How You Can Help

Regardless of whether your area is served by a public or a private stormwater treatment system, it is desirable to minimize the amount of runoff that reaches that system, while also keeping harmful pollutants to a minimum. Here are steps you can take:


  • Keep leaves, clippings, bark dust and soil on your property.
  • Build a rain garden to keep runoff on your site.
  • Reduce fertilizer, herbicides and pesticide use.
  • Plant native trees and plants; remove invasive plant species.
  • Sweep patios, driveways and other paved areas rather than hose them off.
  • Bag or compost debris, don’t sweep it into the street.
  • Take your vehicle to a commercial car wash that treats and recycles water.
  • Make sure wastewater from washing the exterior of your home or roof is not discharged into the street. Get permission to pump it to a sanitary sewer or infiltrate it directly into the grass or gravel.
  • Dispose of yard and lawn trimmings properly such as composting, recycling or yard debris pick-up.
  • Install permeable surfaces for sidewalks, patios and driveways.
  • Collect roof runoff in a rain barrel to use for watering plants and garden.


Commercial properties may have unique stormwater features in addition to those typically found in residential areas. These features include pervious pavement, which allows rain on parking lots and walkways to soak into the ground rather than run off; oil/water separators, underground structures typically located in parking lots and at automotive businesses; and exfiltration trenches.

Because these features often are out of sight or blend into their surroundings, maintenance can easily be forgotten or overlooked. Regular inspection and cleaning are important to keep these structures functioning properly and avoid potentially costly repairs. Maintenance is a requirement of state stormwater rules and local stormwater ordinances.