Storm Water Program
City residents can do their part to reduce pollution by following suggestions noted in the information provided below.
The Solution to Stormwater Pollution
Before beginning an outdoor project, locate the nearest storm drains and protect them from debris and other materials. Sweep up and properly dispose of construction debris such as concrete and mortar. Use hazardous substances like paints, solvents and cleaners in the smallest amounts possible, and follow the directions on the label. Clean up spills immediately and dispose of the waste safely. Store substances properly to avoid leaks and spills.
Purchase and use nontoxic, biodegradable, recycled and recyclable products whenever possible. Clean paint brushes in a sink, not outdoors. Filter and rinse paint thinner when using oil-based paints. Properly dispose of excess paints through a household hazardous waste collection program, or donate unused paint to local organizations.
Reduce the amount of paved area and increase the amout of vegetated area in your yard. Use native plants in your landscaping to reduce the need for watering during dry periods. Consider directing downspouts away from paved surfaces onto lawns to increase infiltration and reduce polluted runoff.
This information provided by United States Environmental Protection Agency through The City of North Canton Engineering Department
Storm Water Pollution-Quality of Life Impacts
Stormwater pollution affects everyone!
Stormwater pollution makes water look bad and smell worse. For drinking water, filtering out pollutants and contaminants increases treatment costs, so we all pay higher water bills or our water is not as clean. When reservoirs fill up with sediment, reservoir capacity is reduced because they are full of silt, not water.
Polluted runoff can damage streams, rivers, lakes and ponds. Excess nutrients can cause algae blooms and fish kills, muddy water keeps fish from feeding and breeding, and excess bacteria can harm both wildlife and people. If pollutants reach high levels, the water can be unsuitable or even dangerous for humans and animals. These conditions are unsafe for swimming and even recreational use that does not involve direct contact with the water, such as boating and fishing.
When beaches close or fishing is restricted due to water pollution, recreation is impossible and nearby towns and businesses lose money. When shellfish waters are closed because the shellfish are unsafe to eat, some people may lose their jobs and everyone pays more for seafood.
One problem associated with excessive quantities of stormwater is urban flooding due to increased runoff. Flooding can damage property and can result in death and injury to people in harm’s way.
Webpage from the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources with more general information on how water conditions affect our quality of life. http://www.nccleanwater.org/stormwater/effects/life_impacts.php
Information provided by City of North Canton Engineering Department through the following:
Clean Water Education Partnership: firstname.lastname@example.org
Do’s and Don’ts Around the Home
So what can you do to help protect surface and ground waters from so-called nonpoint-source pollution? You can start at home. Begin by taking a close look at practices around your house that might be contributing to polluted runoff: You may need to make some changes.
1. When landscaping your yard, select plants that have low requirements for water, fertilizers, and pesticides
2. Preserve existing trees, and plant trees and shrubs to help prevent erosion and promote infiltration of water into the soil
3. Use landscaping techniques such as porous walkways to increase infiltration and decreased runoff
4. Leave lawn clippings on your lawn so nutrients in the clippings are recycled and less yard waste goes to landfills
5. If you elect to use a professional lawn care service, select a company that employs trained technicians and follows practices designed to minimize the use of fertilizers and pesticides
6. Compost your yard trimmings
a. Compost is a valuable soil conditioner which gradually releases nutrients to your lawn and garden
b. In addition, compost retains moisture in the soil and thus helps you conserve water
7. Spread mulch on bare ground to help prevent erosion and runoff
8. Test your soil before applying fertilizers
a. Over-fertilization is a common problem, and the excess can leach into ground water or contaminate rivers or lakes
b. Also, avoid using fertilizers near surface waters
c. Do not apply pesticides or fertilizers before or during rain due to the strong likelihood of runoff
9. Keep storm gutters and drains clean of leaves and yard trimmings
a. (Decomposing vegetative matter leaches nutrients and can clog storm systems and result in flooding)
Only Rain Down the Drain
Stormwater 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 waterbody.
Anything that enters a a storm sewer system is discharged untreated into the waterbodies we use for swimming, fishing and providing drinking water.
Remember: Only Rain Down the Drain
To keep the stormwater leaving your home or workplace clean, follow these simple guidelines:
provided for May, 2007:
- Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly
- Repair auto leaks
- Dispose of household hazardous waste, used auto fluids (antifreeze, oil, etc.) and batteries at designated collection or recycling locations
- Clean up after your pet
- Use a commercial car wash or wash your car on lawn or other unpaved surface.
- Sweep up yard debris rather than hosing down areas. Compost or recycle yard waste when possible
- Clean paint brushes in a sink, not outdoors. Properly dispose of excess paints through a household hazardous waste collection program.
- Sweep up and properly dispose of construction debris like concrete and mortar
“Our Town” publication. Information provided by City of North Canton Engineering Department and www.epa.gov/nps
Guarding Against Stormwater Pollution
City residents can do their part to minimize pollution by adhering to the following information:
- Inspect your systems every 3 years and pump your tank as necessary (every 3 to 5 years.)
- Don’t dispose of household hazardous waste in sinks or toilets.
Leaking and poorly maintained septic systems release nutrients and pathogens (bacteria and viruses) that can be picked up to stormwater and discharged into nearby waterbodies. Pathogens can cause public health problems and environmental concerns.
- When walking your pet, remember to pick up the waste and dispose of it properly. Flushing pet waste is the best disposal method. Leaving pet waste on the ground increases public health risks by allowing harmful bacteria and nutrients to wash into the storm drain, and eventually, into local waterbodies.