is storm water pollution protection so important?
The Federal Clean Water Act is the principal vehicle for the control of storm water pollutants, and in 1972, the Federal Clean Water Act was amended to establish the framework for regulating municipal and industrial storm water discharges. Simply put, it is illegal to dispose of pollutants in the storm drain system which leads to the streams or rivers of the state.
Walk the dog. Wash the Car. Change the oil. Add some
anti-freeze. Kill some weeds. Fertilize the lawn.
Certainly nothing illegal about any of it. But quietly,
our most common household chores are having an unhealthy
impact on Hampton Roads' waterways. Each time it rains,
everything we leave on our streets, driveways and lawns
washes untreated through our ditches and storm drains
and into our streams, rivers, lakes and bays.
What's so hard about stopping the toxic soup of pollutants streaming into our prized local waters? Not a thing. Here are easy some solutions to help.
- Fertilize your lawn in the fall. Spring rains
wash fertilizer off your lawn and into waterways.
Exception: warm season grasses
like Bermuda, Zoysiagrass, Centipedegrass & St. Augustine should be fertilized in the spring.
- If you use chemical fertilizers, pesticides or
herbicides, use them sparingly and follow label
directions carefully. Never apply
fertilizers or pesticides when a heavy rain is forecast.
- For environmentally friendly ways to control
pests and landscape your yard, contact your local
- Recycle or properly dispose of used motor oil
and other hazardous wastes. One quart of motor oil
can contaminate up to 2
million gallons of water.
- Use a commercial car wash, where wastewater is
managed to protect our waterways. Or, wash the car
on the grass with a
mild, biodegradable soap.
- Reduce the amount of paved surfaces around your
home. Using bricks, stones, pea gravel or oyster
shells for driveways,
walkways and patios can filter pollutants and reduce the amount of rainwater flowing into storm drains.
- Be sure that gutters and roof spouts empty onto
the grass, or into a rain barrel for future
- Keep leaves, grass clippings, soaps, litter and
harmful chemicals away from streets, ditches, storm
drains and waterways.
The added nutrients and toxins those products feed our waterways contribute to harmful algae blooms and fish kills.
- Bag pet waste and place it in the trash. Pet
waste contains harmful bacterial pollutants and
nutrients which imperil waterway ecosystems.
report any storm drain grates, inlets, or storm drain
water drain pipes which have debris covering them to the
City Public Works Department at 636-586-2499 or City Hall 636-586-3326