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Posted on: August 31, 2020

Protect waterways: How to be storm drain savvy

Storm drain

You don’t have to live on waterfront property to have direct access to Michigan’s rivers and lakes. The water that runs off your property into the street storm drain flows straight into the local water system.  That’s why it’s important to understand that whatever goes down your storm drain can negatively impact aquatic wildlife and water quality. The City of Jackson’s Water Department has tips for how you can be storm drain savvy and protect the environment. 

  • Use a poop scooper. Bacteria, parasites and viruses from pet waste can easily wash into storm drains and end up in waterways.
  • Limit pesticide and fertilizer use. Pesticides are one of the biggest pollutants found in waterways. Limit fertilizer use to keep bacteria out of water.
  • Check vehicles for leaks. When it rains, grease and oil drippings go into storm drains. 
  • Wash vehicles on lawn or go to car wash. Dirt and oil washed off vehicles can harm fish and animals if they go into the storm drain. Grass filters pollutants and water from car washes goes to the treatment plant. 
  • Collect grass clippings. Keep grass clippings off driveways, streets and sidewalks so they don’t go in drains. Grass clippings in waterways can cause algae problems.
  • Reduce winter salt use. The salt goes into waterways and causes higher salt levels in fresh water. 
  • Only rain down the drain! Remember the only substance that should be going down storm drains is rain water.

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