If you haven't already, you should read our post about how stormwater runoff affects our water supply. Thankfully, there are several simple ways to reduce the effects of stormwater in your yard and neighborhood as suggested by EPA and written up in the Spring 2007 issue of The Habitat, the official newsletter of the Connecticut Association of Conservation and Inland Wetlands Commissions, Inc.
Keep litter, pet wastes, leaves and debris our of street gutters and storm drains, which lead directly to lakes, streams, rivers, and wetlands.
Use organic fertilizers and herbicides. There are lots of great options out there.**
Dispose of used oil, antifreeze, paints and other household chemicals properly (like during your neighborhood Hazardous Waste Day), not in storm sewers or drains. If your community doesn't already have a program in place, ask your local government to get on the ball and establish one.
Clean up spilled brake fluid, oil, grease and anti-freeze. Don't hose them into the street where they will eventually reach streams and lakes.
Control soil erosion on your property by planting ground cover (native species) and stabilizing erosion-prone areas.
Encourage local government officials to develop construction erosion/sediment control ordinances in your community.
Have your septic system inspected an pumped at the minimum, every 3 to 5 years so that it operates properly.
Purchase organic household detergents and cleaners, or at least those that are low in phosphorus to reduce the chemical discharge into lakes and streams.
** The EPA's quoted tip was, "Apply lawn and garden chemicals sparingly and according to directions."
I politely disagree.