What is stormwater runoff? Rainwater and excessive irrigation water that carries non point source pollutants off of yards, roads and parking lots to our lakes rivers and estuaries. Non point source pollution includes pesticides, fertilizers oils, tire particles and trash that is carried from all over and cannot be pinpoint to any single cause.
Rain and irrigation water carries soil, debris, fertilizer and pesticides from your yard into neighborhood storm drains that lead to bays, rivers and lakes. These substances can harm water quality, habitats and living organisms. Reducing runoff from your property minimizes these problems.
- Where possible, direct downspouts and gutters to drain into plant beds or lawn areas.
- Decrease soil erosion by planting groundcovers where lawn grass doesn’t thrive.
- Use mulch, brick, gravel, flagstones or other porous materials for driveways, walkways and patios
- Sweep grass clippings, fertilizer and soil from driveways and streets back onto the lawn.
- Avoid piling yard debris near storm drains, it can wash down them during heavy rains.
- Remove trash from street gutters near your house. (even if it is NOT your trash)
- Create swales (low areas) to catch and filter stormwater.
- Terrace sloping areas to slow down stormwater runoff.
- Be a responsible pet owner - pick up after pets. This will help reduce bacterial and nutrient pollution entering our water bodies.
- Clean up oil spills and leaks on the driveway by soaking up fluids with cat litter and sweeping up. Avoid washing with soap and water and flushing it down the stormdrain.
- Pour fertilizer into spreaders over mulched areas not on the driveway where it might later be washed down the storm drain.