Storm water runoff is precipitation from rain or snowmelt that flows over the ground. As it flows, it can pick up debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants and deposit them into a storm sewer system or water body. Anything that enters a storm sewer is discharged untreated into the water bodies we use for swimming, fishing, and providing drinking water. Only 1% of our water is usable drinking water. We cannot afford to pollute and contaminate it. Read other Clean Water Facts.
Use pesticides sparingly. Fertilize only as needed using natural, organic, or other slow release fertilizers.
Choose native plants as you start thinking about what plants you can integrate into your landscaping. Plants native to the Northeast Ohio area thrive in our soil and weather conditions, requiring less water, fertilizer, pesticide and maintenance. Deep-rooted native plants also filter rainwater before it enters streams and rivers. Native perennial plants require little maintenance once the garden is established. Replace a patch of high-maintenance lawn with low-maintenance native perennial plants. Native plants also attract beneficial insects that feed on problem causing pests. Reduce storm water runoff by directing downspouts and gutters to drain onto the lawn, plant bed, etc. What is rain harvesting?
Use mulch, bricks, gravel, or other porous surfaces on driveways and walkways to decrease erosion. Soil erosion and the resulting sedimentation are the leading cause of water quality problems in Ohio.
Go to a carwash or wash your car in the grass. Do not wash dirt and cleaners down the driveway into the storm drain.
Check your vehicles for leaks and have your leaks repaired. Even a small amount of oil or other automotive fluids that can drip onto the pavement can pollute thousands of gallons of water. Recycle used motor oil. AutoZone and Valvoline accept used oil. Never dump oil or antifreeze down storm drains that flow into creeks and rivers.
Dispose of any hazardous home chemicals at approved household hazardous waste collections. Use the least toxic products available.
Properly dispose of leaves and grass clippings. Start a compost pile. Never use streams, creeks, or gutters to dispose of yard waste.
Sweep the dirt and debris from your driveway and walkway back into the yard. Pick up pet waste and dispose of it in the toilet or trash. Hosing dirt and pet waste into storm drains sends it directly to the creek and rivers. Your pet's waste contains bacteria that threaten the health of animals and people, especially children.
Choose water-based paints like latex. Paint thinner can be reused and recycled. Do not pour any paint or toxic material down the drain.
Maintain your septic system. Have it pumped at least every 3 years. Repair or replace malfunctioning septic systems. Do not flush grease, and personal hygiene products down the toilet or drain.
Illicit Discharge/Septic Tanks-
Stark County Health Department
Stark Soil & Water Conservation District
Stark County Regional Planning Commission