How You Can Prevent Water Pollution

Prevention

Did you know that every city street is like waterfront property? It’s true! Just take a walk down your street. Before long, you’ll come to a storm drain. Any water that runs down this drain flows directly into our waterways. It does not pass through the sanitary sewer system, and it does not receive any kind of treatment.

This means that whatever we put down these storm drains winds up in our wetlands, lakes and rivers. People who would never dream of polluting a lake or stream might pour fertilizer, paint, used motor oil, or pet waste down storm drains.

And yes, even lawn trash, including those grass clippings, are a pollutant to our waterways. These clippings, which normally contain heavy nutrients, can negatively impact our water bodies and wildlife; not to mention the possibility of clogging the storm drain causing possible flooding in a heavy storm.

What You Can Do to Help

  • Clean up leaves or grass clippings that accumulate on your driveway, sidewalk, or in the street and put out for weekly pick up by local trash company, or compost them instead.
  • Never use the storm drains for disposing of automotive fluids, pesticides, paints, solvents, or other materials.
  • Sweep (do not wash) fertilizer and soil off driveways and walkways.
  • Dispose of pet wastes by flushing them down the toilet or by burial.
  • Redirect down spouts from paved areas to vegetated areas.
  • Wash your car on the lawn-Not the driveway or street.

More information on how you can help protect our water is available by viewing the Citizen's Guide to Preventing Stormwater Pollution (PDF).