PLEASE SEND OUT THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION TO THE GBLIST, SO THAT WE CAN MEET OUR REQUIREMENTS UNDER THE MS4 – PHASE II STORMWATER EDUCATION AND OUTREACH PROGRAM…
As part of the requirements under the MS4 - Phase II Stormwater Education and Outreach Program, below please find information posted by the United States Environmental Protection Agency concerning practices we all can take to help protect streams, wetlands, lakes, and rivers.
Healthy Household Habits for Clean Water
Vehicle and Garage
· Use a commercial car wash or wash your car on a lawn or other unpaved surface to minimize the amount of dirty, soapy water flowing into the storm drain and eventually into our local water bodies.
· Check your car, boat, motorcycle, and other machinery and equipment for leaks and spills. Make repairs as soon as possible. Clean up spilled fluids with an absorbent material like kitty litter or sand, and do not rinse the spills into a nearby storm drain. Remember to properly dispose of the absorbent material.
· Recycle used oil and other automotive fluids at participating service stations. Do not dump these chemicals down the storm drain or dispose of them in your trash.
Lawn and Garden
· Use pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers sparingly. When use is necessary, use the chemicals in the recommended amounts. Avoid application if the forecast calls for rain; otherwise, chemicals will be washed into our local water bodies.
· Select native plants and grasses that are drought tolerant and pest resistant. Native plants require less water, fertilizer, and pesticides.
· Sweep up yard debris, rather than hosing down areas. Compost or recycle yard waste when possible.
· Do not overwater your lawn. Watering during the cool times of the day (early morning or late evening typically), and do not let water runoff into the storm drain.
· Cover piles of dirt and mulch being used in landscaping projects to prevent any pollutants from blowing or washing off your yard and into local water bodies. Vegetate bare spots in your yard to prevent soil erosion.
Home Repair and Improvement
· Before beginning an outdoor project, locate the nearest storm drains and protect them from debris and other materials.
· Sweep up and properly dispose of construction debris such as concrete, mortar, or sawdust in a timely manner.
· Use hazardous substances like paints, solvents, and cleaners in the smallest amounts possible, and follow the directions on the label. Clean up any spills immediately, and dispose of the waste safely. Store substances properly to avoid leaks and spills.
· Purchase and use nontoxic, biodegradable, recycled and recyclable products whenever possible.
· Clean paint brushes in a sink, not outdoors. Filter and reuse paint thinner when using oil-based paints. Properly dispose of excess paints through a household hazardous waste collection or chemical cleanup day, or donate unused paint to local organizations.
· Reduce the amount of paved area and increase the amount of vegetated (or other pervious) area in your yard. Use native plants in your landscaping to reduce the need for watering during dry periods. Consider directing downspouts away from paved surfaces onto lawns or into rain gardens, and utilize other measures to increase infiltration and reduce polluted runoff.
· When walking your pet, remember to pick up their waste and dispose of properly. Flushing pet waste is the best disposal method. Leaving pet waste on the ground increases public health risks, by allowing harmful bacteria and nutrients to wash into the storm drain and eventually into local water bodies.
Swimming Pool and Spa
· Drain your swimming pool only when a test kit does not detect chlorine levels. Do not drain your pool into local water bodies.
· Whenever possible, have your pool water trucked away, or drain your pool or spa into the sanitary sewer system, not the storm drain in the street.
· Properly store pool and spa chemicals to prevent leaks and spills, preferably in a covered area to avoid exposure to storm water.
Septic System Use and Maintenance
· Have your septic system inspected by a professional at least every 3 years, and have the septic tank pumped as necessary (usually every 3 to 5 years).
· Care for the septic system drainfield by not driving or parking vehicles on it. Plant only grass over and near the drainfield to avoid damage from roots.
· Flush responsibly. Flushing household chemicals like paint, pesticides, oil, and antifreeze can destroy the biological treatment taking place in the system. Other items, such as diapers, paper towels, and cat litter, can clog the septic system and potentially damage its components.
REMEMBER – STORM DRAINS CONNECT TO OUR WATER BODIES!
Environmental Planner/Forestry Officer
ISA Certified Arborist NY-5607A
Department of Community
Development and Conservation