City provides tips to prevent stormwater pollution


Tribune staff reports

April is Stormwater Awareness Month.

Storm drains help prevent flooding by draining rainwater and melted snow and ice off of paved surfaces. As the water runs off of paved surfaces, it enters a storm drain and is carried and released into a nearby body of water, such as a stream.

One common mistake that many people make is that the water runoff, often referred to as stormwater, is treated and cleaned after it enters a storm drain. This is far from the truth, Justin Amos, a stormwater system foreman for the Seymour Water Pollution Control Facility said in a news release.

Stormwater that enters a storm drain typically is not cleaned or treated before entering a stream, river or lake, Amos said.

“As stormwater flows across lawns, parking lots, streets and sidewalks, it picks up pollutants,” he said.

“These pollutants may include fertilizers and pesticides applied to lawns or gardens, sediments from construction sites and areas with bare soil exposed, cigarette butts, fast food wrappers and other forms of litter, oil and other automotive fluids, pet waste, soaps used from washing vehicles and any other substance that has been left on the ground,” he said.

The polluted runoff then enters streams, rivers and lakes by way of storm drains, Amos said.

“As a result, these water bodies have poor water health and can be hazardous to animals and humans,” he said.

To do your part in keeping Seymour’s waterways clean and helping prevent stormwater pollution, follow these steps:

Use pesticides and fertilizers properly. Follow all label instructions. Do not apply pesticides and fertilizers if rain is expected within a 24-hour period.

Prevent soil erosion by covering areas of bare soil with mulch or planting ground covers or other plants.

Dispose of all trash properly. Never litter.

Plan a community cleanup event to pick up trash and litter.

Maintain vehicles to prevent leaks.

Pick up after your pet.

Wash vehicles in grassy areas or at a car wash.

Install a rain barrel. By collecting rainwater from your roof, you are reducing the amount of stormwater that enters storm drains and conserving water to use on your lawn and garden.

Plant a rain garden. Rain gardens are designed to capture and filter stormwater from paved surfaces.

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