From your backyard to what occurs in your neighborhood affects the water quality downstream. When it rains, stormwater runoff washes over the land, picking up contaminants including oil and grease from roads and parking lots; fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides from lawns and gardens; pet waste that was not picked up; and litter. This water flows into storm drains, which discharge directly to our local streams and lakes.
Why Your Watershed is Important
Your watershed should be important to you for many reasons, but mostly because the quality of our drinking water supply and the water we enjoy during recreational activities is related to the health of our streams and groundwater. Pollution in streams and lakes may keep us from using them for recreation.
Help Your Watershed
Environmental stewardship is everyone's responsibility. By making small changes to your lifestyle, you can help protect and improve the quality of your watershed.
- Absorb or use rainwater on-site: Create a rain garden, install a rain barrel or help absorb more water by reducing the lawn area and add more plants and tress.
- Fertilize in the fall, if at all: Excess fertilizers are washed off the land into streams by stormwater, polluting county streams and lakes.
- Clean up after pets: Pet waste should be put in the trash or flushed down the toilet. Waste left on the ground washes into streams and contributes to high levels of bacteria in our water. Pet Waste
- Properly dispose of household chemicals: If household cleaners are not disposed of correctly, they may end up in stormwater and into local streams and rivers. Although phosphates are very effective cleaners, in lakes and rivers phosphates cause a rapid growth of algae, resulting in pollution of the water. Washing Your Car
- Join a stream cleanup: Trash is not only unsightly; it is a hazard to the animals that make streams their homes. There are several regional cleanups throughout the area every year.
- Participate in watershed planning: Learn in which watershed you live and find the status of planning efforts in your watershed.