Use fertilizers and pesticides in small amounts only when necessary and when no rain is in the immediate forecast. Remember to sweep up any fertilizer that is spilled on hard surfaces like sidewalks and abide by the Maryland Fertilizer Law.
1. Never dump anything down storm drains or in streams. Many storm drains lead directly to streams and are for naturally occurring rain water only.
2. Vegetate or mulch bare spots in your yard to prevent erosion.
3. Compost yard waste if possible. REMEMBER leaves and grass clippings are to be placed in paper bags or up to 35 gallon reusable containers at the curb, not in the street as previously permitted. Yard waste is collected weekly on the same day as your normal trash collection. Doing this keeps leaves out of the gutter, where they can wash into the nearest storm drain.
4. Maintain your vehicle. Oil and other fluid leaks accumulate on the road and are carried by rain water to storm drains. Proper maintenance reduces the chances of leaks.
5. Wash vehicles and equipment on grass or at a car wash. This keeps dirt and detergent from flowing down driveways into the gutter and storm drain.
6. If chemicals such as fertilizer, detergent, or rock salt falls onto walkways or other paved surfaces sweep it up instead of hosing it away. Cleaning spills using a dry method, like putting cat litter on liquids to absorb them and sweeping up the materials, helps keep chemicals from entering the storm drain.
7. If possible, direct downspouts away from paved surfaces and across your lawn; consider installing a rain garden or rain barrel to capture runoff.
8. If you have a septic system, maintain it properly by having it inspected regularly and pumped every three to five years. If it is an older system, be sure it can still handle the volume placed on it today. Never put chemicals into septic systems, they can harm the system and seep into the groundwater.
9. Please don’t litter. Ensure garbage set out for collection is in a container with a closed lid to prevent trash from being blown out by wind or pulled out by scavenging animals.
10. Keep lawn and household chemicals tightly sealed and in a location where rain cannot reach them. Dispose of old or unwanted chemicals at household hazardous waste collections sites or events.