Stormwater

Stormwater Pollution

  • Click here to view the Stormwater Master Plan 2001.
  • Click here to view the Stormwater Quality Master Plan 2011.

The following suggestions are ways that residents can assist in restoring the Indian River Lagoon:

Wash your vehicles on grass or at a car wash. The dirty water from your car will settle into the grass or be recycled at the car wash.  If you wash your car on a paved driveway or parking lot, the dirty water ends up in the gutter. Many detergents contain phosphorous and the dirt from your car most likely contains heavy metal particulates; these are both pollutants. When it rains the pollutants are washed into the storm drain and discharged into surface waters. Additionally, environmentally safe detergents can also be purchased.

Fertilizers and herbicides should be used sparingly. Both contain nitrogen and phosphorous, which promote the growth of algae. Algae rot and consume oxygen, causing fish kills. Use environmentally friendly alternatives to pesticides, including insecticidal soaps and horticultural oils which both can be made easily at your home. To make insecticidal soap, simply mix 2 tablespoons of liquid dish washing soap and a gallon of water. These soaps can be used to combat whiteflies, aphids and spidermites. Horticultural oils can be made by combining 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil with 2 tablespoons of liquid dish washing soap and a gallon of water. This alternative helps to eliminate problems with mealybugs and thrips.

Avoid blowing lawn clippings into the street or dumping them down the storm drain. Once it rains, those leaves and grass clippings and yard waste are washed into the Indian River Lagoon. Grass clippings and vegetative waste should be blown back into your yard or containerized for proper disposal. This vegetative waste causes algae blooms that decrease the amount of light and oxygen in the water and sometimes result in fish and sea grass kills.

Do not pile vegetative waste on or near storm drain inlets. Piling vegetative waste near storm drains contributes to the nutrient and muck levels and causes blockages to the drainage system.

Pick up after your pets.  This is very important. Not only when walking, but in your yard as well. One pound of dog waste contains over 1.1 billion fecal coliform bacteria! Pet wastes can be the source for up to 95% of fecal coliform bacteria in stormwater run-off. When picking up after your pet, please place the waste material in trash receptacles.

Do not over water. If you water your yard until the water is flowing out of your yard and into the gutter, that water most likely contains many of the pollutants we have talked about. These pollutants will end up in the stormwater system and ultimately the Lagoon. Watering your lawn correctly can also help prevent insect infestation.  When grass is over watered, it becomes a breeding ground for insects that like to feed on roots.

Aim roof gutter drains into your yard or a rain barrel. This diverts the water from the stormwater system and allowing it to percolate into the soil or be stored for landscaping and gardening. Look outside your window the next time it rains. Imagine all the water that’s running down your driveway being put to beneficial use in your home and garden rather than washing pollutants into our bodies of water. For more information regarding the collection of rain water, please visit, rainbarrelguide.com.

Most of these activities are part of your normal routines. By slightly altering the way you go about these daily tasks, you can positively impact the environment.