302STOPPIT Report Water Pollution

Together we can STOP water pollution. 

Did you know that clean water starts at home? Small changes to our daily routines can have a large impact when we all do our part.

Learn more from our "Clean Water Starts at Home: Homeowner Tips to Prevent Pollution" flier.
Click here to download and print (pdf). 

Also consider these easy steps to prevent water pollution:

Recycle, Recycle, Recycle.
The less we send to the landfill, the fewer landfills we have to build and manage. Instead we can keep raw materials in state to provide green jobs and a healthy economy. Household hazardous waste, electronic goods, furniture, automotive fluids and parts, yard waste and even medicine can be recycled.   Click here for A Guide to Recycling in Delaware. Check out recycling events near you.

Join Delaware's Livable Lawns program which aims to:

1. Provide homeowners with the necessary information to make small changes in lawn care practices so we can all be better stewards of the environment.

2. Certify lawn care companies that follow environmentally-friendly practices in fertilizer application.

Did you know that by leaving lawn clippings on your lawn provides half of the nitrogen your grass needs each year? By hauling away your clippings away you are depriving your lawn of a natural fertilizer and creating more work for yourself.  A half-acre lawn can produce more than 3 tons of clipping, nearly 260 bags, each year. And raking, bagging, disposing of clippings and fertilizing takes up a lot of your time and can be an added expense.  

For additional help and information, check the University of Delaware Extension Lawn and Garden website

Washing your car on the lawn not only waters the grass, but the residual biodegradable soap may stop common pests that are eating your lawn.
Looking for a two-for-one idea?  Use biodegradable dish soap for car washing. The liquid soap does not sit well in the digestive tract of insects that are in chewing on the grass or its roots. Not only will you reduce the need for toxic pesticides, but you can water the lawn at the same time. Also preventing soapy discharges from entering the storm drain will protect beneficial insects in streams and ponds.  The fish, frogs and birds will thank you.

Septic systems.
Have your septic system routinely inspected and pumped. This will extend the life of your system, protect your family from disease, prevent groundwater and surface water contamination and save you money.  An excellent summary of septic system care and maintenance can be found here.   

Pick up and dispose of pet waste. The poop you scoop today will prevent excessive nutrient and bacterial pollution.
Be sure to pick up after your pets and encourage your neighbors to do so.  Bacteria from pet waste will overload local streams and ponds and result in closed fishing and swimming areas.  Whenever possible, flush the waste down the toilet so that it can be treated at a sewage treatment plant or septic system.  If flushing isn't an option, place bagged waste in a trash can, and NEVER down the storm drain. Dogi-Pot stations are available through the Partnership for the Delaware Estuary.  Sign up today.

Maintain your pool and hot tub in a responsible manner.
Water that has been chemically treated for swimming pools and hot tubs often contain high levels of chlorine that will kill plants and animals in streams and ponds.  Public, commercial and semi-public pools and spas (i.e. health clubs, apartment complexes, hotels, municipal pools, etc.) must connect their drains to a public sanitary sewer.  Single family pools and spas can discharge water to their yard but only after the water has been de-chlorinated.  Care must be taken to prevent ponding, erosion or flooding of your property or creating a nuisance on adjoining property.

Get outside and get involved with other concerned citizens and businesses that support community resilience.
Volunteering and being engaged in our communities is the ultimate expression of our relationships with our neighbors and our sense of place in the world.  It isn't enough to express a desire to see change, we have to act to promote the change that we seek.  When we act on behalf of the community, the environment or in tandem with government and local non-profits we express our commitment to what we value.   

Take some time to become involved in the groups who are working to protect and preserve your neighborhood;