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Clean Water Home Management PlanHome Management Plan Missouri Department of Natural Resources “U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region VII, through the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, has provided partial funding for this project under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act, DNR Subgrant G06-NPS-22.” Dear Parent: During a rainstorm, water runs off rooftops, lawns, sidewalks, driveways, and streets before finally flowing into a storm drain. This water is called stormwater runoff. This runoff collects many different types of pollutants from households, streets, and businesses, and deposits it in a nearby creek, stream, river, or lake. Many people mistakenly believe that the stormwater runoff that goes to a storm drain is cleaned at a wastewater treatment plant. Stormwater runoff is one of the leading causes of water pollution, and each of us contributes to this problem. Communities, developers, and builders are incorporating best management practices (BMPs) into their facilities and operations to reduce the quantity and improve the quality of stormwater runoff. However, these efforts alone are not enough. We need everyone’s participation if we are to make a difference and improve water quality in our region. This Home Management Plan was developed by Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District in partnership with the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Litzsinger Road Ecology Center to educate students and individuals on day-to-day activities that will help to reduce stormwater runoff and water pollution. Can you help? Let’s Make a Difference! Our stormwater motto is: Home Management Plan 3 The Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District Sub Watersheds and Municipalities SUB WATERSHED BOUNDARY MAIN CREEK CHANNEL TRIBUTARY CHANNEL MUNICIPALITY BOUNDARY Do you live in a watershed? No matter where you are, you're in a watershed! A watershed is an area of land that drains or “sheds” water into a common water body, such as a stream, river, lake, or wetland. This water eventually makes its way to one of the oceans. Watersheds come in all shapes and sizes, and small watersheds are usually part of larger watersheds. For example, a number of small streams feed the Deer Creek watershed, which in turn feeds the River des Peres watershed, which eventually feeds into the Mississippi River, which finally drains into the Gulf of Mexico. 4 Home Management Plan Map your runoff Where does your water go? In the graph below, map your home and yard. Add arrows to indicate the direction water flows (from higher to lower elevation). See sample map at right. Each square in the graph is equivalent to 10 square feet. Sample map reproduced with permission from Home*A*Syst: An Environmental Risk-Assessment Guide for the Home (NRAES-87). Natural Resource, Agriculture, and Engineering Service. http://www.nraes.org Home Management Plan 5 Low Risk Medium Risk High Risk Risk Level Storm drains Storm drains are clear of litter, mud, plants or other debris. Storm drains are labeled to prevent pollution and to teach people that drains lead directly to streams. Storm drains are clear of litter and other debris, but they are not labeled to prevent dumping. Storm drains are covered or clogged with leaves, litter, mud, other debris and are not labeled to prevent dumping. ‰ Low ‰ Medium ‰ High Litter Trash is disposed of properly and there is no litter to be seen on the ground. Trash cans and recycling bins have closed lids and are emptied frequently. There is very little trash and litter present on the ground, however, there are no designated containers for recycling. There is a lot of trash and litter the ground. ‰ Low ‰ Medium ‰ High Handling and use of pesticides, fertilizers, road salts or deicing chemicals, and household chemicals Spills are cleaned up immediately, particularly on paved surfaces. Minimal amounts of these chemicals are used and applied according to label. Applications of fertilizers are delayed to avoid rain. Applications of pesticides or fertilizers are not delayed to avoid rain. Spills are not cleaned up. Chemical products are used in higher amounts than what is recommended on the label. ‰ Low ‰ Medium ‰ High Pet and animal waste Animal and pet wastes are wrapped in a plastic bag and placed in the trash or wastes are flushed down the toilet (do NOT flush plastic bag or kitty litter). Animal wastes are left to decompose in tall grass (>4 inches) located away from storm drain inlets. Animal wastes are left on paved surfaces, concentrated in pen or yard areas, or dumped down a storm drain or in a ditch. ‰ Low ‰ Medium ‰ High