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storm water
your car
your lawn
your pet
your waste
your runoff
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how does rain affect your world?

storm water
your car
your lawn
your pet
your waste
your runoff

how does rain affect your world?

fact #1:

The EPA estimates that stormwater runoff accounts for 65% of pollution in rivers.

How does storm water affect us?

Stormwater runoff is one of the most significant, yet unnoticed sources of water pollution.

Why is that so?

When it rains, stormwater runs over yards, streets, roads, highways, parking lots, parks, and playgrounds, carrying everything in its path, including debris and pollutants. This water eventually flows into stormdrains, which don't have any type of water treatment and end up in our streams, lakes, and rivers.

And then...

It is this very same water that we bathe in, drink, swim and also affect our habitat including animals, ground, and plant life.

How do we affect storm water?

Many stormwater contaminants are made up of common items used by most of us such as fertilizers, car oils and greases, yard clippings, soil, and pet wastes. There are simple and not costly changes that you can make in your daily life that can help to prevent stormwater pollution affect in your life and community.

What You Can Do

fact #2:

The stormwater discharge from one square mile of roads and parking lots can yield approximately 20,000 gallons of residual oil per year.

Your Car

tip one: your car

When oil or other fluids are spilled or leak from our cars onto driveways, streets and parking lots, there's a good chance it will be washed into nearby storm drains. These contain toxins that are harmful to fish and birds, aquatic vegetation, wildlife and humans.If you wash your car on the street or driveway, the soap and oily grit picked up by your car will be washed into nearby storm drains and then into our streams, ponds, rivers or reservoirs, without any treatment.

What You Can Do
  • Regular car maintenance prevents leaking automotive fluids
  • Take your car to a commercial car wash where the used water is captured, recycled and/or filtered to remove pollutants.
  • If washing car at home, do it on grass or gravel because it will soak up the waste
  • Recycle used motor oil. Never dump motor oil, antifreeze, transmission fluid or other engine fluids down storm drains, into road gutters, on the ground or into a ditch

Learn how you can show your support:

fact #3:

Clean water is everybody's business.

Your Car

tip two: your lawn

If you apply too many lawn fertilizers or pesticides, especially before a heavy rain storm, a lot of it may be washed into nearby storm drains and then our waterways and water bodies without treatment.

Once in the water, fertilizers promote growth and decay of algae that use up oxygen, which fish need to survive. Pesticides in stormwater runoff directly affect the health of aquatic organisms and human health if ingested.

Since organic matter contains nutrients, raking autumn leaves or grass clippings into gutters or streets for municipal collection or into the storm-sewer system also adds nutrients and oxygen-demanding substances to stormwater. Also, if a storm drain becomes clogged with debris, the system can become blocked and overflow causing flooding, damaging property. Poorly maintained garden beds or lawns also can be a source of sediment.

What You Can Do
  • Use fertilizer sparingly or not at all
  • Mulch when you mow & leave grass clippings on lawn to naturally fertilize
  • If possible, compost leaves and yard waste
  • Native plants like to grow in your yard, and do not take much work or water to flourish
  • Keep natural vegetation alongside streams and ponds to trap excess fertilizers and sediment before they can reach the waterbody

Learn how you can show your support:

fact #4:

The typical dog excretes 3/4 of a pound of waste containing 7.82 billion fecal coliform bacteria each day!

tip three: your pet

Pet waste is a common stormwater pollutant. Runoff contaminated with pet wastes can contain pathogens such as bacteria, parasites, and viruses that are harmful, causing sore throats, intestinal problems, rashes, nausea, and infections. If pet wastes enter water bodies they demand a lot of oxygen as they decompose. This reduces the amount available to fish and plant life, causing them to die.

What You Can Do
  • Pick up after your pet every single time
  • Do not dump waste in street or stormdrain, throw away in garbage or flush down the toilet
  • Carry extra bags in your car, so you are prepared when you travel with your pet
  • Where available, use provided waste bags

Learn how you can show your support:

fact #5:

Cigarette butts, which can contain 165 toxic chemicals, are the most littered item in our waste stream. Worldwide, 4.3 trillion are littered annually!

tip four: your waste

The wastewater and sewage that drain from inside your house is treated and cleaned before it enters the ocean, but the storm drains in the street outside your home flow directly to the ocean, rivers, and lakes without any treatment. It is therefore very important that no one be allowed to dump waste of any kind onto street surfaces, drainage pipes and ditches, or into storm drains, they are only for rainwater.

By properly disposing of your household waste through your county recycling and household hazardous waste disposal programs you will help to ensure that contaminants from your waste do not contaminate stormwater.

What You Can Do
  • Stormdrains are for rain water only and dumping into it is illegal
  • If you see someone dumping waste onto your street surface, please contact your local code enforcement officer
  • Take note of stormdrain markers in your neighborhood, they are everywhere
  • When discarding oil, cleaners, chemicals, visit your County’s waste management website for locations, educational information about programs and best management practices.

If you live in Broome County click here for more information.

If you live in Tioga County click here for more information.

Learn how you can show your support:

fact #6:

Green Infrastructure systems help control stormwater by removing pollutants and reducing the amount of waste that ends up in local waterbodies.

tip five: your runoff

As your stormwater runoff leaves your property, it collects pollutants including trash, oil, pesticides, fertilizers, and more. Those pollutants may then end up in nearby lakes, rivers, and streams where people swim, fish, play and draw drinking water, or in local sewer systems where more problems can arise.

We need your support!

Be aware of where the rain goes.

A storm drain marker.

Our water is a precious resource. And, clean water involves everyone.

Apply the tips above in your everyday life and keep an eye out for storm water drains throughout our area. Each drain is marked with the medallion you see pictured.

Please pledge your support to protect storm water run-off and share this website with your friends. Click the pledge button below:

Pledge your support here!

This website is brought to you by the Broome Tioga Storm Water Coalition.

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