What You Can Do to Help

Only Rain in the Drain – Never dump anything into a storm drain, including oil, paint, soap, debris, and leaves. Storm sewers don't go to the sewer plant but discharge directly into streams. You might be pouring oil into your own drinking water!

Auto Care – Washing your car at home on the driveway or street can send detergents and other contaminants through the storm sewer system. It is best to wash your car at a commercial car wash where the wastewater is treated and recycled. If you do wash your car at home, do so near a grassy area where the water can infiltrate into the ground. And never dump motor oil or antifreeze into the storm drain. Dispose of these at a local service station or approved recycling center.

Plant Native Trees and Shrubs – Erosion of streambanks can be prevented through the use of vegetated strips along the banks. Also known as riparian buffers, these strips of tall grasses, tress and flowers act to stabilize banks, which prevents erosion and additional sediment load in the stream.

Residential Landscaping
Downspouts: Direct all downspouts away from pervious surfaces and onto lawns. Rain barrels can be used to collect water from downspouts, making it available for watering.

Lawn Care: Fertilizers and pesticides should be used sparingly. When applied in excess, these chemicals are washed off by rainwater and enter the local storm sewer system. Do not sweep yard waste and leaves into the street. These add extra nutrients to streams.

Rain Gardens: A specially designed rain garden can be planted with native vegetation to that will provide an area for rainwater to collect and soak into the ground. Stormwater from rooftop drains and pavement areas can be directed to these vegetated areas.

Pick Up After Your Dog – Pet waste can be a major source of excess nutrients and bacteria to our streams. Always properly dispose of pet waste. 

Want to learn more?
Click here to check out "A Homeowner's Guide to Stormwater Management"

Click here for a brochure on "Caring for Your Streamside Property" 

Get involved! Attend a Stream Clean Event sponsored by the Chester-Ridley-Crum Watersheds Association. Help the Swarthmore Environmental Advisory Council restore the riparian buffer along Little Crum Creek. Clean off the storm drains near your house!

To learn more locally and get involved check out the following websites: