10 Things You Can Do to Prevent Stormwater Runoff Pollution

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10 THINGS YOU CAN DO TO PREVENT STORMWATER RUNOFF 

 

1. NEVER DUMP ANYTHING DOWN THE STORM DRAINS

2. USE FERTILIZERS SPARINGLY

3. VEGETATE BARE SPOTS IN YOUR LAWN

4. USE A MULCHING LAWN MOWER IN LIEU OF BAGGING

5. CONSIDER PEST MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES

6. CONSIDER THE USE OF RAIN GARDENS

7. TAKE YOUR CAR TO THE CAR WASH

8. REPAIR FLUID LEAKS IN YOUR VEHICLES

9. PICK UP AFTER YOUR PET

10. PROPER SEPTIC SYSTEM MAINTENANCE

 


Do-Dont

 

 

1. NEVER DUMP ANYTHING DOWN THE STORM DRAINS

Any pollutants that enter the storm drains will be washed into nearby storm drains, wetlands, streams, lakes, and rivers.  Connections to the Town’s storm drainage system are not permitted, without written consent by the Town.

 

 


 

Fertilizing in Water

 

2. USE FERTILIZERS SPARINGLY

If you apply fertilizer shortly before a rainstorm, much of it will be washed into nearby storm drains, wetlands, streams, lakes, and rivers.  So when you fertilize your lawn, apply it well in advance of a rainstorm, use it sparingly, use organic slow-release fertilizers, and always follow manufacturer’s recommendations.  Sweep up fertilizers from driveways, sidewalks, and roads.  The University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension system has useful information regarding lawn maintenance tips, as well as a Nitrogen Fertilization Calculator.  This information can be found at: http://www.sustainability.uconn.edu.

 

 


 

bare lawn

 

 

3. VEGETATE BARE SPOTS IN YOUR LAWN

Vegetate bare spots in your yard to prevent soil erosion.  Also cover or vegetate any stockpiles of topsoil, mulch or other landscaping materials.

 

 

 


 

4. USE A MULCHING LAWN MOWER IN LIEU OF BAGGING










Dispose of your yard waste.  Mulching returns nutrients back to the soil and eliminates yard waste.  See the following additional helpful lawn maintenance information:

mulching mower_2

mulching mower_1

 

“For a Natural Green Lawn”

“What Your Weeds Say about Your Lawn”

“Lawn Care Tips”

 

 


 

Grub-1

 

5. CONSIDER PEST MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES

Instead of using pesticides, consider Integrated Pest Management techniques.  Integrated Pest Management is a sustainable approach that provides long term solutions to pest problems.  Additional information can be found at:

Grub-2

UCONN Cooperative Extension website:

"Effects of Lawn Pesticides"

“How to De-Grub Your Lawn”

 

 

 


 

Rain-Barrel-1                           

 

6. CONSIDER THE USE OF RAIN GARDENS

 

Direct Downspouts away from both your foundation and paved surfaces.  Consider installing a rain garden or rain barrel as a great way to recycle water, and to use around the yard for watering gardens.  Information on rain gardens and rain barrels can be found at: http://www.sustainability.uconn.edu./landscape/06-rain_barrels.html.

  

Rain-Garden

 Rain-Barrel-2

 

The Nonpoint Education for Municipal Officials (NEMO) was created at the University of Connecticut as collaboration amongst various organizations “to provide information, education and assistance to local land use boards and commissions on how they can accommodate growth while protecting their natural resources and community character”.  NEMO also provides simple Do-It-Yourself projects that you can do to assist with reducing pollution.  See the following video link below on how to construct a rain garden.  Use NEMO’s Rain Garden App on how to construct a rain garden and comes with useful information to assist with the sizing of the rain garden as well as selecting the appropriate plants.

          

      (NEMO) How to Reduce Runoff with the Construction of a Rain Garden              

NEMO_Rain Garden Manual

NEMO Rain Garden Brochure

 

 


 

Washing Car in Ocean

  

 7. TAKE YOUR CAR TO THE CAR WASH

 Take your car to the car wash, where wash water is filtered and recycled, instead of washing it in the driveway.  As many as 140 gallons of water can be used in a 10 minute home car wash.  Most of the water is washed down the driveway along with soap, surfactancts, oil, and sludge directly into storm drains and the environment, polluting rivers and lakes.  Waste water from professional car washes is piped to water treatment facilities.

 

If you are to wash your care at home, follow these simple guidelines:

  • Clean the area of trash and debris;
  • Never let the garden hose run when not in use;
  • Wash vehicles in an area where water can be directed onto lawn or landscaped areas and can slowly filter into the ground; 
  • Use only soaps, cleaners, or detergents labeled non-toxic, phosphate free, or biodegradable.
  •  Use a bucket of soapy water rather than applying soap to the sponge;
  •  Wring sponges and rags into the bucket and not onto the ground; and
  • Never empty buckets onto driveway, streets or other paved areas.  Buckets should be emptied onto grass surfaces or into your sanitary sewer drains if you are connected to the Town Municipal Sanitary Sewer System.

  

If you are planning a fundraising event, follow these simple guidelines:

  • Consider selling tickets to a local car wash facility;
  • Contact a local car wash facility to see if they were willing to sponsor your charitable event;
  • While you feel your fundraiser may not adversely affect the environment, collectively fundraisers could contribute to pollution;
  • Wash vehicles in an area where water can be directed onto lawn or landscaped areas and can slowly filter into the ground.

 

 


 

 Car-In-Water_Fluid Leaks

 

 

8. REPAIR FLUID LEAKS IN YOUR VEHICLES

Check and/or repair fluid leaks in your cars, and recycle motor oil and other automotive fluids.  Never dump motor oil or other engine fluids down storm drains or onto the ground.  Motor vehicle batteries and used motor oil in containers 3 gallons or less can be disposed of, free of charge, at the Highway Garage located at 544 New Britain Avenue.

 

 


 

 Dog-In-Water

 

9. PICK UP AFTER YOUR PET

Pet waste can be a source of bacteria, and can lead to contamination of wetlands, streams, lakes, and rivers.

  • Always pick-up dog waste and dispose of it in the trash.  It should not be composted even in a biodegradable bag;  
  • Dispose of cat litter in the trash. NEVER flush cat litter down the toilet or compost it.

 

 


 

Septic System Diagram

 

 

10. PROPER SEPTIC SYSTEM MAINTENANCE

Have your septic system pumped and inspected regularly.  An improperly operating/maintained septic system can lead to polluted surface and groundwater, and significant repair costs.  Do not dispose of household chemicals down the drain, where they can enter your septic system and contaminate the groundwater.  The Town of Farmington hosts an annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection Day.

 

5. CONSIDER PEST MANAGEMENT TECHNIQUES