Stormwater is generated by water runoff from land and impervious areas (streets, lawns, farms, parking lots, rooftops, construction sites, etc.). Stormwater pollution is caused by our daily activities. Rain and snowmelt run off and pick up oil, fertilizers, pesticides, dirt and other pollutants on the way to our creeks, rivers and lakes. According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers stormwater runoff is our most common cause of water pollution, which can make it unsafe for drinking, fishing or swimming.

Stormwater Regulation
As authorized by the Clean Water Act, the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program controls water pollution by regulating sources that discharge pollutants into U.S. waters. It's easy to be stream friendly! Below are common stormwater pollutants and easy ways you can help to correct them!

Effect on Water Quality
Easy Solutions
Lawn Care Products
  • Fertilizer accelerates growth of aquatic plant life, which robs waterways of oxygen when they decay.
  • Pesticides and herbicides create adverse effects on fish and water bugs, a vital component of aquatic food chain.
  • Don't apply lawn chemicals just before it rains. Follow instructions on the label carefully to prevent over-application.
  • Target your use of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizer; sweep up excess if it's in solid form.
  • Use native vegetation and grasses that don't require as much fertilizer and water! Visit Grow Native!
  • Bring your old chemicals to a free chemical collection!
Cleaning Products
 Cleaning products (including those you might use to wash your car) are toxic to fish, stimulate algae and plant growth, and upset the ecosystem by impacting animal life.  Use a commercial car wash, or wash your car on the lawn with a biodegradable soap.
Yard Waste
  • Grass clippings, leaves and flowers clog storm drains, cause erosion along stream banks, and robs streams of oxygen as they decay.
  • Dirt, dust and sand bury fish food and cloud the water, affecting the ability of fish to feed.
  • Mulch or compost your yard clippings.
  • Sweep dirt onto the lawn.
  • Place debris in the trash.
 Pet Waste
Pet waste releases bacteria, diseases and viruses into streams where our children play.
Pick-up pet waste. Flush it down the toilet or bag it and place in the trash.
Paint & Automotive Fluids
  • Dyes and paints can interfere with the ability of fish to breathe, plants to grow, and water bugs to reproduce.
  • Antifreeze is poisonous to plants and animals, and seriously depletes oxygen in the water.
  • Paint, dirt, dust and dyes can damage fish gills, as well as reduce growth and reproduction of fish and other aquatic organisms.
  • Never pour these down a storm drain or into a gutter!
  • Dispose of dry and/or empty oil-based and water-based paint containers and brushes in the garbage.
  • Bring oil, antifreeze and other hazardous fluids to Recycle Works Central anytime for proper disposal.
  • Bring excess fertilizer, pesticides, paint and other chemicals to Recycle Works Central for proper disposal.
  • Keep cars and gas-powered lawn mowers or blowers well-tuned, so they are not dripping toxic fluids or emitting toxic fumes.