Storm Water Management • Storm water is rain or snow melt that does not soak into the ground. • It flows from rooftops, across paved areas and through sloped lawns. • Storm water picks up pollutants as it goes. • Pollutants are carried into lakes, streams, rivers and storm sewers.
Potential Storm Water Pollutants • Automotive Fluids • Yard and Pet Waste • Sediment • Chemicals • Pesticides • Fertilizer
Managing Automotive Waste • Rainstorms can wash oil stains or spilt automotive fluids from your driveway. • To prevent pollution: • Be careful to prevent spills when changing oil. • Collect waste oil for recycling. • Do not dump used oil or automotive fluid down storm drains or on the ground. • Repair fluid leaks.
Safe Handling of Chemicals • Mix chemicals in a confined area such as a washtub to contain spills. • Read labels carefully before mixing. • Quickly contain and clean up chemical spills. • Do not apply pesticides or chemicals within 24 hours of a rain. • Follow application rates.
Washing Your Car • Washing your car in the driveway creates runoff without a rainstorm. • Dirty, soapy water goes into storm sewers. • To prevent pollution problems: • Wash your car on the lawn. • Take your car to a commercial car wash or spray booth.
Protect Your Basement • Storm water that enters your home can: • Carry in contaminants that are health problems. • Can pick up chemicals from your basement and carry them into the sewer or ground. • To protect your basement: • Seal basement windows or doors against leaks. • Protect windows with clear plastic covers. • Slope the yard away from the foundation.
Paved Surfaces • Paved surfaces prevent rainwater from soaking into the ground. • Use alternative materials such as: • Gravel or wood chips for walkways. • Porous pavement made from interlocking cement blocks or rubber mats. • Try to allow space for rainwater to soak into soil.
Bare Soil • Bare soil is easily removed by rainwater or melting snow. • To prevent soil from being carried into nearby surface water: • Plant ground cover to slow erosion. • Mulch gardens or newly seeded areas.
Reduce Erosion with Landscaping • Landscape low areas with shrubs or flowers to encourage water to soak into the ground. • Naturalize part of your lawn with prairie, woodland, or wetland plants. • Leave a buffer strip of thick vegetation near streams or lakes. • Direct roof drainage to your lawn or flower bed.