Storm drains are those drains you see in streets and parking lots that rainwater runoff flows into. Did you know that storm drains do not go to a wastewater treatment plant like sanitary sewer drains (indoor sinks and toilets)? Storm drains flow into area streams, rivers and lakes. Storm water runoff can pick up harmful pollutants on its way to a storm drain.
Prevent Stormwater Pollution
The following are ways you can help prevent stormwater pollution.
Reduce Home Runoff
Reducing runoff not only reduces the potential for pollution, but also helps prevent erosion in downstream waterways. A good way to start is by simply directing your roof downspouts to your yard instead of to your driveway or the street.
Sign up for the Lawn Steward Program to receive a free soil test and nutrient management plan for your yard by registering online or calling 417-836-4847. Also, visit the Yard Ethic Program for additional environmentally-friendly yard care tips to support a healthy community of people, plants, and wildlife.
Excess fertilizer on your yard gets washed off when it rains and is a waste of money. This fertilizer is harmful to area waterways, causing unsightly algae and other problems.
To report spills, dumping, or draining of pollutants to the street, storm drain, drainageway, or waterways, call 417-864-1010 or submit a service request.
Recycle Household Chemicals
Keep harmful household chemicals out of the environment by taking them to the Household Chemical Collection Center where they are recycled or properly disposed. Also consider minimizing the use of household chemicals and choosing nontoxic alternatives.
Recycle Motor Oi
Used motor oil is the single largest source of oil pollution to waterways. The source can be from improper disposal, spills when oil is being changed outside, and leaking vehicles.
You can help by fixing oil leaks, using a drip pan if you change your own oil, cleaning up accidental spills with an absorbent such as kitty litter and recycling used oil. Check out the recycling guide for drop-off locations.
If washing your vehicle at home, do so in a grassy area to prevent runoff of the wash water. If using soap, consider phosphate free. Businesses conducting washing outside must comply with the Wash Water Disposalrequirements.
Pet waste can contaminate runoff with harmful bacteria. Pick up pet waste from your yard and when you take your pet on a walk or to the park. Convenient bag dispensers are available at several city parks. Learn more about the importance of #scoopthepoop.
Dumping of yardwaste in streets, storm drains, or drainageways is against city ordinance. It can clog storm drains and degrade downstream waterways with excess nutrients that cause unsightly algae and other problems. Compost your yardwaste or take it to a recycling center.