Help Protect Our Lakes, Streams and Rivers
Our lakes, streams and rivers play an integral role in our lives – providing safe drinking water, a clean playground for swimmers and other recreation, and a natural attraction for residents and visitors.
We all play a role in protecting our waterways so they continue to be a resource for future generations. Here are a few ways that you can do your part:
1. Never dump anything down a storm drain. Storm drains are directly connected to our lakes, creek and the Mississippi River.
- Sweep grass clippings, leaves and dirt from your sidewalk and keep them out of the street.
- Bag your yard waste for pick up or proper disposal.
- Don't hose down driveways and sidewalks – the trash and debris wash right into storm drains and eventually our waterways.
- Adopt a storm drain on your street and keep the area around it clean.
2. Pick up after your pet. It’s the right thing to do, and it’s the law. Pet waste that washes into storm drains lowers water quality and spurs algae growth.
3. Keep your car maintained to avoid leaks and spills. Use a commercial car wash or wash your vehicle on a grass surface and not on the street to avoid runoff. Use only non-phosphorus cleaners.
4. Keep your lawn healthy to avoid erosion from bare areas. If you need to use fertilizer, use organic or phosphorus-free fertilizer (it's the law!). Look for non-toxic alternatives to pesticides – a better way to eliminate harmful garden bugs is to encourage helpful bugs and animals. Landscape with native plants and grasses - they use less water and chemicals and invite helpful bugs and insects.
5. Plant a rain garden to keep runoff from your property out of the storm sewer.
6. Direct your downspouts away from paved surfaces and towards your garden or grassy areas to avoid water runoff. It is illegal to connect a downspout to a storm drain. Use a rain barrel to trap run off and reuse water.
7. Clean out leaves and debris from your rain gutters in the fall and again in the spring of each year.
8. Don't litter! Pick up any trash you find on your property.
9. Keep shorelines and stream banks natural. Natural shorelines provide habitat, filter water, and prevent erosion.
10. Avoid the addition of hard surfaces to your property. Hard surfaces naturally allow runoff into our storm sewers increasing the chances of pollution. During outdoor improvement projects, protect the site from erosion.
Last updated Dec 20, 2011