ANYTHING ENTERING OUR STORMWATER SEWER SYSTEM IS DISCHARGED DIRECTLY TO THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER

What is stormwater run-off?
Stormwater run-off occures when precipitaion from rain or snowmelt flows over the ground.  Impervious surfaces like drivways, sidewalks and streets prevent stormwater run-off from naturally soaking into the ground. 

Why is stormwater run-off a problem?
Stormwater can pick up debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants and flow into a stormwater sewer system or directly into our rivers or lakes.

What are the effects of stormwater pollution?
Polluted stormwater run-off can have adverse effects on plants, fish, animals and people.
Sediment can cloud the water making it difficult for plant and animal life to grow in rivers and lakes.
Excess nutrients can cause algae blooms and deplet oxygen which fish need to survive.
Debris washed into roadways choke, suffocate or disable aquatic life.
Bacteria can wash into swimming areas and create health hazards.
Household hazardous waste like pestisides paint, used motor oil and other auto fluids can poison aquatic life.  Land animals and people can become sick from eating diseased fish or ingesting polluted water.
Polluted stormwater often affects drinking water sources.  This, in turn, can affect human health and increase drinking water treatment costs.

Pet waste
When left in the street pet waste can increase health risks for humans, fish and other wildlife by allowing bacteria and excess nutriants to wash into storm drains rivers and lakes. Just 1 gram of pet waste contians approximately 23 million fecal bacteria which can cause gastrointestinal, ear, eye, and throat infections in humans and can soffocate fish and plant life.  Remember to pick up pet waste and then dispose of it properly.  Remove waste from the bag and flush it or bag it and throw it in the trash. 

Gardening
Use fertilizer and pesticides sparingly.  Don't rake leaves, grass clippings or debris into the street or let the accumilate on sidwalks.  If you apply fertilizer before it rains much of it will then wash off into the storm drians, causing problems for marine life due to the oxygen-consuming  materials.  You may consider using organic, slow release fertilizers.  Do not over water your lawn and consider using a soaker hose instead of a sprinkler. 

Auto Care
Washing your car at home can send detergents and other contaminants into storm drains.  Use soap sparingly; empty your bucket of  used soapy water down the sink not in the street.   The best way to wash your car is to take it to a commercial car wash-most reuse wash water.  Don't dump used automotive fluides in the gutter or drain. Check your car for leaks and recycle used moter oil. 

Do your part:
Pick up litter.
Place your trash in secured receptacles so that it isn't carried into the storm drains.
Recycle plastics, glass and dispose of household chemicals properly.
Clear away dirt and debris from storm drains so they don't enter our water way.

Dispose of household hazardous waste for no cost at THE RECYCLING ZONE
auto batteries & household batteries
paints
lawn fertilizers & pesticides
used oil
products labled dangerous, hazardous, flammable, poison, combustable or corrosive


FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT KEEPING OUR WATER WAYS CLEAN VISIT MNPCA BY FOLLOWING THIS LINK:   MINNESOTA POLLUTION CONTROL AGENCY WEB SITE