Common Sources of Stormwater Pollution
Pollutants such as oil, antifreeze, detergents, pesticides, lead, silver and copper can get washed from driveways, backyards, parking lots and streets into storm drains when it rains and when snow melts.
Pollutant Issues at Home
- The number one surface water quality problem nationwide involves fluids from vehicles such as oil, gas and antifreeze.
- Hosing off pavement surfaces wash pollutants into storm drains, which lead straight to our rivers. Sweep your driveway and sidewalks instead.
- Locate a hazardous waste drop off facility for old paint, pesticides, solvents and batteries.
- Street litter such as styrofoam, plastic and paper blows into our inlets. Keep trash bins covered and do not litter.
- Pet waste gets carried away by storm water, contributing harmful bacteria, parasites and viruses to our river. Clean up after your pet.
Pollutant Issues at Businesses
At industrial sites, there is concern about chemical spills that contain toxic substances, smoke stacks that spew emissions and uncovered or unprotected outdoor storage or waste areas that can contribute pollutants to storm water runoff. Best management practices include:
- Wash vehicles or equipment in wash bays hooked up to the sanitary sewer. Don't wash off detergents, oils and greases into streets or storm rains.
- Divert rainfall runoff from fueling islands by building a canopy or cover over them.
- Waste and processed water of any type must be discharged to the sanitary sewer.
- Hosing off pavements wash pollutants into storm drains that lead straight to the river.
Tips for Avoiding Stormwater Pollution
- Don't litter
- Don’t dump anything except water into storm drains.
- Take paint, chemicals, cleaners, fuels, pesticides and hazardous waste to a household hazardous waste facility. Sedgwick County operates a site â€“ visit http://www.sedgwickcounty.org/environment/householdhazardouswaste.asp for more information.
- Don’t pour household products such as cleansers, beauty products, used motor oil and other auto fluids, paint, lawn care or household chemicals on the ground or in storm drains.
- Don’t pour any of the products listed above down the sink or flush them down the toilet.
- Use non-toxic alternatives to home cleaning chemicals.
- Read and follow directions on the use of household chemicals and disposal of containers.
- Sweep driveways and patios clean instead of hosing them down.
- Check for leaky faucets and turn off the water when possible to conserve water.
- Buy products with less packaging whenever possible.
- Clean up after your pet, especially before it rains.
- Contain curbside trash so it doesn't leak, fall over or blow around.
- Preserve established trees in the yard and neighborhood.
- Don’t overuse fertilizers and pesticides.
- Plant trees, shrubs and ground covers that filter pollutants and reduce stormwater runoff.
- Don’t cut the grass too short; adjust the lawnmower to the proper height to reduce runoff from lawns.
- Plant native vegetation and or plants that require little or no fertilizer.
- Don’t overwater plants and lawn. Make sure water doesn't wash over streets and sidewalks.
- Recycle yard debris or use it to make compost rather than raking it into streets where it can wash into storm sewers.
- Repair vehicle or equipment leaks.
- Recycle used motor oil.
- When washing the car, park it on the grass instead of in the driveway or go use a covered carwash station.
- Dispose of unused medication in the trash to be sent to the landfill.
Report suspected stormwater pollution problems by calling the City of Derby Code Enforcement Department at (316) 788-6632.
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