September 6, 2018

Only you can prevent storm water pollution

56th Civil Engineer Squadron

With the arrival of monsoon, storm water is flowing once again into the drains. Storm water runoff is mostly transported along streets, curbs, open channels, and other conveyances that flow directly to retention or infiltration basins, city parks, green zones, community lakes, washes, and nearby canals.

Storm water picks up debris and other pollutants while it is flowing. This water generally re-enters the water cycle without ever being treated.

While the local area, on average, only receives 7 to 9 inches of rainfall a year, storm water quality is still a serious concern. Polluted runoff is the nation’s greatest threat to clean water.

The practice of healthy household habits by facility managers and homeowners can keep common pollutants like pesticides, pet waste, grass clippings and automotive fluids off the ground and out of our stormwater.

What is storm water pollution?

As it flows over surfaces like roads, sidewalks and lawns, stormwater can pick up contaminants and debris, such as:

• Dirt

• Fertilizers

• Pesticides and herbicides

• Motor oil, fuel and grease

• Heavy metals

• Yard waste (leaves and grass)

• Pet waste

• Paints and solvents

• Trash

How can you help?

Your yard

• Select native plants that are drought tolerant and pest resistant.

• Avoid overwatering.

• Use lawn products sparingly and follow the manufacturer’s application instructions.

• Never apply fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides just before, during, or immediately after a storm, or during windy conditions. Clean up spills immediately and safely dispose.

• Sweep up landscape waste with a broom, instead of using a hose or blower.

• Control loose dirt to prevent soils from washing into the storm drain.

• Properly dispose of pool water, do not backwash or drain your pool into the street. Check with your community for disposal methods.

Your vehicle

• Wash your vehicle at a commercial car wash to prevent dirty, soapy water from entering the storm drain.

• Keep your vehicle leak free. Clean up any leaks with an absorbent source and dispose of it properly.

• Recycle used motor oil and antifreeze at participating auto parts stores or service facilities.

Your home or business

• Purchase nontoxic products.

• Store home maintenance products inside or under cover.

• Properly dispose of household hazardous waste.

• Check with your community for collection days or events.

• When beginning an outdoor project, locate the nearest storm drains and protect them from debris.

Your pets

• Pet waste can be a source of pollution in water bodies and retention basins where your pets and children play.

• Collect waste when walking your pet.

• Pick-up animal waste in your yard and dispose of it in the trash.

Remember to report illegal dumping into storm drains. Only rain should go into the storm drain.

For more information about storm water pollution prevention, go to www.azstorm.org or call Carl Moser at 623-856-6890.

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