Nutrients in stormwater runoff have been identified as the number one pollutant and threat to the health of the ecosystems of the Ohio River and Gulf Coast watersheds. Much of this pollution is the result of the activities of watershed residents who are unaware of the link between their daily behavior and the water quality downstream.
Stormwater runoff pollution comes from many sources including parking lots, lawns, driveways, golf courses and roads. Rainwater that runs off these surfaces picks up contaminants like motor oil, fertilizer, pesticides and bacteria from pet waste.[pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”30%”] This stormwater runoff flows into storm drains and then into local streams and the Ohio River, the source of drinking water for many residents in the Ohio Valley area. The runoff ultimately contributes to the pollution affecting the Gulf Coast.[/pullquote]
What can you do to prevent water pollution? Follow these simple tips:
• Dispose of used motor oil and household hazardous waste (paint, household cleaners, etc.) properly, rather than pouring it on the driveway or into storm drains.
• Avoid excess fertilizer or pesticide use, especially before rain is predicted.
• Wash your car at a commercial car wash, or in a location where the soapy water will not run into the storm drain.
• Sweep up grass clippings and other yard waste instead of washing them down the driveway or into the gutter.
• Always pick up pet waste from your yard, sidewalk or park area.
• Report storm drain dumping. During business hours, call the Public Works Department at 304-295-4543. After hours, call the Police Department at 304-295-8563.