While many of us think first of industries dumping chemicals as the source of water pollution, the truth is our water can also be harmed by things that we vì every day at our homes. When it rains, water washes over lawns, sidewalks, & streets. In addition to litter, this water picks up chemicals found in lawn fertilizers, bacteria found in pet waste, and oil from cars. This polluted water then enters roadside ditches và the storm drains found in our streets, & large pipes connect the storm drains khổng lồ the closest lake or stream.

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We all live on a lake or stream. We might not be able khổng lồ see it from our window, but it’s there. It might be a small stream or ditch or even the storm drain in the street. All of these lead to a river or lake.

What"s under our kitchen sink or in the garage can be hazardous khổng lồ people and our water.

Help keep our rivers, lakes, & beaches clean

Which products are hazardous?

Automotive: Oil, transmission fluid, gasoline/diesel fuelHome improvement: Oil-based products, glue, rust removerPesticides/weed killersCleaners: Tub and tile, ovenOther: nail polish, hair relaxer, mercury thermometer, alcohol-based lotion, prescription medication, aerosol cans

How bởi I store my products?

Keep unused products in their original containers with their label intact.Keep all lids and caps on and tightly closed. Store products inside dry, cool areas, away from kids and pets.Only buy what you need and maintain a small inventory.

How vày I dispose of my products?

Never dump household hazardous waste down storm drains, sinks, or on the ground. Take them to a recycling location.Contact your local community or county for household hazardous waste collection options.

What alternatives can I use?

Try using baking soda, trắng vinegar, and essential oils when cleaning your house. For example, sprinkle baking soda và vacuum to lớn clean carpets. Spraying vinegar water is an easy way to lớn clean windows.Contact your local community or county for household hazard

Everything that goes down a storm drain flows into our lakes & streams.

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Help keep our rivers, lakes, và beaches clean

What can I vì chưng to keep rainwater from carrying hazardous materials down a storm drain?

Sweep extra fertilizer, grass clippings, và dirt on your driveway back onto your lawn Hosing down your driveway sends these pollutants into storm drains that lead khổng lồ lakes, streams, and beaches. Only allow rain khổng lồ go down the drain Never dump motor oil, chemicals, pet waste, leaves, dirty or soapy water, or anything else down the storm drain. All of these materials pollute our lakes và streams. Label your storm drains Volunteer to lớn label storm drains in your neighborhood to lớn inform residents that storm drains flow directly lớn lakes & streams. Tương tác your local community for more information on storm drain labeling programs.

The chemicals in herbicides & pesticides pollute our waterways if washed from lawns and gardens into storm drains & roadside ditches.

Help keep our rivers, lakes, & beaches clean

How can I maintain my lawn và garden while protecting our waterways?

Go native Select plants native khổng lồ Michigan. Native plants are better able to tolerate Michigan’s climate, require less fertilizer và water, và are more disease resistant. Plant a rain garden Use native plants in low areas where rainwater collects in your yard lớn trap, absorb, & filter stormwater. Diversify your plantings Use a wide variety of plants khổng lồ help control pests & minimize the need for pesticides. Place a thick layer of mulch (four inches) around trees & plants This helps retain water, reduce weeds, và minimizes the need for pesticides. Plant a tree Trees can provide many benefits, such as soaking up water, that improve the environment and unique of life in your community. A typical, medium-sized tree can capture 2,380 gallons of rainwater per year. Rake it or leave it Follow your community’s leaf pick-up guidelines. Avoid raking leaves into storm drains or roadside ditches. Try mowing leaves into your lawn—they also make a good fertilizer! Use pesticides and herbicides sparingly Limit application of these chemicals khổng lồ problem areas only. Capture the rain Use a rain barrel to water your plants. Don"t forget khổng lồ empty it when it"s full.

Not only can animal waste left on the ground be awful if stepped on, but when it rains harmful bacteria are carried lớn our waterways.

Help keep our rivers, lakes, & beaches clean

How can I keep harmful bacteria out of our lakes, rivers, & beaches?

Dispose of it promptly và properly Whether in your yard or on a walk, promptly dispose of your pet’s waste in the trash. Pick up before lawn watering Pick up after your pets before watering your yard or cleaning patios or driveways. Don’t use a hose to lớn clean pet waste off driveways or sidewalks. Share the message When at a dog park, community meeting, or talking with your friends, spread the word about the positive impact picking up after your pet can have on water quality. Don"t treat ducks or geese as pets Feeding ducks & geese may seem harmless but, in fact, can be a nuisance khổng lồ people & harmful lớn our water. Feeding waterfowl causes them khổng lồ become dependent on humans. This, in turn, creates unnaturally high populations và problems in parks và lakes. Waterfowl waste can pollute our water with harmful bacteria.

Fertilizer and grass clippings easily find their way into drains, which can lead khổng lồ algae blooms in rivers & lakes.

Help keep our rivers, lakes, & beaches clean

How can I grow a green lawn while protecting our lakes, rivers, và beaches?

Keep fertilizer và lawn clippings on the lawn Sweep or blow fertilizer & grass clippings back onto the lawn & not into the street to lớn prevent them from getting into storm drains và ditches, which can cause algae problems. Don’t dump lawn clippings into drains or ditches. Mow high và leave the clippings phối your mower deck high (three inches) lớn establish strong, healthy roots và shade out weeds. Leave clippings on your lawn lớn return nutrients to the soil. Fertilize in the fall Fall is the best time for plants khổng lồ absorb nutrients và develop a strong root system. Hire a knowledgeable contractor Create fertilizer-free zones Keep a 15-foot buffer along waterfronts in your yard by not fertilizing or just letting the grass grow. A buffer helps khổng lồ keep grass clippings and fertilizer from getting into the water & causing algae problems. A buffer can also help discourage geese. Reduce your lawn area Making your lawn smaller by creating more planting areas with native plants will help infiltrate more water and reduce the amount getting into storm drains.

Dirty water from car washing, leaky motor oil, and gasoline can washfrom our driveways & roads into the storm drain or roadside ditch.

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Help keep our rivers, lakes, and beaches clean

Which car care practices can be harmful?

Washing your car in the driveway or on the street sends polluted wash water into waterways. Allowing continuous fluid leaks onto your driveway or street from your vehicle sends hazardous pollution into waterways.

How can I wash my car without harming our waterways?

Wash your car on the grass Washing your car & dumping wash water on the lawn allows the ground lớn filter wash water naturally. Host oto wash fundraisers at the oto wash Commercial car washes are required to lớn send wash water into the sanitary sewer where it can be properly treated.

How can I practice oto care without harming our waterways?

Take your car to the siêu thị for maintenance Service centers have the ability lớn recycle used fluids and properly clean up accidental spills. Safely dispose of used fluids if you change them yourself Take your used oil, antifreeze, or other fluids lớn your community’s household hazardous waste collection day or to a business that accepts them. Never dump these fluids down the storm drain. Stop drips Prevent fluid leaks from reaching paved surfaces. Kiểm tra for leaks regularly & fix them promptly. Use ground cloths or drip pans lớn capture leaks until you can get them fixed. is a regional planning partnership of governmental units serving 4.8 million people in the seven-county region of Southeast Michigan striving to lớn enhance the region"s unique of life.