When storm water washes off our roads and lawns it picks up a lot of "people pollution." This includes fertilizers, pesticides, motor oil, anti-freeze, pet waste, chlorinated pool backwash, trash and litter. Add it all up, and an urban area such as Allen can create quite a mess for our storm water drainage system. The Environmental Protection Agency points to this type of pollution as the greatest threat to our waterways. However, you can help reduce this kind of pollution by following the simple tips below:
1. Don't over-fertilize your lawn. Synthetic chemicals such as fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides can end up in our lakes and rivers, leading to algae blooms and fish kills. Avoid applying fertilizers just before it rains. Contrary to popular belief, the rain water will not help the chemicals soak into the ground; it will, however, wash any excess into the storm drain.
2. Pick up your pet waste. This keeps bacteria and harmful nutrients out of the water supply. Make the pledge to "Doo the Right Thing." Flush the waste down your toilet or bag it and put it in the trash.
3. Bag grass clippings and leaves or use them as compost. Don't sweep grass into the street or down storm drains. This leads to nutrient overloads and potential clogging and flooding.
4. Throw litter away in a garbage can. Don't toss trash out your window or onto the ground. Rain picks up trash debris and carries it directly to the lake.
Anything that enters the storm drain that is not rain water is considered an "illicit discharge." To report illicit discharges, call 214.509.4512. To learn more about storm water management, visit CityOfAllen.org/StormWater.