Green Living & Storm Water Pollution

Reducing Stormwater Pollution Requires a Community Effort

Most water pollution in Ohio comes from storm water. As stormwater 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.

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.

No Dumping. Drains to Creek.

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 stormwater pollution. The EPA offers information that will help you make choices that are environmentally beneficial. 

Stormwater & Flooding

Water from storms can potentially lead to flooding of properties and roadways if proactive steps aren’t taken to clear debris from drainage features. Residents and local businesses are encouraged to make sure nearby infrastructure designed to manage water runoff is kept free and clear of debris.  If you see branches, leaves, construction materials or any other material blocking access to stormwater drainage features on or near your property, please take a moment to clear these obstructions.

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

Environmental Learning Center - Montgomery County Solid Waste District
The Montgomery County Solid Waste District has launched its state of the art Virtual Tour of the Environmental Learning Center.  The new ELC Virtual Tour includes 3-D photography of the facility as well as games, animation, and videos all designed to education participants on topics such as recycling, resource conservation, and wastewater treatment.  The ELC Virtual Tour can be accessed by visiting

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.


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. The EPA offers detailed information on several approaches to composting.

Dispose of Medications

Residents can dispose of expired and unwanted medications in an environmentally safe way at the township's Super Service Saturday events or by using the drug drop-off box in the lobby of the Washington Township Government Center. 

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:

Environmental Protection Agency - The EPA 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,

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.

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