Stormwater runoff is the most common cause of water pollution. As rainwater, snowmelt, and irrigation water runs across streets, lawns, and construction sites, it picks up dirt, oil and grease, fertilizers, pesticides, and many other chemicals and pollutants. These pollutants are carried into Silver Creek and Crystal Creek.
Everyone can play a role in reducing stormwater pollution. Below is some information on how you can help to improve the quality of stormwater and reduce flooding.
Help Protect Against Flooding
High intensity storms can cause flash flooding! Please remember to check that your sump pump and discharge line are working properly.
Also, check that your gutters and downspouts divert water away from your foundation. If you have a sewer near your home, check to make sure the grate is free of grass clippings, leaves, and other debris. Time spent now could protect against basement flooding. If you have any questions about flooding, please call (847) 671-8304.
Install a Rain Garden
Rain gardens soak up rainwater and runoff from your roof, driveway, lawn and even your sump pump. They are landscaped with native plants to soak up the water and allow it to slowly filter into the ground rather than running into the storm drain. Compared to a conventional lawn, rain gardens allow approximately 30 percent more water to soak into the ground.
More information about rain gardens can be found at www.aiswcd.org under UIM and Practice Standards, or by contacting the Engineering Department at (847) 671-8304.
Homeowners can collect and reuse stormwater through the installation of a rain barrel. The collected rainwater from your rooftop can be used to water your lawn or garden. Rain barrels are available year-round through the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD). The rain barrel includes an installation kit and can be delivered to your home. If you are interested in purchasing a rain barrel, please contact MWRD’s vender, Upcycle Products, at (815) 735-9583.
Pickup After Your Pet
Regardless if you are walking your dog around the neighborhood or at one of our parks, please clean up after them! Pollutants from pet waste can wash into the storm drainage system by rain or melting snow. They can cause excessive algae growth in our river system, upsetting the natural balance. Pet waste can also carry diseases, which can be transferred to other animals and even humans, especially children.
Lawn Watering - Know Your Watering Schedule
Most lawns require about one inch of water per week, from either natural rainfall or irrigation. Watering your lawn more than this weakens the grass by discouraging deep root growth. To promote deep root growth and drought resistance, use a rain gauge to keep track of rainfall. If there is less than one inch of rain in a week, water the lawn just enough to provide the needed one inch. This can be measured by placing a shallow dish under the sprinkler system. Make sure not to apply water faster than the ground can soak it up. If water runs off the lawn, slow down the watering.
Coal Tar-based Sealcoat
Coal-tar sealcoat is a type of sealant used to maintain and protect parking lots, driveways, and playgrounds. There are two common types of sealcoat: coal tar-based and asphalt-based. Both produce a deep black finish, but coal tar-based sealcoat contains much higher levels of chemicals called PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) that harm fish and, with prolonged exposure, pose a risk of cancer to humans.
If you decide to seal your driveway, read product labels carefully and avoid sealcoat that contains "coal tar," "refined coal tar," "refined tar," "refined coal tar pitch" or similar compounds. When hiring a contractor, make sure they use asphalt-based sealcoat.