Rain is important for replenishing drinking water supplies, recreational activities, and keeping healthy wildlife habitats, but a problem can arise when pollutants from our daily activities enter the storm sewer system after a rain event. Debris from our daily activities such as car maintenance, lawn care and dog walking can contribute to storm water pollution. Rain will wash away left behind debris from the surface of the ground, taking it directly to our creeks and streams and eventually to Lake Erie without being treated.
Listed below are some of the ways to prevent storm water pollution:
- Properly store and dispose of hazardous substances such as used oil, cleaning supplies and paint. Never pour them down any part of the storm sewer system. Take advantage of the Lake County Hazardous Waste Collection Events this year at the Lake County Fairgrounds.
- Clean up any spills on your property immediately before the rain carries it away. Use rags or absorbents (kitty litter works great) and dispose of them in the garbage.
- Clean up yard waste, leaves, and branches in your yard for proper disposal. Never dump along a waterway.
- Use pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides as instructed and sparingly to prevent excess runoff pollution.
- Consider installing innovative storm water practices, such as rain barrels or rain gardens to capture storm water and keep it on site.
- Pick up after your pets right away and dispose of their waste properly, in the garbage.
- Keep all waste stored indoors, or in leak proof containers with tight fitting lids if storing outdoors.
- Report discharges from storm water outfalls during periods of dry weather, indicating a possible problem with the storm sewer system.
Make a conscience effort to do your part to protect our area waterways and Lake Erie! For more information, contact the City of Mentor Building and Engineering Department at (440) 255-1100.