Storm Water and Pollution Prevention
What is Stormwater Pollution?
As rain or melting snow flows over roads, driveways and lawns it can pick up pollutants like motor oil, fertilizers, litter and pet waste. This “stormwater” that is not absorbed and filtered by the ground in not treated and usually flows into a storm drain system or directly into nearby waterbodies. This becomes stormwater pollution and can be harmful to aquatic life and create human health risks.
ContactsFor storm water information and tips for your home:
What You Can Do to Help.
Here are a few simple ways you can reduce stormwater pollution by practicing healthy household habits.
- Lawn and Home Care
- Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly on your lawn, if at all. When necessary, use these chemicals in the recommended concentration and at the appropriate time listed on the manufacturer’s label.
- Use hazardous household substances like paints, solvents and cleaners sparingly. Clean up a spill immediately, dispose of waste safely, and do not pour down drains.
- Recycle unused household chemicals. Check with you local Town’s recycling program.
- Sweep, collect and dispose of lawn clippings and driveway debris as recommended by your town, not into street or storm drain.
- Divert water from roof gutters to your lawn instead of the driveway.
- Reduce the amount of paved area and increase the amount of vegetated area in your yard.
- Auto Care
- Use a commercial car wash that uses recycled water, or wash your car on the lawn instead of a paved driveway.
- Pet Waste
- Pick up pet waste and dispose of properly. Disposing of pet waste in a toilet or trash are the best disposal methods.
How Does Stormwater Pollution Affect Us and the Environment?
Stormwater pollution can have many adverse impacts on people, plants and aquatic life.
- Household hazardous wastes like insecticides, pesticides, paint solvents and auto fluids can poison aquatic life.
- Bacteria and pathogens from pets/wildlife and leaking septic systems can create health hazards that result in bathing beach closures and shellfish harvest restrictions.
- Excess nutrients from lawn fertilizers can promote harmful algal blooms that lower oxygen levels in the water when they decompose. Fish and other aquatic organisms cannot live without sufficient oxygen levels.
- Litter like plastic bags, bottles and cigarette butts are unsightly and can harm, or even kill aquatic life.
- Sediment can cloud water and stress aquatic plants and animals. Excess sediment can also destroy aquatic habitats.