Automotive wastes Automobile fluid leaks are repaired as soon as possible. Oil drips and fluid spills are cleaned up with an absorbent material such as kitty litter or sand and wastes are properly disposed of. Used auto fluids are disposed of at designated recycling centers. Drips and spills are not cleaned up. Car parts and other vehicle wastes are left on unpaved areas outside. Used oil, antifreeze, and other wastes are dumped down the storm sewer, in a ditch, or on the ground. ‰ Low ‰ Medium ‰ High Car washing Cars and trucks are taken to a commercial car wash or spray booth. Cars, trucks, or other items are washed on a lawn or gravel drive. Cars, trucks, or other items are washed on a driveway, street, or other paved area. ‰ Low ‰ Medium ‰ High Home Stormwater Assessment Do an assessment of your home to locate higher risk areas. Assessment 1 – Reducing Pollutants in Runoff 6 Home Management Plan Home Management Plan 7 Low Risk Medium Risk High Risk Risk Level Impervious Surface Paved surfaces are minimized to less than 10% of the property. Alternatives such as wood chips or pervious pavers are used for walkways. Only some areas are paved for activities like basketball courts. Paved surfaces account for approximately 10% to 25% of the property. Paved surfaces are used extensively, accounting for more than 25% of the property. ‰ Low ‰ Medium ‰ High Roof Drainage Roof drainage is collected into rain barrels or underground cisterns for water reuse and/or it is directed to a rain garden for detention, where it slowly soaks into the ground. Downspouts and drip lines direct roof drainage onto a grassy area or patch of rocks where water has a better chance of soaking into the ground. Most all drainage from the roof discharges onto paved surfaces, or downspouts are connected directly to storm drains. ‰ Low ‰ Medium ‰ High Bare Soil There are few places with bare soil. Bare patches in lawns are quickly reseeded and covered with straw; mulch is used to cover bare soil in garden or landscaped areas. Grass or other ground cover is spotty, particularly on slopes. There is evidence of some erosion. There are several places with bare soil. Soil has been carried onto sidewalks or driveways. Gullies have started to form on slopes with no vegetation in place. ‰ Low ‰ Medium ‰ High Landscaping and Vegetation Many trees, bushes, and deep- rooted, native plants are present on the property. Landscaping is designed to slow the flow of stormwater and provide areas where water soaks into the ground. Unmowed buffer strips of thick vegetation are left near any ditches and waterways. No areas are landscaped to encourage water to soak in, but there are some trees and bushes that dot the landscape. Mowed grass or spotty vegetation exists adjacent to ditches and waterways. There are few trees and bushes on the property. Landscaping does little to slow the flow of stormwater. ‰ Low ‰ Medium ‰ High Leaves, grass clippings, and other yard waste Grass clippings, leaves, and other yard wastes are swept off paved surfaces and onto lawns away from water flow routes. If possible these yard wastes are composted on site. Leaves and other yard wastes are piled on the lawn next to the street for collection. Grass clippings, leaves, and other yard wastes are left on sidewalks, streets, and other paved areas to be carried off by stormwater. ‰ Low ‰ Medium ‰ High Assessment 2 – Landscaping & Site Management to Control Runoff Adapted with permission from Home*A*Syst: An Environmental Risk-Assessment Guide for the Home (NRAES-87). Natural Resource, Agriculture, and Engineering Service. http://www.nraes.org DO NOW WILL DO ❏ ❍ ❏ ❍ ❏ ❍ ❏ ❍ ❏ ❍ ❏ ❍ 2. Trash/Litter Controlling litter and trash at its source reduces the cleanup and maintenance costs of local communities. a. Clean up discarded trash around the property b. Replace leaky dumpsters c. Have regular, frequent service to dispose of waste d. Do not dispose of waste into the storm drains e. Cover exterior waste containers with a lid to prevent stormwater contact f. Provide an adequate number of trash and recycling receptacles for the waste generated by your home We are Making a Difference! Tell us how! Put an ✕ in the box of three practices you are currently doing.. Put a ✓ in the circle of three practices you will start doing. DO NOW WILL DO ❏ ❍ ❏ ❍ ❏ ❍ ❏ ❍ ❏ ❍ ❏ ❍ 1. Management of Stormwater Runoff Storm water runoff is one of the leading causes of pollution and the erosion of our streams and rivers. a. Reduce the amount of paved areas around the home b. Increase amount of vegetated areas on your property where storm water can soak in the soil c. Never allow roof gutters to drain directly to the street or storm drains d. Construct a rain garden. Rain gardens are