Stormwater Pollution: What You Can Do To Help Prevent and Protect!

Responsible Lawn Care
Pesticides & Fertilizers
  • Use fertilizer and pesticides sparingly.
  • Keep fertilizer off paved surfaces. Sweep back into the grass if it spreads to pavement.
  • Do not fertilize before a rainstorm. This could wash material into storm drains.
Effects: Improper use of chemicals can impair water quality when it runs off into surface water. Test your soil to determine lawn nutrient needs and proper application rates.
Lenny the Lifeguard Logo
Yard Waste
  • Do not rake, sweep, blow, or place any debris into the storm drainage system (catch basins, grate inlets, etc.).
  • Property owners should keep all ditches, drains, swales, and other drainage ways on their property free from obstructions, which can impede the flow of water.
Effects: Debris can be defined as any yard waste (grass, clippings, leaves, pine straw, etc.), sediment, trash, litter, or other kinds. Debris can cause significant water quality and infrastructural problems when it is directed into the storm drainage system.
Covered Catch Basin
Lenny Grabs a Dog Waste Bag

Proper Disposal of Trash & Chemicals

Pet Waste

  • Pet owners should always pick up after their pets when walking them in public places. 
  • Even in your own yard it is best to picked up, bag, and throw away pet waste to prevent the spread of pollution.
Effects: Pet waste contains a large amount of bacteria that can be harmful to humans and animals if it reaches our waters. 

Fats, Oils & Grease

Generated from kitchens, machinery and vehicles, and carried by stormwater when disposed of improperly. When fats, oils, and grease get into the sewer system, they stick to the inside of pipes. Over time, FOG will build up in the pipe and create a blockage, which can cause a sanitary sewer overflow to eventually occur.
Effects: The untreated sewage from these overflows can contaminate our waters, causing serious water quality problems.

Automotive Care & Maintenance
Automotive Maintenance
  • Remove the oil from your vehicle into the appropriate container (drip pans) and be sure not to spill any on the ground.
  • Do not mix used motor oil with any other substance, like anti-freeze, solvents or paint.
  • Recycle your oil by taking it to a service station or other locations that collect used chemical materials.
Effects: If disposed improperly, used motor oil can contaminate our water supply. One quart of motor oil can contaminate 250,000 gallons of water. It should never be dumped into a storm drain.

Automotive Washing
  • Wash your vehicle in the grass. The wash water will be treated by the soil, and the grass will benefit from the water.
  • An alternative is to wash your vehicle at a commercial car wash facility. By doing this, dirty wash water can enter the sanitary sewer system where it can be treated before being released back into the local streams
Effects: When vehicles are washed in driveways and parking lots, the dirty wash water finds its way into the drainage system and ultimately back into local waterways (streams, lakes, rivers, etc.). Wash water contains pollutants such as: oils and grease, phosphates (from the soap), and heavy metals, all of which have negative effects on water quality.
Proper Car Washing
The #1 pollutant of water in the country! This can be caused by erosion and construction activities that remove the plants that keep the soil in place.

Effects: Excessive sediment blocks sunlight needed by aquatic plants and animals, increases water temperature and impairs feeding, vision, and breathing capabilities of these animals.