|Facilities offers tips on winter stormwater pollution prevention |
As winter approaches and rain turns to snow, it is still important to consider stormwater pollution. Pollutants such as soaps, fertilizers, automotive fluids, and pet waste can collect in the snow pack, accumulating until a thaw suddenly dumps them into the storm water system. Contaminants that end up in the storm drains are carried off, untreated, to streams and larger bodies of water that are used for drinking, swimming, or fishing.
Here are a few helpful habits to reduce the amount of harmful pollutants entering storm drains this winter season:
• Winterizing vehicles. Check that your car is not leaking oil or other fluids. It takes only a small amount of motor oil to pollute thousands of gallons of water. Also dispose of drained fluids properly. Many service stations will collect used motor oil and recycle it. There is also a drop off sight at the Public Works Facility at 724 N. 47th St. Please do not dump these items down the storm drains.
• Washing vehicles. On a warm winter day, you may be tempted to break out the hose and bucket to get some of the road grime off of your car. Take a moment to see where that runoff is going. Does it wash down the driveway and into the storm drain? If so, all that salt and dirt will enter a stream or pond. Using a car wash facility may cost a few dollars more, but the water will be treated before being released into the watershed.
• De-icing driveways and sidewalks. While it may be habit to stock up on salt for the winter, many people would not consider dumping a bucket of salt on their lawn in the summer. But the results are similar. Salt runs off of your sidewalk and onto the surrounding soil. Consider more environmentally-friendly deicing products like Rain-Ex, Enviro-MLT, or Easy Melt found at most auto parts and home improvement stores.
If you have any questions, please contact Paul Clark at 777-3005.
-- Debbie Merrill, Recycling Coordinator, Facilities Management, email@example.com, 777-4878