Five Simple Tips for Keeping Water Systems Clean

January 22, 2014 by No Comments

Litter prevention

Stormwater, simply put, is water from rain or melting snow that does not permeate its way into the ground. Instead, it runs off of roofs, through lawns, and down city streets. As it flows, it collects and transports litter, animal waste, salt, pesticides, fertilizers, motor oil, and all kinds of other materials that people dispose of or use improperly. When those contaminants reach water sources without the proper stormwater treatment, they can cause a number of different water pollution problems. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to prevent stormwater runoff pollution from getting worse and keep the environment clean.

Wash Your Car in the Lawn

If you wash your car at home, the soap, dirt, and grime that comes off of your car will work its way into stormwater systems and potentially carry bacteria and pollutants. Washing at a car wash that has the proper water disposal infrastructure is always a good idea, but if you don’t have time, simply moving your car into the grass or onto gravel, which act as natural filters, can help reduce pollution.

Only Rain in the Drains

Its easy to get rid of liquid waste by just dumping it down the storm drain in the street, and lots of people used to do that with motor oil when they worked on their car. But that kind of problem can be too cumbersome for some stormwater treatment procedures and cause contaminants and pollution to work their way all the way to drinking water!

Use the Broom

The fastest way to get dirt or grass clippings off of the driveway and sidewalk might be blasting the hose. However, that puts excess water into drains and could pull contaminants into the water system. Using the broom and sweeping is a safer alternative, though it might require a little bit of elbow grease.

Keep Grass High

A nice, tight mow with fresh lines can make your lawn look great. But if you mow the grass to lower than three inches, it will not act as a strong filter like it should, and weeds will often grow. That will lead to the need for more water and maybe even more fertilizer than you would normally need.

Clean Up After Pets

Not only is it disgusting to have to walk around a mess on the sidewalk, but it is also hard on water systems. Animal waste is full of bacteria that should be kept out of water systems if possible, so making sure to pick it up right away is always smart.

Every community should have stormwater treatment systems in place to make sure that drinking water, and the environment as a whole, is as healthy as possible. In order to help make their job easier though, you should take simple steps to do your part and keep stormwater free of contaminants.

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