Stormwater systems are designed to carry rainwater off streets during heavy storms to help prevent flooding. Water flows off of streets, parking lots, yards and driveways into storm drains and then discharges into local waterways.
Unfortunately, these systems also carry trash, debris, chemicals and bacteria along with the runoff water. Storm water is not treated before it enters local waterways, so we all must do our part to prevent waste from entering the storm drains.
What You Can Do
Learning what activities lead to pollution and making an effort to change those activities is the best way to protect our stormwater. Some activities are easier to change than others. If we all commit to changing some of our activities, we can have a positive impact on the quality of our local waterways. Here are some suggestions you can try:
- Never dump anything down the storm drain.
- Keep yard clippings out of the street. Sweep them up and compost or dispose of in the trash.
- Use fertilizers sparingly and sweep up excess fertilizer from driveways and sidewalks after application.
- When applying pesticides and other chemicals to your yard, use the least toxic materials in the lowest quantities as possible.
- Wash your car at a car wash instead of your driveway. Car washes are required to treat water that is used, while water that flows from your driveway into the storm drain is not treated.
- Check your car for leaks often and recycle your used motor oil at the Environmental Collection Center.
- Pick up after your pet.
- Drain swimming pools and spas into a sanitary sewer outlet, never into the street.
- To learn more about stormwater, visit Stormwater to Drinking Water - NCTCOG video and Freddy the Fish Teaches About Stormwater - NCTCOG video