Storm drains and roadside ditches lead to our inland lakes, streams, rivers and Lake Michigan. So, any motor oil, pet waste, leaves, grass clippings or dirty water from washing your car that enters a storm drain gets into our water without being treated. Never dump motor oil, chemicals, pet waste, dirty or soapy water, or anything else down the storm drain or into a ditch. All of these materials pollute our lakes and rivers! Pollutants that get into storm drains can poison fish, birds, and other wildlife, and can find their way into drinking water supplies. In addition, dirt, litter, branches and grass clippings can clog storm drains and cause flooding.
Be sure to report anyone dumping materials into a storm drain or ditch to your city, township or village officials.
10 Things You Can Do to Prevent Water Pollution
- Sweep up driveways and sidewalks instead of hosing them with water.
- Never dump anything down a storm drain or into a ditch.
- Plant bare spots in your yard.
- Compost your yard waste.
- Use fertilizers sparingly and avoid pesticides.
- Direct downspouts away from paved surfaces.
- Take your car to a car wash instead of washing it in the driveway.
- Check cars for leaks and recycle motor oil.
- Pick up after your pet.
- If you are on a septic system, have it inspected and pumped regularly.
The municipalities in Cass and Berrien Counties are working together to ensure cleaner and safer water in the Lower St. Joseph River Watershed. We will need your help, to learn more about these efforts visit http://www.swmpc.org/water.asp