Dirt, oil, and debris that collect in parking lots and paved areas can be washed into the storm sewer system and eventually enter local water bodies, some helpful tips include:
- Cover grease storage and dumpsters and keep them clean to avoid leaks.
- Report any chemical spill to the local hazardous waste cleanup team. They'll know the best way to keep spills from harming the environment.
- Sweep up litter and debris from sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots, especially around storm drains.
Erosion controls that aren't maintained can cause excessive amounts of sediment and debris to be carried into the stormwater system. Construction vehicles can leak fuel, oil, and other harmful fluids that can be picked up by stormwater and deposited into local water bodies. Some helpful tips include:
- Divert stormwater away from disturbed or exposed areas of the construction site.
- Install silt fences, vehicle mud removal areas, vegetative cover, and other sediment and erosion controls and properly maintain them, especially after rainstorms.
- Prevent soil erosion by minimizing disturbed areas during construction projects, and seed and mulch bare areas as soon as possible.
Lack of vegetation on stream banks can lead to erosion. Overgrazed pastures can also contribute excessive amounts of sediment to local waterbodies. Excess fertilizers and pesticides can poison aquatic animals and lead to destructive algae blooms. Livestock in streams can contaminate waterways with bacteria, making them unsafe for human contact. Some helpful tips include:
- Apply fertilizers and pesticides according to label instructions to save money and minimize pollution.
- Keep livestock away from stream banks and provide them with a water source away from water bodies.
- Rotate animal grazing to prevent soil erosion in fields.
- Store and apply manure away from water bodies and in accordance with a nutrient management plan.
- Vegetate riparian areas along waterways.
Improperly managed logging operations can result in erosion and sedimentation. Some helpful tips include:
- Conduct preharvest planning to prevent erosion and lower costs.
- Construct stream crossings so that they minimize erosion and physical changes to streams.
- Expedite revegetation of cleared areas.
- Plan and design skid trails, yard areas, and truck access roads to minimize stream crossings and avoid disturbing the forest floor.
- Use logging methods and equipment that minimize soil disturbance.
Uncovered fueling stations allow spills to be washed into storm drains. Cars waiting to be repaired can leak fuel, oil, and other harmful fluids that can be picked up by stormwater. Some helpful tips include:
- Clean up spills immediately and properly dispose of cleanup materials.
- Install and maintain oil / water separators.
- Properly maintain fleet vehicles to prevent oil, gas, and other discharges from being washed into local water bodies.
- Provide cover over fueling stations and design or retrofit facilities for spill containment.