In your neighborhood, water from rain, snow melt or sprinklers flows over yards and pavement into storm drains. The water is not treated as it flows directly to our creeks, rivers and lakes. As water moves, it picks up natural and human-made pollutants. Your help is needed to prevent pollution of water that we use for swimming, fishing or drinking.
What are Sources of Pollution? • Motor Oil
• Soap from washing vehicles
• Fertilizers and pesticides
• Yard debris
• Pet waste
The Ecology Action Center, City of Bloomington, Town of Normal, McLean County Highway Department, and Bloomington-Normal Water Reclamation District are working together to protect our local waterways.
We All Live Downstream – Let’s Keep Our Water Clean
Don’t Dump • Recycle and dispose of hazardous wastes properly. Not sure how? Call 309-454-3169 for detailed information.
• Many service stations will recycle your motor oil.
Keep Storm Drains Clear • Don’t rake or sweep leaves, grass or soil into the street
• Vegetate bare or erosion-prone spots
• Do not litter. Help pick up litter.
Be Yard Smart • Avoid fertilizing before storms
• Minimize use of pesticides and lawn chemicals
• Compost yard waste and use a mulching mower for grass clippings
• If you live near a waterway, do not mow your grass up to the waterfront as increased vegetation will help filter out pollutants contained in runoff
• Use native plants in your landscaping as they require no fertilizers, little to no watering, and are pest-resistant
Around the House • Direct downspouts away from paved surfaces on your propert.
• During home improvement projects sweep up all debris and clean paintbrushes inside
• Use a commercial car wash or wash your car on a lawn instead of the driveway
• Install rain barrels or a rain garden to help keep rain water onsite
Pick Up after Pooch • Clean up pet waste frequently and dispose of properly
Stormwater can include water from both point-sources and from non-point sources. Point-source locations can create such pollutants as chemical runoff, oil leaks, sewage and bulk trash. Non-point sources cause pollution from car fluid leaks, fertilizers from farms, pesticides from gardens, paint, if dumped into the sink or toilet in your home, trash from littering, and “natural” litter, such as grass clippings, leaves or animal feces.
When I bought my home a year ago, I added a rain barrel to my green list of things to do. Being able to build one’s own is pretty darn cool and the Ecology Action Center makes it possible and very affordable too. I attended this workshop recently with my neighbor. I created this image essay to share the story. Click the image below and it will take you to a slide show at Flickr.
photographs by Karen Hanrahan
Funny – I was also interviewed by the local TV station that day.