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Think About What’s Going Down Your Storm Drain This Water Day

Today marks UN World Water Day, bringing awareness to water related issues. One issue that affects us right here in the Lakeland is what’s going down storm drains in our communities.

Unlike the sewage system in your house, which is filtered extensively before heading back into lakes and rivers, anything that goes down a storm drain will go directly back in the water system. Fertilizers often make their way down the drain, causing a thick layer of green algae to bloom over lakes in the summer. Soap suds from people washing their cars in  their driveways is common as well.

Yesterday, The Beaver River Watershed Alliance and the Lakeland Agricultural Research Association (LARA) presented a workshop called “Know Your Runoff” aimed at this very topic. While  the workshop was directed mostly towards farmers and acreage owners, much of the advice given can apply to more built up areas as well. Lisa Issacman is the Program Manager with the Beaver River Watershed Alliance and has a few tips people can use to avoid polluting storm drains.

  • “(Don’t) pour any kind of substance into storm drains. Those are just for precipitation. A good idea is to get rid of paint, oil and the like at landfills and other proper facilities.”
  • “Make sure you’re using pesticides properly by reading the labels and  using them in the right quantity and at the right time of the year. Maybe consider if you really need to use them, as any amount can potentially run off into the lake.”
  • “Instead of washing your car on your driveway, wash your car on your lawn or at a car wash.”
  • “If you live near a body of water, a good way to protect it is to make sure you have a good riperian area (the plants and grass right next to a stream or lake) that will create a buffer to catch a lot of those chemicals before they hit the water. They also protect stream banks from erosion and create a habitat for wildlife.”

Following these tips can go along way to making sure the lakes around the area stay in the best shape they can.

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