Stormwater runoff is directly affected by what you do outside. How you handle landscape maintenance, washing your car, keeping patios and pavers clean, directing your downspout and even walking your dog can all affect our ability to prevent pollution to our waterways. Follow these links to access complete information on greening your routine outside.
Take care of your swale. Keep it free of debris, don't park cars on it, and look for clogged storm drains. Your swale is not an accidental hill; it is an essential part of our stormwater management infrastructure. It works by filtering water as it moves back towards the aquifer. Storm drains in a swale catch watch the land cannot naturally absorb. Blocking drains could increase your risk of flooding.
Follow Florida-friendly landscaping principles for using fertilizing appropriately, reducing stormwater runoff and protecting the waterfront. A major tenet of Florida-friendly landscaping is water conservation. Part of conserving water is preventing the precious amount that we do have from being polluted.
Dispose of all household hazardous wastes appropriately, and especially take care in using fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. Any chemical used outside can be washed onto pavers and then run with the next rainfall into our drains. Chemicals in our waterways throw off the balance of native and non-native plants, promote careless species growth and kill off essential smaller animals in the food chain. Paints, solvents, corrosive agents and other hazardous wastes can do the same. Keep them in their place.
When disposing of bulk trash, be sure that you do not place bulk waste trash piles near or on top of a storm drain. Blocking your storm drain could lead to flooding. Blocking larger storm drains could lead to pieces of the waste falling in and blocking our water management equipment.
Clean car washing and careful maintenance can help to prevent water pollution. Be sure to wash your car on a surface that absorbs the water, use non-toxic soaps if possible, and check for leaks of automotive substances such as motor oil. Taking care of your car not only saves energy, it saves our water as well! Click here for more Green your Vehicle Routine tips that will help save you money and make your car run better.
Scoop the poop! Disposing of pet waste properly prevents bacteria from entering our waterways. It may be natural, be it's not what we want to drink or swim in, and neither do the millions of fish and marine animals who live in those waters. Fido may be cute, but his poop is of a biology that doesn't mix with that of the wildlife in our area. Please scoop and discard doggie waste in the nearest trash can.