When it rains or snows, everything on the street, including all the trash, goes to our waterways. The ground cannot absorb all the rain causing runoff, which is the excess water that flows over land and enters waterways. This can lead to both eroded soil and particles of lawn fertilizer, gasoline, pesticides and more in our waterways. Eroded soil can lead to unusable soil for plants and agriculture. Our natural resources are depleting. You may notice the rivers in our city turn brown after a big rain. That’s because the dirt and sediment from runoff ends up in the waterways. Bacteria, pathogens, and fertilizers also end up in the waterway.
Ways to reduce toxic water runoff:
- Maintain your automobiles: Fix oil leaks, get your car washed at a commercial car wash rather than your driveway.
- Use more public transportation or walk/bike if you are able.
- Try to cut down on pesticides used in your yard. Check out organic fertilizer or compost using food scraps from your house!
If your organization is interested in working with your community to implement green storm water infrastructure, check out Soak it Up Adoption. They give out grants to nonprofits to implement, maintain and share knowledge about keeping our neighborhood clean. Maurice works here at Southwest CDC and maintains 16 rain gardens in the Southwest community as a part of the Soak it Up Program.