What is stormwater runoff?
Stormwater runoff is water from rain or melting snow. It flows from rooftops, over paved streets, sidewalks, across bare soil, and through lawns and storm drains. Polluted runoff from farms, construction sites, homes and public spaces is now widely recognized as the single largest threat to water quality in the United States.
When it rains, water flows across impervious surfaces, collecting pollutants like pet waste, salt, pesticides, fertilizer, oil, grease, litter, and soil along the way. Increased volumes of rainwater, or runoff, flows untreated through a system of storm sewers into area rivers, lakes, and streams. Polluted stormwater can kill or damage plants, fish and wildlife, while degrading water quality in local watersheds.
What can you do to help clean up storm water runoff?
- Landscape with native plants, grasses and flowers.
- Don't over water your lawn.
- Mow high…typically 3 to 4 inches.
- Leave clippings on lawn, they provide nutrients.
- Over-seed bare spots in your lawn in early spring or early fall.
- Avoid over-application of pesticides or lawn chemicals. (Homeowners use ten times more chemicals per acre on lawns than farmers use on crops. 67,000,000 lbs. of synthetic pesticides are used on U.S. lawns)
- Check streets & sidewalks after applying lawn products; sweep excess into lawn, not the street.
- Redirect your downspouts to drain in your lawn or garden.
- Increase the amount of your yard in tree cover.
- Mulch circles beneath trees and around flower beds.
- Use rain barrels or rain gardens to conserve rain water.
- Don't wash your car in your driveway or on the street, either wash your car at a commercial car wash or on a surface that absorbs water, such as grass or gravel.
- Pick up your pet waste.
- Contain your curbside trash so that it won't leak, fall over or blow around.
- Don't litter.
- Take a walk to pick up litter and debris before it rains.
- Sweep your garage and driveway into a dustpan instead of into the street.
- Don't pitch cigarettes out the car window.
- Don't dump anything down storm drains; remember this water is not treated before it goes back to the river.
- Recycle used motor oil, and safely dispose of other household hazardous products like insecticides, pesticides, paint, solvents, and auto fluids.
If you have any questions, please contact us. We are located at 700 N Jefferson St. Monday through Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm. You may reach us by phone at 785-238-3103 ext 182, fax 785-210-1904 or by email.