Stormwater Pollution Prevention Tips
You can help prevent stormwater water pollution in your own backyard by following these easy tips.
To report any illegal dumping into our storm drains or waterways, contact the Stormwater Program at 218-7046.
Don't wash your car in the driveway
Washing your car at home not only uses more gallons of water than a commercial car wash, but it also introduces soap, oil and engine grime to the environment. The dirty water and soap wash off your car, flow down your driveway, down the street, into a curb inlet and end up in a nearby creek. Detergents in our creeks and ponds pose a very real threat to our fish. Use a commercial car wash instead. However, if you must wash your car at home, these tips will help minimize pollution: try using just water and a rag; use only minimal amounts of soap; use a spray release nozzle for your hose to reduce water use and runoff into the street.
Use household chemicals wisely
Pesticides and fertilizers pollute our neighborhood creeks, rivers and lakes when they are applied incorrectly, disposed of improperly or run off into curbs and storm drains during heavy rains or over-watering. To protect our water:
- Don't use garden chemicals when rain is expected
- Follow directions carefully; using more than recommended won't work any faster
- Use pesticides and herbicides that relate only to the bug or problem you're trying to correct
- Never pour garden chemicals down a storm drain, manhole, toilet or household drain or let them run off your lawn into the street
- Consider less toxic alternatives to pesticides, cleaners and other items.
- Correctly dispose of leftover garden chemicals, by taking them to a City of Round Rock Household Hazardous Waste collection event.
Proper Pool Maintenance is Important
Pool owners can discharge chlorinated, salt, or filtered backwash water to a vegetated area on their own property. When discharging on your property, make sure the area is large enough to avoid adverse impacts from runoff and puddles of standing water and remember that high chlorine levels and salt content can potentially damage vegetation. Pool water may alternatively be discharged to the storm drain system if it meets guidelines. Direct hose connection to the storm drain is prohibited. It is important for pool owners to ensure proper pool maintenance in order to protect water quality for our creeks and wildlife.
Practice dry cleanup methods
Instead of hosing down your driveway or sidewalk, use a broom to sweep up waste. For oil spills use a product such as cat litter to absorb the oil, then sweep up the litter and place it in your trash.
Don't dump it!
Never pour paint, used oil or other chemicals into the street or down a storm drain! If you have usable leftover items, share them with family or neighbors. Used oil, old paint and other household chemicals may not be placed in your trash for collection. Dispose of them for free at a City of Round Rock Household Hazardous Waste collection event.
Clean up after your pets
Pet waste left on the ground will wash into creeks and lakes the next time it rains, contributing harmful bacteria, parasites and viruses to our waterways. It's important to clean up after your pets whenever they make the waste in your backyard or while out on a walk. Flush it down the toilet or wrap it in a plastic bag to be disposed of with the normal trash.
Remember that "every little bit hurts"
Litter is a significant source of stormwater pollution. Litter and debris
cause storm drain blockages that lead to flooding, impair water quality as well as the aesthetic and recreational value of waters, and may also be a hazard to wildlife. Litter washes down the street during a rain shower, goes into the storm drain system and ends up in our neighborhood creeks, rivers and lakes. And it stays there a long time.
- Cigarette butts can take 25 years to break down because of the plastic filters.
- Plastic six-pack rings can take 450 years to break down.
- A glass bottle will take 1,000 years to break down.
Keep a litterbag in your car and make sure that cargo in the bed of your pickup is secured! Never sweep or blow leaves or lawn clippings into a storm drain inlet. Sweep them up and bring them to the City of Round Rock Drop-off Recycling Center located at 310 Deepwood Drive or bag them and dispose of with normal trash.
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