- Never dump anything directly into a storm drain
- Lawn Debris– Materials such as grass and tree clippings should never be swept into a storm drain or onto a street, they provide excess nutrients and promote unnecessary algae growth which, in turn, can cause severe negative impacts to the rest of stream ecosystems.
- Pick up After Your Pets– Rain washes parasites and bacteria from pet waste into local waterways and also unbalances nutrient loads. This poses harm to those who use the waterway for recreational use and also degrades stream ecosystems.
- Sweep Pesticides and Fertilizer off of hard surfaces and onto your lawn– These applications will be streamlined to local water bodies if left on patios, driveways, or other impervious surfaces.
- Wash Vehicles on Lawn– Washing vehicles on a grassy surface allows the dirty and soapy water to be absorbed by plants and soil, filtering the water and preventing it from washing into a storm drain.
- Properly Dispose of Chemicals– Some things like motor oil and batteries can be recycled. Other products that should be brought to a facility for proper disposal include paint, herbicides, pesticides, and swimming pool chemicals. Be careful to clean up after any spills and avoid allowing any chemicals to reach the storm drains.
It's spring, so we are getting lots of rain lately. Rain always disrupts the land a bit and causes concern as it flows through yards, ditches and construction sites. But where does it all go? If you were paying attention in your second grade science class you learned about the water cycle. Some of the water soaks into the ground and recharges our groundwater. Smaller amounts of water evaporate to be collected in the sky creating more rain. But most of our rain water eventually makes its way to streams and rivers, oceans and lakes.
Our storm sewer systems do the job of collecting and conveying the rain water to its destination. These storm sewer systems collect the quickly accumulating rain and convey it down stream to make roads and bridges safe and to protect other property features such as houses, buildings and airports. There is a common misconception that the catch basins and yard inlets actually flow to a treatment facility. Some people think the water is taken to the same location that our sanitary sewers take and treat our sewage. This is not true. The catch basins and yard inlets you see around town flow directly to ponds, lakes, rivers and oceans.
Because everything that is put into a storm sewer eventually makes it's way to our important natural features, you should never dump anything other than water into a catch basin or yard/street inlet. Never dump yard debris, pet waste, pesticides, fertilizers, vehicle wash, paints and other chemicals into a storm drain, The diagram below is a simplified diagram showing you how this system works.
Tips for keeping our lakes and rivers clean!
Storm Drain Tagging Program
Warren SWCD is committed to educating the general public about our storm sewer systems and protecting our wetlands, lakes, streams and rivers. One or our first jobs for our summer interns was installing storm drain tags! These tags let people know where the storm water flows and reminds them that dumping anything other than water will cause environmental pollution. If you are interested in helping us educate the public and would like to volunteer for our storm drain tagging program, please visit our Volunteer Opportunities page on our website.
Warren Co SWCD Staff Blog
A blog to keep you informed on all the latest news at Warren SWCD and in the conservation world.