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Steps to Prevent Stormwater Pollution

Whether you are a resident, business owner or even a kid, there are many things you can do to reduce stormwater pollution. In addition to the suggestions below, there are many internet resources available for you to learn about stormwater, its impacts and how your can get involved.

Information for Homeowners and Business

When you buy a home, you become responsible for the condition of the house, the yard and sometimes a septic system. All of these elements can contribute to stormwater runoff and pollution. Even if you are just renting the house, there are things you can do to reduce polluted stormwater.

Home Maintenance

  • Use non-toxic cleaners or cleaners with the least amounts of toxins.
  • Make sure all chemicals are properly stored.
  • Never dump chemicals or cleaners into a storm drain.
  • Keep trash cans closed to prevent animals from scattering trash.
  • Sweep sidewalks, driveways and gutters instead of spraying them with a hose.
  • Make sure you septic systems are properly maintained. Use qualified, licensed contractors to have your septic tank pumped out on a regular basis. This should be done every one to three years.

Vehicle Maintenance

  • Perform regular maintenance on your vehicle to prevent fluids such as oil and antifreeze from entering the storm drain. If you change your oil yourself, dispose of the used oil responsibly.
  • Clean any spilled fluids with rags or kitty litter. Dispose of the waste at a hazardous waste collection site.
  • Store hazardous materials properly in the original, closed container.

Yard Maintenance

  • Plant more trees and shrubs! Trees absorb water and minimize erosion. Make sure you choose native plants so they will live a long, healthy life.
  • Do not rake leaves or grass into the street, gutter or storm drain.
  • Don't mow your grass too short. Grass that is less than 3 inches tends to be weaker and may die, allowing bare patches that increase runoff.
  • Use organic or non-toxic fertilizers and pesticides. Do not over-fertilize or fertilize before a rainstorm. You'll waste money and harm the environment. Talk with your lawn supply provider to determine the right amount of fertilizer and the correct time of the year to apply it.
  • Leave grass clippings on the lawn or compost them. Clippings release nitrogen into the soil and you won't have to fertilize as much.
  • When you walk your dog, be sure to pick up after them. Pet waste causes water pollution too!

Information for Businesses

  • Make sure that the storm drains in your parking lot are not clogged.
  • Collect trash so that it does not wash into our streams or spill chemicals.
  • Have your lawn care providers practice responsible yard maintenance techniques.
  • Pour washwater into a janitorial or mop sink – never into the street or gutter.
  • Recycle grease and oil – don't pour it into sinks or floor drains.
  • Keep your vehicles in good repair so they don't drip oil or other fluids.
  • Report chemical spills immediately to the proper authorities.
  • Keep dumpster area clean and the lid closed – don't fill it with liquid waste or hose it out.
  • Minimize waste by using non-disposable or recycled and recyclable containers.
  • Report any illegal connections to the storm sewer system to the Town of Maiden. Proactive measures and/or voluntary compliance will not result in a fine or penalty.

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