Stormwater Management to Protect Water Quality
Lee County is one of the fastest growing areas in the country. With that comes an added burden on our water supply and recreational waterways. Lee County citizens must do their part to insure that our area’s growth doesn’t spell doom for our precious, and fragile environment.
A major contributor to contamination of our waterways is polluted stormwater. Stormwater is rain that has fallen and then flows across the ground and pavement. This stormwater enters ditches and storm sewers then flows directly into the streams, rivers, bays and eventually the Gulf of Mexico. As the stormwater flows across pavement, lawns and fields, it picks up pollution (fertilizers, solvents, pesticides, auto fluids, etc.) and carries it directly into our waterways. Once there, it has a devastating effect…..
Along with stormwater there are seemingly harmless household activities that actually wreak havoc with our water system. Some of the common practices that can cause severe problems to our waterways include, but are not limited to:
- Overuse of fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides is a major cause of stormwater pollution. Remember that what you put on your lawn eventually winds up in area rivers, bays and beaches
- Improper disposal of automotive fluids such as motor oil, anti-freeze, transmission and brake fluid. Don’t let them drain onto your driveway and lawn. Make sure they are contained and disposed of properly.
- Dumping of collected grass clippings, leaves and other yard waste into ditches, canals, or storm drains. Your garbage hauler will collect those on proper collection days.
- Draining household wastewater from washing machines, dishwashers, or water softening devices into ditches or canals.
You can help by implementing “Best Management Practices” (BMP’s) around you home. BMP is a general term applicable to any means, practice or technique aimed to significantly reduce or eliminate storm water pollution. A more detailed discussion on BMP’s and Stormwater Management can be found on the Lee County Government website at www.lee-county.com/naturalresources/npdes/default.htm
You can also find information regarding household hazardous waste control (ie; location of collection facilities, dates of hazardous waste pickups, what items to recycle, indentifying household hazardous waste, etc.) at the Lee County Website at www.lee-county.com/solidwaste
If you see any suspicious or polluting activities taking place please report it to the City of Sanibel Public Works Department at(239) 472-6397.