Do your part to keep Minneapolis waters clean and sparkling

We count on our lakes, streams and rivers for safe drinking water, clean places to swim and beautiful places to spend a nice day outside. This summer, think about the role we all play in protecting our waterways so they continue to sparkle from season to season and for future generations. Here are a few ways that you can do your part.

Never dump or throw anything down a storm drain. The storm drains under the streets flow directly into our lakes, creek and the Mississippi River. Anything that goes into a storm drain – soapy water, spilled oil, cigarette butts, pet waste, garbage – washes into our waterways. The only thing that’s supposed to go into a storm drain is rain.

Pick up after your pet. It’s the right thing to do, and it’s the law. Pet waste is more than smelly and unpleasant – it’s a health risk to other pets and people (especially children), and it’s harmful to the environment. Pet waste left on trails, sidewalks, streets and grass can run off into storm drains when it rains, and the storm drains lead directly to our lakes and river. If you don’t pick up after your dog, you can be fined. The first offense costs $25, and it doubles with each additional citation.

Wash your car at a commercial car wash or on a grass surface, not in the street. If you wash your car in the street, the soapy water runs into the storm drain and flows directly into our lakes, creek and river. Even when you use a grassy area, use only non-phosphorus cleaners. Some stormwater runs off of grassy areas, and too much phosphorus in a lake, stream or river allows algae in the water to grow too fast, turning clear water green and cloudy. It can also affect the taste or smell of our drinking water.

Follow these and other tips to help keep Minneapolis water sparkling.

July 2, 2009

Published Jul 2, 2009