Friday, October 6, 2017

Five Tips to Prevent Stormwater Pollution

A construction manager for various Arcadis’ projects across four states, Mike Stermitz possesses more than 10 years of experience in scientific study, research, and sampling for the purposes of environmental protection. Mike Stermitz also formerly conducted Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP) inspections for oil and gas companies in western North Dakota. Members of the public can join in stormwater pollution prevention efforts by considering the following tips:

1. Use pesticide and fertilizer alternatives. There are a number of alternatives to chemical pesticides and fertilizers, such as composting and implementing Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices. Some garden stores also sell ladybugs that eat garden pests like aphids. If you do purchase a chemical-based product, choose brands designated as “least toxic” to the environment. 

2. Properly dispose of green waste. Clear away green waste from your yard using dry methods, and avoid washing it down the gutter or storm drains. Use green waste bins and leave green waste at least two feet away from gutters if you live in an area that offers green waste pick-up services. You can also transform green waste into compost for gardening. 

3. Use commercial car washes. Using commercial car washes prevents oil, grease, soap, and other waste materials from washing down storm drains and gutters. If you do wash your car in the driveway, sweep up debris from sidewalks and soak up excess liquid using paper towels or cloths. You can also use kitty litter to absorb remaining water and oil. 

4. Pick up animal waste. Pet waste can contain harmful bacteria, so remember to always clean up after pets and bring waste bags when you take dogs on walks. You can also flush accidents at home down the toilet or bury small amounts of waste in the backyard for natural decomposition. Just remember to bury it away from vegetable gardens. 

5. Utilize waste drop-offs. Some cities offer programs or operate facilities for the drop-off and disposal of chemical and oil-based products. Check for these programs in your area and utilize them for the disposal of products such as oil-based paints, thinners, and household chemicals.