You can help protect our local waters by keeping harmful materials out of storm drains.
How Stormwater Affects Our Environment
The storm drains on driveways and streets collect stormwater - rain, melting snow and other water - and channel it into stormwater sewers. These sewers empty directly into the nearest creek, river or the ocean.
By the time it reaches storm drains, water has picked up motor oil, fertilizers, heavy metals, litter and other pollutants that can be harmful to fish and the aquatic habitat.
What You Can Do
Never Dump Anything Down a Storm Drain
Anything that goes into a storm drain goes directly into the nearest body of water.
- Recycle used motor oil and antifreeze.
Find a recycling location.
Find a take-back program for paints, solvents, and other household chemicals.
- Wash your car at a commercial car wash, where soaps will be collected and channeled into the treatment system.
Reduce Chemicals in Your Yard
Cutting down the amount of chemicals and other materials in your yard means less will be carried into storm drains and end up in our local waters.
- Have a drug-free lawn: use less fertilizer, pesticide and herbicide.
- Keep clippings and other yard waste out of creeks, streams and other waterways (compost them if you can).
- Pick up after your pet.
Create A Rain-Friendly Yard
Reduce the amount of water going into storm drains by allowing water to soak into the ground, where it can help plants and recharge streams, rivers or lakes.
- Use alternative materials for your driveway/sidewalk, like grass pavers, mulch, gravel or pervious concrete.
- Reduce the surface area of your driveway or sidewalk.
- Add more topsoil or mulch, or plant a tree.
- Build a rain garden.
- Consider disconnecting roof leaders (downspouts).
Homeowcner’s Guide to Stormwater Management explains how to maintain stormwater features on your property. You can also check out our
Grow Green guide for more ways to create a more sustainable garden or lawn space.