The impact of stormwater runoff on the Mississippi River is an environmental concern.
The quality and quantity of water in all of our streams, rivers, lakes, aquifers, and oceans is diminishing. We can reverse this negative trend by becoming aware of-and changing-many of our behaviors and practices.
Where do we want stormwater to go?
Our goal is to retain as much water as possible, ultimately allowing it to percolate through layers of the earth. This process filters the water and recharges our drinking water source.
How does stormwater runoff cause pollution?
As stormwater runs off impervious surfaces, such as roads, driveways, rooftops and parking lots, it picks up and carries oil, grease, fertilizers, pesticides, trash and other pollutants. This contaminated water enters a storm sewer system or flows directly into a stream, lake, river, wetland or coastal water. Runoff sediment, excess nutrients, trash, and household hazardous waste all have a direct and negative impact on plants, fish, animals and people.
Our urban landscape forms vast areas of impervious surface. Flooding occurs when drainage systems cannot accommodate the large volume of water flowing off of theses hard surfaces. This happens frequently during large rain events.
There are many great ways to slow the movement of water at your home or business. As you try these green practices, you'll help water percolate through the soil. You will be a positive contributor to the water quantity and quality issues that affect us all.
Place a rain barrel on you property and water your plants with the rainwater you collect.
Reduce or eliminate the use of dangerous chemicals, pesticides and fertilizers. Deposit of unused or empty containers properly.
Consider porous materials like pavers, cobblestone, brick and turf stone for driveways and walkways.
Create a rain garden
This is a creative and beautiful way to capture runoff form rooftops, downspouts and areas that may sit at the base of a slope.
Use native plants.
They adapt easily and don't require the use of fertilizers. They will also attract birds, insects, butterflies, and other wildlife.
Plant ground cover
Replace large grassy areas with native ground cover, shrubs and trees. You'll mow less and use less water!