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Storm Water Management Storm Water Management Storm water is rain or snow melt that does not soak into the ground. It flows from rooftops, across paved areas and through sloped lawns. Storm water picks up pollutants as it goes.

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Storm Water Management

  • Storm water is rain or snow melt that does not soak into the ground.

  • It flows from rooftops, across paved areas and through sloped lawns.

  • Storm water picks up pollutants as it goes.

  • Pollutants are carried into lakes, streams, rivers and storm sewers.


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Potential Storm Water Pollutants

  • Automotive Fluids

  • Yard and Pet Waste

  • Sediment

  • Chemicals

  • Pesticides

  • Fertilizer


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Managing Automotive Waste

  • Rainstorms can wash oil stains or spilt automotive fluids from your driveway.

  • To prevent pollution:

    • Be careful to prevent spills when changing oil.

    • Collect waste oil for recycling.

    • Do not dump used oil or automotive fluid down storm drains or on the ground.

    • Repair fluid leaks.


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Safe Handling of Chemicals

  • Mix chemicals in a confined area such as a washtub to contain spills.

  • Read labels carefully before mixing.

  • Quickly contain and clean up chemical spills.

  • Do not apply pesticides or chemicals within 24 hours of a rain.

  • Follow application rates.


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Washing Your Car

  • Washing your car in the driveway creates runoff without a rainstorm.

  • Dirty, soapy water goes into storm sewers.

  • To prevent pollution problems:

    • Wash your car on the lawn.

    • Take your car to a commercial car wash or spray booth.


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Protect Your Basement

  • Storm water that enters your home can:

    • Carry in contaminants that are health problems.

    • Can pick up chemicals from your basement and carry them into the sewer or ground.

  • To protect your basement:

    • Seal basement windows or doors against leaks.

    • Protect windows with clear plastic covers.

    • Slope the yard away from the foundation.


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Paved Surfaces

  • Paved surfaces prevent rainwater from soaking into the ground.

  • Use alternative materials such as:

    • Gravel or wood chips for walkways.

    • Porous pavement made from interlocking cement blocks or rubber mats.

  • Try to allow space for rainwater to soak into soil.


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Bare Soil

  • Bare soil is easily removed by rainwater or melting snow.

  • To prevent soil from being carried into nearby surface water:

    • Plant ground cover to slow erosion.

    • Mulch gardens or newly seeded areas.


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Reduce Erosion with Landscaping

  • Landscape low areas with shrubs or flowers to encourage water to soak into the ground.

  • Naturalize part of your lawn with prairie, woodland, or wetland plants.

  • Leave a buffer strip of thick vegetation near streams or lakes.

  • Direct roof drainage to your lawn or flower bed.


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