It’s heating up out there, and the grass is certainly responding! Many of us know we’ll need to mow frequently over the next few months, but we may not know that yard waste, such as those lawn clippings, is actually a stormwater pollutant that can have a big impact on water quality. Check out the CWEP video below starring the Sodfather, and learn about what you can do to help keep stormwater runoff clean as we do our summer landscaping!
Thanks to Tyler with the Green Teens Club for sending over this great resource on water pollution! This infographic from Basement Guides offers a lot of interesting information on sources of contaminants in your home, as well as additional data on pollution around the world. Click on the image below to take a look at their site!
Also check out the Green Teens Club website below to find more information about environmental issues, as well as see the cool work the Club is doing in their area. Maybe you’ll want to start your own club!
The Town of Morrisville, NC, member of the CWEP group, was recognized for their excellent efforts in stormwater management by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) by winning the 2017 EPA Rain Catcher Award in the Municipal category!
The Town’s Northwest Park Project was created to provide a new neighborhood playground and public recreation spaces. They incorporated low-impact design elements such as green stormwater infrastructure to reduce the speed of water flowing through the area, as well as remove sediment and other pollutants like nutrients from the runoff. The parking lot and playground area were installed with permeable pavement to allow rainwater to soak through instead of flowing off, and also features a 3,000-gallon cistern to capture rainwater for use in irrigating the landscaping. There are also fun and educational signs highlighting the projects to the park visitors.
Congratulations to the Town of Morrisville – keep up the great work!
To learn more about what the Town is doing in stormwater managment or about this project, please visit the Town website here.
A watershed is an area of land where all water drains to a particular waterbody, usually a stream, river, or the ocean. Watersheds cover the entire land surface of the earth. Watersheds contain homes, neighborhoods, cities, forests, farmland, and more. Watersheds come in all shapes and sizes and can even cross state lines.
The graphic above shows how water travels over a landscape and eventually forms streams and rivers. In a natural environment, this water would be pretty clean; however, when rain hits an impervious surface it creates stormwater runoff, which picks up pollutants and enters the nearest creek or stream. This creek or stream will join others to form larger streams, which join others to flow into larger rivers. Just like streams, smaller watersheds join together to form larger watersheds. That means any pollution that enters our stormwater can transported throughout an entire watershed.
All of us live in a watershed – let’s keep them clean! Use this EPA tool to Surf Your Watershed and find out more about how stormwater, runoff, and streams connect to form watersheds in your area.
What is a stream buffer?
Stream (also called riparian) buffers are strips of trees and other vegetation that:
- improve water quality by filtering pollutants from stormwater runoff such as oil, fertilizers, pesticides, and dog waste;
- reduce flooding and erosion by stabilizing stream banks;
- moderate stream temperature and sunlight, keeping fish and other aquatic life healthy;
- provide nesting and foraging habitat for many species of birds and animals.
You can help stream buffers purify our water by planting native trees and bushes along your stream or ditch, especially if the bank is bare or eroding. If you already have trees or shrubs along your waterway, simply leave it alone!
Mowing, cutting, and removing buffer vegetation may be regulated in your area, so check with your local government before undertaking landscaping or other projects within 100 feet of any water conveyances. (Selective cutting of understory shrubs and scrub by hand is usually allowed in very small amounts, but it is better to let the vegetation continue its natural regeneration process, which will allow trees to mature, form a canopy, and prevent undergrowth naturally.) Continue reading