Stormwater pollution from point sources and nonpoint sources is a challenging water quality problem. Unlike pollution from industry or sewage treatment facilities, which is caused by a discrete number of sources, stormwater pollution is caused by the daily activities of people everywhere. Rainwater and snowmelt run off streets, lawns, farms, and construction and industrial sites and pick up fertilizers, dirt, pesticides, oil and grease, and many other pollutants on the way to our rivers, lakes, and coastal waters. Stormwater runoff is our most common cause of water pollution. Because stormwater pollution is caused by so many different activities, traditional regulatory controls will only go so far. Education and outreach are key components to any successful stormwater program. Chester Borough has adopted ordinances dealing with stormwater issues. Click here for a copy of the code. Please visit the EPA's website for more information concerning this topic.
HEALTH HOUSEHOLD HABITS FOR CLEAN WATER
Use a commercial car wash or wash your car on a lawn or other unpaved surface to minimize the amount of dirty, soapy water flowing into the storm drain and eventually into your local waterbody.
Check your car, boat, motorcycle and othe machinery and equipment for leaks and spills. Make repairs as soon as possible. Clean up spilled fluids with an absorbent material like kitty litter or sand and don't rinse the spills into a nearby storm drain. Remember to properly dispose of the absorbent material.
Recycle used oil and other automotive fluids at participating service stations. Don't dump these chemicals down the strom drain or dispose of them in your trash.
LAWN AND GARDEN
Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly. When use is necessary, use these chemicals in the recommended amounts. Avoid application if the forcast calls for rain; otherwise, chemicals will be washed into your local stream.
Select native plants and grasses that are drought and pest resisistant. Native plants require less water, fertilizer and pesticides.
Sweep up yard debris rather than hosing down areas. Compost or recycle yard waste when possible.
Don't overwater your lawn. Water during the cool times of the day and don't let water run off into the storm drain.
Cover piles of dirt and mulch being used in landscaping projects to prevent these pollutants from blowing or washing off your yard and into local waterdodies. Vegetate bare spots in your yard to prevent soil erosion.
HOME REPAIR AND IMPROVEMENT
Before beginning an outdoor project, locate the nearest storm drains and protect them from debris and other materials.
Sweep up and properly dispose of construction debris such as concrete and mortar.
Use hazardous substances like paints, solvents and cleaners in the smallest amounts possible, and follow the directions on the label. Clean up spills immediately and dispose of the waste safely. Store substances properly to avoid leaks and spills.
Purchase and use nontoxic, biodegradable, recycled and recyclable products whenever possible.
Clean paint brushes in a sink, not outdoors. Filter and reuse paint thinner when using oil-based paints. Properly dispose of excess paints through a household hazardous waste collection program, or donate unused paint to local organizations.
Reduce the amount of paved area and increase the amount of vegetated area in your yard. Use native plants in your landscaping to reduce the need for watering during dry periods. consider directing downspouts away from paved surfaces onto lawns and other measures to increase infiltration and reduce polluted runoff.