Storm Water Pollution Prevention Program (SWPPP)
It takes a village, or in our case a city, to keep our water clean. That means not just city staff, but you as a city resident need to help!
(The expiration of this plan has been extended to the end of 2016.)
What you can do:
Pick up pet waste. Keep your yard clean of pet waste by picking up your pet's waste as it occurs rather than letting it pile up for a grand pick up day. Dispose of the waste properly in a plastic bag in your trash. If you see pet waste along trails and have a plastic bag, pick it up even though it's not your job. It helps the overall water quality, which benefits you.
Correct property drainage. If you have gutters on your home, make sure they are directed into lawn or landscape surfaces, not onto pavement. This allows drainage from rooftops to soak into the soil before going into the groundwater system. The soil is a great filter for sediment and other pollutants.
Do not litter. Make sure there is not trash along roadways. If you see it, help out by picking it up. Any trash eventually ends up washing into our lakes and wetlands. This includes small items such as cigarette butts and gum!
Make a construction plan. If you are doing a major landscape or construction project, talk to your watershed district about permit requirements, or about best practices to keep your project from affecting water quality.
Read the label and use fertilizers and herbicides wisely. Fertilizer is composed of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. The content of each is usually listed as a string of three numbers on the fertilizer bag. Although garden plants need varying levels of each chemical to grow properly, Indiana’s soil provides plenty of phosphorus for established lawns. Using fertilizer with low or no phosphorous for established lawns will keep it green and minimize the impact on water quality. Starter fertilizer should only be used when growing grass from seeds. When you apply fertilizers, make sure you follow the directions. Over-application and sloppy application leads to fertilizer washing from lawns, sidewalks, and streets into storm drains.
Mow smart. When mowing your lawn, make sure you turn your mower so that the grass blows back into the yard rather than into the roadway. This is also important when blowing debris from your driveway and sidewalk. Never blow it into the roadway. It ends up creating buildup in our stormwater system and filling our waterways with sediment.