Stormwater / Sewer

Environmentally Conscious Yard Work Practices

Excess fertilizers and pesticides applied to lawns and gardens wash of and pollute streams. In addition, yard clippings and leaves can wash into storm drains and contribute nutrients and organic matter to streams.

  • Don’t over water your lawn. Use soaker hoses instead of sprinklers.
  • Use chemicals sparingly on your lawn. Use alternate products and best management practices, such as organic fertilizers or natural herbicides.
  • Compost or mulch yard waste. Don’t leave it in the street or sweep it into storm drains or streams.
  • Cover piles of dirt or mulch being used in landscaping projects.

Impacting Stormwater Runoff

Stormwater runoff occurs when rain flows over the ground. Surfaces like driveways, buildings, sidewalks and streets prevent stormwater runoff from naturally soaking into the ground. Stormwater can pick up trash, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants and flow into a storm sewer system or directly to a lake, river, or wetland. Anything that enters a storm sewer system is sent directly to the water we use for swimming, fishing, and drinking.


Polluted stormwater runoff can have many adverse effects on plants, fish, animals and people.

  • Sediment clouds the water and makes it difficult for aquatic plants to grow.
  • Excess nutrients (fertilizers, lawn chemicals, etc.) can cause algae blooms, removing oxygen needed for fish.
  • Litter can choke, suffocate, or disable aquatic life.

Stormwater Pollution Solutions

  • Recycle or properly dispose of household products that contain chemicals such as insecticides, pesticides, paint, solvents, or used motor oil. Never pour them on the ground or into the storm drain.
  • Inspect your septic system every three years, and pump it out every three to five years.
  • Don’t dispose of household hazardous waste in sinks or toilets.
  • Use commercial car washes that treat or recycle wastewater.
  • Repair car leaks.
  • Always pick up pet waste and dispose of it properly.