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Storm Water Runoff
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Managing storm water runoff at home to protect our lakes, rivers, and drinking water supplies...
WHAT IT IS AND WHY IT MATTERS
Storm water is generally rain and melting snow (though it could include water from washing your car at home or watering your lawn) that runs off of surfaces that cannot readily absorb water. Along the way, the water runoff picks up contaminated deposits, such as oil, grease, fertilizer, pesticides, litter, metals and other materials that have leaked onto or been spilled on driveways and streets or dumped in yards.
The runoff travels through storm water drainage systems, like ditches and storm sewers, directly to our natural water ways without being treated or cleaned. Storm water can carry high concentrations of pollutants to nearby lakes, rivers and drinking water supplies. Polluted runoff is one of the nation’s greatest threats to clean water, even rivaling discharges from factories and sewage plants. Polluted natural water ways can close beaches and limit water-based recreation activities, harm wildlife, and have a detrimental impact on our drinking water supply.
While polluted runoff affecting our lakes, rivers and streams is a cumulative problem that is compounded by almost every property in the watershed, the solution is cumulative too. This means that every property in the watershed can take steps to stop pollution in our natural waterways...the more people who take these steps, the greater the impact will be and the less daunting and expensive it becomes to solve the problem. Here are some steps you can take to help reduce pollution in our local waterways:
- compost yard waste
- sweep paved areas to keep waste and debris out of storm sewers
- reduce the amount of fertilizer and pesticides applied to your lawn
- keep leaves out of the street and your home’s gutters
- direct downspouts away from paved surfaces to lawns and gardens
- wash your car at a car wash where the used water will be treated
- clean up pet waste
- dispose of hazardous waste properly
- recycle used oil
- keep vehicles in good operating condition and repair leaks
- plant a rain garden (learn more at RootPikeWIN.org)
ROOT-PIKE WATERSHED INITIATIVE NETWORK
The Village, along with several other municipalities within our watershed, participates with the Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network to help inform and educate all within our watershed about storm water runoff and how we can help improve the quality of our natural water ways. The simple goal is to reduce the level of pollutants that are returned to our natural water ways through storm water runoff.
To learn more about clean water efforts, visit RootPikeWIN.org and RespectOurWaters.org. You can learn more about Pleasant Prairie’s clean water efforts by clicking here.