native plants and grasses that are drought and pest resistant.
- Sweep up yard debris rather than hosing areas down. Compost or recycle yard waste.
- Don’t over-water the lawn. Water during the coolest times of day and do not let water runoff into the storm drain.
- Cover dirt piles and mulch being used in landscaping projects to prevent them blowing or washing off in your yard.
Home Repair and Improvement
- Before beginning an outdoor project, locate the nearest storm drains and protect them from debris and other materials.
- Sweep up and properly dispose of construction debris such as concrete and mortar.
- Use hazardous substances like paints, solvents, and cleaners in the smallest amount possible and follow the directions on the label. Clean up spills immediately and dispose of the waste safely. Store substances properly to avoid leaks and spills.
- Purchase and use non-toxic, biodegradable, recycled and recyclable products.
- Clean paint brushes in a sink, not outdoors. Filter and reuse paint thinner when using oil-based paints. Properly dispose of excess paints through a household hazardous waste collection, or donate unused paint to local organizations. (See One-Stop Drop for Responsible Recycling event).
- Reduce the amount of paved area and increase the amount of vegetated area.
- Pick up pet waste and flush it in the toilet or bag it and throw it in the trash. Leaving this on the ground increases public health risks as it contains harmful bacteria.
Swimming Pool and Spa
- Drain your swimming pool only when a test kit does not detect chlorine levels. Whenever possible, drain it into the sanitary sewer system. Properly store pool and spa chemicals to prevent leaks and spills, preferably in a covered area.
Source: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency