YOU CAN HELP
Who causes water pollution? People like you and me! You see, when rain or water from garden hoses and sprinklers flows over our streets and yards, it carries pollutants into the storm drains; pollutants like motor oil, pesticides, paints, grass clippings, and pet waste. In most places, whatever goes down a storm drain flows directly - without treatment - into local creeks, streams, and rivers, threatening water quality for humans and wildlife. Here's the good news - you are the solution to water pollution!
Here are some things you can do to make a difference:
Install a Rain Barrel
Itís estimated that the average American uses about 100 gallons of water a day. And between 25 percent and 40 percent of that goes to outdoor use.
But according to the Environmental Protection Agency, about half of all the water Americans use is wasted. If we were more responsible about its use and started using only what we need, we could save more than 3 billion gallons of water every day.
Harvesting rainwater is an easy way to gets lots of free water to use whenever and wherever we need it. And today, rain barrels are an easy way to do that. You can find many inexpensive ways to make your own rain barrels on the web.
Conserving water is good for the garden and our plant.
Click on these links for educational videos:
"After The Storm"
"The More You Know The Better The Flow" (This video from the state of Virginia explains how storm water can cause sanitary sewers to overload and back up.)
1. Wash your car at a commercial car wash.
Washing your car at home not only uses more gallons of water than a commercial
car wash, but it also can introduce soap, oil, and engine grime to the
HOW? The dirty water and soap that come off your car at home usually flow down the driveway, into a curb inlet or gutter, and end up in a nearby creek or river.
Curb inlets are designed to drain rainwater from the streets to prevent flooding. This water does not go to a water treatment facility to be cleaned.
By using a commercial car wash, the soap and dirty water enter a filter system which removes grit and oil. The water then flows through the sanitary sewer to a treatment facility where the water is cleansed.
2.Learn how to properly dispose of pesticides.
Testing has shown that even small amounts of commonly used pesticides may be lethal to living creatures. So try non-toxic alternatives for pest control. Take unwanted or unused pesticides to a household hazardous waste collection center. Never throw pesticides in the trash or into a storm drain. You can dispose of pesticides at The Adams County Solid Waste District between the hours of 8-4 M-F, and Sat 8-Noon.
3.Learn how to properly apply and dispose of fertilizers.
Click here for Decatur's recycling sites & hours (pdf)
Fertilizers promote algae growth in our waterways. When algae decomposes, the oxygen level in the water is depleted, and harming aquatic life. When using fertilizers, follow application instructions, do not over water, and do not apply if rain is forecasted. Click here for: Proper Application Guidelines
4.Learn how to properly dispose of paints and solvents.
If you're using latex-water-based paints, you can wash your paint brushes directly in your kitchen or bathroom sink. Don't rinse your brushes in the street. Remember, storm drains flow directly and without treatment into local waterways. If you must use oil-based paints, clean-up properly by rinsing brushes with solvent in a container. Filter and re-use thinner and solvent. Take unusable liquid and residue to Adams County Solid Waste District between the hours of 8-4 M-F, and Sat. 8-Noon.
5.Learn how to properly dispose of used motor oil and oil filters.
Did you know that each year over 180 million gallons of motor oil are disposed of illegally by people who change the oil in their trucks and cars? Never put motor oil in the trash or pour it on the ground, or down a storm drain. Recycle it instead! Adams County Solid Waste District takes motor oil M-F 8-4, and Sat.8-noon.
6.Learn how to properly dispose of pet waste.
Pet waste contains harmful bacteria and organisms that can spread disease. Pick up pet waste, seal it in a plastic bag, and dispose of it in trash cans. Don't hose waste into storm drains. Help keep your neighborhood and your pet healthy and clean.
7. Learn how to properly dispose of yard and grass clippings.
Yard and grass clippings can reach our local waterways by washing into storm drains. Keep green waste out of storm drains.