Stormwater runoff is rainfall that flows over the ground surface. It is created when rain falls on roads, driveways, parking lots, rooftops, and other paved surfaces that do not allow water to soak into the ground. Stormwater runoff is a major cause of water impairment by picking up and carrying with it many different pollutants such as sediment, nitrogen, phosphorus, bacteria, oil and grease, trash, pesticides, and metals.
Preserving undisturbed vegetative cover during land development is a much more cost effective approach than destroying these features and having to construct new stormwater management practices to replace the functions they originally provided. Trees, forests, and other vegetation and their associated soils are often referred to as “green infrastructure”
Stormwater runoff can carry different pollutants such as pesticides, excess fertilizers, sediment, nitrogen, phosphorus, and bacteria into lake Shipshewana and groundwater. Remember that what goes in your storm drain can find its way into our water sources.
Follow these tips to help reduce stormwater runoff from your yard:
- Direct downspouts and gutters onto your lawn and plant beds, or into rain barrels, cisterns or containment areas.
- Use mulch, bricks, gravel or other porous surfaces for walkways, patios and driveways.
- Sweep grass clippings, fertilizer and soil onto the lawn
- Clean up oil spills and leaks on the driveway. Use cat litter to absorb oil.
- Pick up pet waste to help reduce bacterial and nutrient pollution.
- Remove trash from street gutters before it gets washed into storm drains.
- Use swales (low areas) to hold and filter water.