No matter where you live, you live upstream from someone. What you do on your property can affect someone's drinking water that lives downstream from your home. This connection is due to stormwater, or water that runs off hard surfaces, through a series of pipes to waterways. Therefore, it is important to make water-friendly choices whenever possible.
ACPWQ is available for presentations for homeowners associations and to create content to help spread awareness for water quality.
Small changes can make a BIG impact on water quality!
Interested in Green Infrastructure?
The St. Joseph River Watershed Initiative is moving into phase II of the cost-share program for the Lower St. Joseph – Bear Creek Watershed project which encompasses the southeast quadrant of Dekalb County east of Cedar Creek as well as all the phase I critical areas which include the Dupont Corridor, Northside neighborhood, Leo-Cedarville and more. If you live in one of the outlined critical areas, you are eligible for cost sharing to improve the water quality in your watershed!
A quick look at the cost sharing benefits are below! If you would like more information, check out the following brochure!
Practice Responsible Lawn Care: When applying chemicals to your lawn, follow the manufacturer's directions to avoid over-applying chemicals. Also, avoid applying before heavy rain is expected. Lawn chemicals can run off into storm sewers during heavy rain and harm our rivers and streams.
Reduce Impervious Surfaces: Surfaces such as roofs, driveways, and patios are impervious and do not allow rainwater to filter into the soil. This keeps rain from recharging our groundwater aquifers and forces the water into storm drains. Instead of concrete patios, asphalt driveways, and paved paths, try wood decks, gravel, pervious asphalt driveways, and mulched paths.
Practice Green Landscaping: Try mixing compost or biosolids in your garden soil to improve water retention, as they are natural fertilizers. Additionally, plant native species in the garden because they require less fertilizer and water.
Conserve Water: Water is a valuable natural resource. It is important to use it wisely by ensuring that our homes are leak-free, that we don't overwater lawns, and we take short showers. There are endless ways to reduce your water footprint. Check out 100+ Ways to Conserve Water to come up with unique ways that you can make a difference.
Only Rain Down the Storm Drains: Remember that storm drains are not trash cans. Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) such as oil, antifreeze, and other cleaning agents should be taken to an HHW disposal facility, open weekly for Tox-Away Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call the Allen County Department of Environmental Management to learn more at 260-449-7878.
Pick Up Pet Waste: Water that flows into a storm drain is not treated before it flows into our rivers. Be sure to scoop the poop to ensure no unwanted bacteria end up in the rivers during the next rain. Dispose of your pet's waste in the trash.
Maintain Your Septic System: Septic systems have the potential of leaching nutrients into the groundwater and can contaminate surface water if the system is not functioning properly.
Stabilize Shorelines along detention ponds. Shoreline erosion is identified by loose soil around the shoreline, causing murky waters and steep banks. Adding rocks, using vegetated buffers, or installing stabiliation products may help to limit the erosion.
Every month, we have a new focus for Allen County residents to help promote water quality in our area and downstream. These monthly tips provide residences with one task each month to focus on to help them fight stormwater pollution and improve the health of our waterways. This program started in March 2019!
January: Make your New Year’s Resolution to "Scoop the Poop" all year round. This promise will safeguard the health of your pet, your neighbors, and water quality! Check our January's poster and Water Matters article.
February: Show those storm drains some love this February. Learn more about how some time, love, and action can make a big difference in our waterways by checking out our poster and Water Matters article.
August: Did you know that an easy way to improve water quality is by going to the car wash or washing your car in the grass? Learn more by checking out "Going to the Car Wash" poster and Water Matters Article!
September: Even though summer is coming to an end, water quality is still important! Learn a quick way to help improve water quality by draining your pool correctly in our poster and Water Matters Article!
November: Be thankful for the Household Hazardous Waste Facility! Find out more information about HHW by checking out our poster, reading our Water Matters Article, or visiting the website of Allen County Department of Environmental Management.
December: Though local waterways may not be a top priority during this Holiday Season, make sure to remember to keep that salt light. Learn more by reading our Water Matters Article and checking out our poster!