E&O Topic of the Month - Stormwater Awareness/Snowmelt

With Spring officially here, we will start to see significant snow melt and potentially heavy rain storms. These storm events provide us a reminder to protect water quality! Rain and melting snow pick up litter, pesticides, fertilizers, and other pollutants from our homes and carry them into storm inlets which drain directly into local waterways without treatment.This is different from wastewater systems, which carry water from indoor drains in our homes, offices, and buildings to wastewater treatment plants before discharging to the local waterway. Common household activities can be sources of pollutants that can be harmful to stormwater, here are ways you can protect water quality:

  • Properly maintaining yards, lawns, and gardens
    • Limit fertilizer, pesticide, and herbicide application to the recommendations on the container. Always check the weather forecast before applying these chemicals to prevent them from being washed away with stormwater. 
  • Carefully washing and maintaining cars
    • If possible wash your vehicles on grassy areas instead of your driveway to allow soaps and oils to filter through the soil instead of entering the stormwater system directly. 
    • Routine vehicle maintenance helps to prevent spills and oil leaks. 
  • Pickup litter 
    • This includes pet waste, especially from our dog buddies. 
  • Responsibly dispose of household hazardous waste
    • Check with your local municipality for safe disposal options.

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