Small changes can make a BIG impact on water quality!
Practice Responsible Lawn Care
When applying chemicals to your lawn, follow the manufacturer's directions to avoid over applying and avoid applying before a 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 or pervious asphalt driveways and mulched paths.
Practice Green Landscaping
Try mixing compost or biosolids in your garden soil as they both hold water well and are natural fertilizers. Try planting native species in the garden as they require less fertilizer and water. A PDF version of our Green Landscaping Brochure is available. You will need Adobe Reader to view this document.
Using less water in and around your home means less water is being taken from ground water aquifers (if your water comes from a well) or the St. Joseph River (if you get your drinking water from City Utilities). If less water is treated for use as drinking water, that keeps our utility costs lower. Also, using less water means less water in our sewer system which means a lessened possibility of combined sewer overflows during wet weather.
Don't Misuse Storm Drains
Remember that storm drains are not trash cans. Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) such as oil, antifreeze and many cleaning agents should be taken to an HHW disposal facility. Call the Allen County Solid Waste Management District to learn more at 260-449-7878. We also have an HHW brochure available on-line.
Pick Up Pet Waste
Water that flows into a storm drain is not treated before it flows into our rivers. So, if you leave your pet's waste on a sidewalk or lawn it can end up washing into the rivers during the next rain. Dispose of your pet's waste in a toilet or the trash.
Maintain Your Septic System
Septic systems have the potential of leaching nutrients into the groundwater and can contaminate the surface water if the system is not functioning properly. The cities of Fort Wayne and New Haven make available a Septic System Reference for Homeowners on-line.