How can I protect my watershed?

The choices we make around our home will have an impact on our local streams. Some things you can do are:

  • Dispose of grass clippings and yard waste properly by composting or bagging it for yard waste pick up.
  • Make sure your septic system is maintained and inspected regularly. Do not dispose of household chemicals or hazardous materials through the septic drain field.
  • Discharge pool water into a sanitary sewer system, not into a storm drain nor directly into a stream. Allow chlorinated pool water to "sit" for 10 days, then drain onto a landscaped area where it can soak into the ground. The pH level should drop below 1.0 milliliter per liter (ml/L). (Chlorine is a toxic chemical that is retained in fatty tissue and can cause lesions.)
  • Wash your car in a grassy area and use mild, phosphorus-free detergents. Use a spray nozzle that shuts off.
  • Participate in household hazardous waste collection days. Never dump these pollutants onto driveways, roadways or storm drains:
    • Solvents
    • Cleaning products
    • Motor oil
    • Paints
    • Pesticides
    • Stains
  • Pick up and dispose of pet waste so that it is not washed off in stormwater runoff.
  • Use good erosion control practices so sediment is not washed into streams. Plant grass or ground cover where water washes soil. Plant trees and shrubs to help absorb stormwater. Make sure storm drains are open and gutters drain into an area that absorbs water well. Put in a rain garden to retain runoff.
  • Leave a 50 foot forested buffer zone or riparian corridor along the headwaters of a creek or a wet weather stream. Leave a 100 foot forested buffer zone along the creek bank of larger creeks and streams.

Show All Answers

1. Why should I be concerned about polluted streams?
2. How can I support clean water efforts?
3. How can I protect my watershed?
4. What can I do at home to reduce stormwater pollution?
5. What is the difference between ground water and stormwater runoff?
6. How is water from a sanitary sewer system different from stormwater runoff or from a storm drain?
7. Who can I contact for information?
8. Who should I call to report a source of pollution or drainage problem?
9. Is there a list of recycling centers in Jefferson County?
10. How does stormwater runoff become polluted?
11. Is stormwater runoff treated at a waste water facility?
12. What is an Illicit Discharge?