News Flash

County News

Posted on: October 29, 2020

Reduce Stormwater Runoff Pollution: Only Rain Down the Drain

rain-barrel

According to data from the Chesapeake Bay Program, stormwater runoff is the fastest growing pollution source to the Chesapeake Bay. The good news is that Stafford County residents can significantly reduce that pollution by merely removing debris and working to eliminate pollutants that could run off your property. Only rain should flow down the drain!

When it rains, the water that does not soak into the ground flows off streets, parking lots, lawns and driveways, collecting pollutants from pet waste, pesticides, fertilizers and other contaminants along the way. This stormwater runoff then flows directly into storm drains, ditches and other collection systems where it eventually flows -untreated- into our rivers, streams and the Chesapeake Bay.  

While Stafford County and the Virginia Department of Transportation have mechanisms to manage and maintain storm systems on County property or public street rights-of-way, the storm systems on private property are the responsibility of that property owner. Property owners play a critical role in keeping stormwater free-flowing and free from pollutants.

Homeowners can keep stormwater free-flowing through their culverts or other storm systems located on their property by removing any debris or large obstructions. By following these practices below, you can do your part to eliminate pollutants that run off your property during rainstorms into our local waterways:

  • Pick Up After Your Pet: 
    1. Please pick up your pet waste, put it in a biodegradable bag, and then throw it into the trash. Pet waste carries bacteria, viruses and parasites that can threaten the health of both people and the environment and can linger in the soil for years.
  • Maintain Your Home and Car: 
    1. Maintain your vehicles. Recycle used oil, antifreeze and other fluids by taking them to Regional Landfill on Eskimo Hill Road. To learn more about their accepted recyclables, visit their website: Regional Landfill
    2. If you are on a septic system, maintain and inspect your system at least once every five years and pump your tank as necessary. Waste from failing systems can leak into the groundwater and eventually end up in local waterways and the Bay. To learn more about how to maintain your septic system properly, visit Stafford’s Septic Pumpout Program
  • Lawn Care Recommendations: 
    1. After mowing your lawn, leave the grass clippings on the grass to help fertilize- for free!
    2. Landscape with plants that are native to the area. Native plants are adapted to the local climate and can thrive without fertilizers, and require less watering than non-native plants.
    3. Recycle rainwater through the use of rain barrels or cisterns or by directing your downspouts directly into your garden beds.
    4. Avoid using pesticides or fertilizers, particularly when rain is in the forecast. Lawn fertilizers and chemicals are a significant source of nitrogen and phosphorus pollution and toxic runoff.

To learn more about home maintenance rules and regulations in Stafford County, visit: https://staffordcountyva.gov/1001/Stormwater-Management

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