Did you know what goes into storm sewers ends up in the nearest body of water? Storm drains and the storm sewer system do not drain to wastewater treatment facilities. The storm sewer system carries stormwater runoff and discharges directly to the nearest stream or water body without treatment. Help keep our lakes, ponds and streams clean. When pollutants enter the storm sewer system, it’s called “illicit discharge.”
Illicit discharges enter the storm sewer system through either direct connections such as piping either mistakenly or deliberately connected to the storm drains or indirect connections such as infiltration from cracked sanitary sewer systems, spills collected by storm drains, or paint or used oil dumped directly into a drain. The result is untreated discharges that contribute high levels of pollutants to receiving waterbodies.
Don’t dump paint, motor oil and other chemicals into the street. Take unwanted paint, pesticides and other household materials to the Hennepin Recycling and Problem Waste Drop-Off Center, 1400 West 96th Street, 612-348-3777. Visit blm.mn/hcdropoff, to check hours and accepted items.
Use a phosphorus-free fertilizer and immediately clean up any excess fertilizer from hard surfaces.
Don’t use the storm sewer or local ponds or wetlands to dispose of unwanted goldfish and other aquarium fish or aquatics plants. They pose a threat to native species and can harm waterbodies.
“If you wouldn’t put it in your lake, you shouldn’t put it in the storm sewer,” Water Resources Manager Bryan Gruidl said.