Green Living

Reducing Storm Water Pollution Requires a Community Effort

Most water pollution in Ohio comes from storm water. As storm water flows, it picks up dirt and debris, lawn chemicals and pet waste, road salt and motor oil.

From there, it flows untreated through underground pipes to the nearest stream.

“Managing a community’s storm water runoff requires the participation of all residents. Effective management requires a community effort,” says Township Engineer John Davies who is working with area jurisdictions to bring storm water awareness to local communities.

Washington Township has reviewed its own practices and trained its public works staff in methods for limiting detrimental runoff. Residents can do their part to reduce storm water pollution by following some basic guidelines.

Tips for Reducing Storm Water Pollution

  • Be a good pet owner. Pick up after your pet in your own yard and carry a bag with you when walking your dog.
  • Take your car to the car wash. When you wash your car at home, detergent, wax and other chemicals drain to storm sewers and streams. Car washes drain polluted water to the sanitary sewer where it is then treated.
  • If you wash your car at home, use small amounts of low-phosphorus detergent
  • Collect and recycle vehicle fluids such as motor oil and antifreeze.
  • Examine the chemicals you use on your lawn and look for safe alternatives.
  • Clear grass clippings, leaves and debris from catch basins and drainages ditches.
  • Do not fertilize or apply pesticides near a creek or stream bed. Maintain a buffer strip of native grasses or flowers to slow runoff and filter pesticides and herbicides.
  • Limit the use of de-icing materials in winter.

Greenscaping & Storm Water Pollution

Greener landscaping can help reduce storm water pollution. The EPA offers information that will help you make choices that are environmentally beneficial. Information is found at:

epa.gov/greenerproducts/identifying-greener-landscaping-choices

More Tips for Green Living -
Simple Steps for a Greener World

Save Gas & Save $$

Don’t like the price of gas? The Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission sponsors the local RIDESHARE Program which is available for FREE to anyone who lives, works or attends college locally. When you register for RIDESHARE, the matching software will try to link you with others who live near you and work/attend college near you too. You'll receive a list of people who have similar schedules and destinations. Sign up here.

Composting

Make composting a part of your routine. Yard trimmings and food residuals together constitute 23 percent of the US waste stream. Compost enriches the soil, helps with air quality by diverting materials from landfills, and can reduce the need for water, fertilizers and pesticides. Detailed information on several approaches to composting is available on the EPA web site by clicking here.

Dispose of Medications

Residents can dispose of expired and unwanted medications in an environmentally safe way at the township's Super Service Saturday events. Find details here.

Electronic Recycling and Donation

Consumers electronics are everywhere – from alarm clocks, to iPods, computers, cell phones and digital cameras. Most of the 2.2 million tons of electronic waste makes its way annually to landfills where toxic metals can leach into groundwater or be released into the air through incineration. Here are some better alternatives:

www.epa.gov - Provides extensive information about e-cycling, including why it's important and where to do it. Many of the sources listed are as close as the nearest large retail center. For the section of the EPA web site dealing with electronics recycling, click here.

Earth 911 - This web site offers detailed information about how to recycle electronics, and most any other household item. The site includes a recycling locator for where to take items. Click here.

E-cycling Central - Sponsored by the Telecommunications Industry Association, E-cycling Central lists more than 100 public and private programs in Ohio. Click here.

 

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