shallow depressions planted with native plants that allow rain water to soak into the soil and filter pollutants e. Disconnect roof gutters draining directly to the street or storm drains (if allowed by city) f. Purchase a rain barrel and attach to your roof’s downspout to capture and store rainwater for later gardening use g. Plant buffer strips of native vegetation to slow runoff near a water source ❏ ❍ 8 Home Management Plan 4. Pet Waste Bacteria from pet waste can cause health risks to humans and other animals and result in the spread of disease. DO NOW WILL DO a. Pick up after your pet ❏ ❍ b. Flush waste down the toilet into the sanitary sewer systems for treatment or put waste in a sealed bag and place in the trash ❏ ❍ c. Bury waste in the soil at least 6 inches deep ❏ ❍ d. Minimize pollution by having pets defecate in tall grass (greater than 4 inches) ❏ ❍ e. Comply with city ordinances concerning proper disposal ❏ ❍ f. Prevent farm animals from entering the water by strategically placing fence enclosures along waterways ❏ ❍ DO NOW WILL DO ❏ ❍ ❏ ❍ ❏ ❍ ❏ ❍ ❏ ❍ ❏ ❍ 3. Household Chemicals Many products used in homes and businesses contain chemicals that are potentially harmful to the environment. For example: paint, paint thinner, bug killer, drain cleaners, and motor oil. a. Recycle reusable materials b. Purchase and use nontoxic, biodegradable products whenever possible c. Choose the least hazardous product to do the job d. Buy only as much as you need to avoid excess e. Follow the instructions on the label for use, storage, and disposal f. Use up household chemicals completely or give unused portion to friends g. Properly dispose of hazardous waste at a household hazardous waste collection event ❏ ❍ Home Management Plan 9 6. Bare Soil Excess sediment can clog stream channels, increase flooding, and harm aquatic life. Soil particles often carry excess nutrients from pesticides and fertilizers to rivers and streams, further degrading water quality. DO NOW WILL DO a. Control erosion by planting native plants and other suitable ground cover to stabilize erosion-prone areas ❏ ❍ b. Reduce the amount of paved areas around the home and increase the vegetated areas ❏ ❍ c. Reseed and/or place mulch around plants and landscaped areas to help maintain soil moisture and reduce the amount of bare soil exposure ❏ ❍ d. Filter runoff at construction sites with straw bales or silt fences ❏ ❍ 5. Automotive Maintenance Detergents, solvents, and other chemicals used to clean or repair cars are pollutants of stormwater runoff DO NOW WILL DO a. Keep your vehicle maintained regularly ❏ ❍ b. Do not dump waste oil into the storm sewer ❏ ❍ c. Change your oil at a local service station ❏ ❍ d. Repair fluid leaks immediately ❏ ❍ e. Recycle used auto fluids at designated auto service stations ❏ ❍ f. Wash your car on your lawn or other unpaved surface ❏ ❍ g. Use a commercial car wash ❏ ❍ 10 Home Management Plan 7. Landscape Maintenance Grass clippings, leaves, brush, and other “biodegradable” debris, decreases water quality by producing algae blooms and decreasing the amount of oxygen available for aquatic life. DO NOW WILL DO a. Mow grasses at higher heights ❏ ❍ b. Leave grass clippings on the lawn ❏ ❍ c. Use chemical fertilizers sparingly ❏ ❍ d. Consider using slow-release nitrogen fertilizers ❏ ❍ e. Avoid using fertilizers before a rain event ❏ ❍ f. Do not dump yard waste into or near a waterway ❏ ❍ g. Consider composting yard waste ❏ ❍ h. Prevent grass clippings, leaves, and other yard wastes from being washed into storm drains by keeping gutters and paved areas clear ❏ ❍ 8. Vegetation Proper gardening techniques can reduce pollutant runoff and water use. DO NOW WILL DO a. Plant native plants; plants native to Missouri are adapted to our environmental conditions and thus, require less overall maintenance, including less water once established and no need for fertilizers. Native plants also have extensive root systems that help water soak into the ground more readily. ❏ ❍ b. Remove weeds by hand, being sure to remove all of root systems and avoid using chemicals whenever possible ❏ ❍ c. Test soil to determine the proper fertilizer usage ❏ ❍ d. Keep water from sprinklers off pavement and use automatic timers to minimize over watering and runoff ❏ ❍ e. Apply water at rates that do not exceed the infiltration (absorption) rate of the soil ❏ ❍ f. Other__________________ ❏ ❍ Home Management Plan 11 If you are interested in learning more about stormwater BMPs, contact: Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District Division of Environmental Compliance 10 East Grand St. Louis, MO 63147 314.436.8710 Or visit our Phase II Stormwater Program website: www.stlmsd.com/MSD/PgmsProjs/PhaseII