Pollution and Prevention
We commonly think of the water that falls as rain as being
pure, but its quality is quickly threatened once it reaches
earth. Storm water run-off occurs when precipitation from rain
or snow melt flows over the ground. Impervious surfaces like
driveways, sidewalks and streets prevent storm water from
naturally infiltrating into the ground.
Storm water can pick up debris, chemicals, dirt, and other
pollutants and flow into a storm sewer system or directly to a
lake, steam, river, wetland, or coastal water. Anything that
enters a storm water systemis discharged untreated into the
waterbodies we use for swimming, fishing, and providing drinking
- Don't overwater your lawn. Consider using a soaker hose
instead of a sprinkler.
- You can collect rainwater from rooftops mosquito proof
containers to be used later for watering lawns and gardens.
- Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly.
Spring Runoff Clean:
- Remove pet waste and trash from streets, sidewalks and
driveways and put it into the garbage. Actually, flushing
waste is the best disposal method.
- Clean gutters regularly. Put leaves in your compost pile
or bag with other yard trimmings to be taken to your City’s
compost site if this is available to you.
- Remove debris and yard trimmings.
- Reseed bare spots. If spots are caused by salt, reseed
with a salt-tolerant grass mix.
- Lightly mulch newly seeded areas with straw and keep
moist for three or four weeks.
- Control soil-erosion around your home. When left bare
soil washes away easily with rain and carries phosphorus
with it. Soil erosion can be prevented by keeping soil
covered with vegetation or mulch.
- Consider planting a rain garden or grassy swale. These
are specifically designed areas planted with native plants
that can provide a natural place for rainwater to collect
and soak into the ground. Rain from rooftops or paved areas
can be diverted into these areas rather than into storm
http://landscapeforlife.org/water/3b4a.php (sample only, no
recommendation of website implied)
Systems: Leaking or poorly maintained septic
systems release nutrients and pathogens (bacteria and viruses)
that can be picked up by stormwater and discharged into nearby
- Inspect your system every 3 years and pump your tank as
- Don't dispose of household hazardous wastes in sinks or
toilets. (See Houston County's Household Hazardous Wastes
Collection dates in the recycling brochure below)
Washing you care and degreasing auto parts at home can
send detergents and other contaminants through the storm water
- Use a commercial car wash that treaats or recycles its
wastewater, or wash your car on your yard (not your
driveway) so the water infiltrates into the ground.
- Repair leaks and dispose of used auto fluids and
batteries at designated drop-off or recycling locations.
- Don’t dump paint, solvents, used oils, automotive
fluids, or RV and camper waste. Not only is it illegal, but
it can pollute area lakes, rivers, and streams.
- Please dispose of waste in approved disposal or
Houston County Recycling Brochure.