What is stormwater pollution?

Chemicals, oils, pesticides, litter, salt, animal waste, and fertilizers are just a few pollutants that are easily transferable through stormwater. Stormwater collects and transports these potent materials. As rain and snow carry these pollutants to storm drains and ditches, they are then carried back into rivers, lakes, and streams, affecting the maintenance of the water. Such toxic substances harm wildlife and can easily kill aquatic life.

You may not think of this harmful cycle as you wash your car or spray your lawn with fertilizers, but it’s important to keep in mind that these hazardous substances are causing a lot of harm to our environment.

5 Ways To Prevent Stormwater Pollution

Install gutters
By installing gutters and downspouts, rainwater will flow smoothly down your roof into the gutters, through your lawn, and to the outskirts of your home. With gutters, water will not drain over your roof creating a puddle between your home and the ground beside it where it can easily form a buildup of bacteria, mold, substances, insects, leaves and debris. This polluted buildup eventually flows to catch basins, and, as storms develop throughout the warmer months, the polluted stormwater will eventually flow into rivers and waterways. The gutters and downspouts help distribute the water carefully around your yard and prevent puddling next to your home.

City leaf removal
If you live in a city with leaf removal, rake them to the road or put them in bags so the city can easily come by and pick them up. This will prevent leaves from clogging drains, gutters and downspouts. Bag grass clippings as well to keep them from clogging drains. Dirt, debris, and leaves pile up and create odor and bacteria if they are not swept away or disposed of properly.

Create a rain garden
A rain garden is a garden that receives its water source from stormwater and runoff. It is designed to withstand both flooding and drought conditions as well as elevated levels of nutrients likely found in stormwater. The ultimate goal of a rain garden is to restore groundwater levels and enhance water quality.

Clear gutters of debris
If you begin to see erosion around the drip line and watermarks or streaks along the outside of the gutters, this is a good indication that your gutters are overflowing and need to be cleaned more often. Clogged gutters and downspouts can also lead to bacteria and mold growth as well as attracting any unwanted critters.


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