Stormwater originates from precipitation, such as rain and snowmelt. When it doesn't evaporate or soak into the soil, stormwater contributes to surface runoff. As stormwater runoff flows, it picks up and transports pollutants along the way, including fertilizers, pesticides, litter, pet waste, and debris.
Polluted stormwater causes numerous problems for the environment, such as wildlife habitat loss, the degradation of our lakes and rivers, the killing of fish and other aquatic life, and the overgrowth of algae in our waterways. Follow these tips to protect our waterways and help prevent stormwater pollution.
Never Dump Anything Down a Storm Drain
Rainwater and snow or ice melt are the only things that should flow into storm drains. Storm drains are a direct link to your local streams, lakes, and rivers, so you should never dispose of any substances into a storm drain, including leaves, yard waste, or even the water you use while washing your car.
Be Cautious with Fertilizers and Lawn Treatments
If you choose to fertilize your lawn or use other types of lawn treatments, be sure to use them sparingly and always follow the directions. It's also important to apply them well in advance of a rainstorm. This can greatly reduce the risk of these chemicals being carried away by rain runoff and making their way into our waterways. You can also consider using organic fertilizer that's less harmful to the environment.
Always Pick Up Pet Waste
Pet waste that's left on sidewalks, streets, or in your yard can easily end up in your local waterways. This can add harmful bacteria into the water and contribute to the overgrowth of algae, which can be harmful to both animals and people.
Maintain Your Car
Regularly check your car for any leaking fluids, and have your car repaired promptly if it's leaking oil. Oil dripping onto the road can enter storm drains and wash into the waterways during a rainstorm. If you perform your own car maintenance, be sure to properly dispose of motor oil, antifreeze, and other automotive fluids.
Use Rain Barrels
Rain barrels are designed to collect and store water from your roof and gutters that would otherwise run off your property and end up in storm drains. In addition to reducing the impact of stormwater runoff on our waterways, you can use the water collected by rain barrels to water your lawn and garden.
Maintain Your Septic System
Make sure your septic system is regularly pumped and inspected. A septic system that leaks or is improperly maintained can allow harmful bacteria into storm drains and local waterways.
Be Careful Where You Wash Your Car
Instead of washing your car in the driveway, consider washing it on gravel or a grassy area that can absorb the water before it enters a storm drain. Whenever possible, use a soap that is both phosphate-free and biodegradable to wash your car. Better yet, consider taking your car to a car wash, where the wastewater is either recycled or pumped to a treatment plant.
At Crosscreek Environmental, we believe in providing a comprehensive, environmentally friendly approach in creating solutions to maintain the beauty and health of Florida's ponds, lakes, wetlands, and shorelines. We use the B.E.S.T.™ geo-tube solution and are one of the best geo-tube solution providers in the state of Florida.