What You Can Do To Help
Texas SmartScape Landscape Management Program
In a region projected to have more than 10.5 million people by 2040, local municipalities are working to address water quantity and quality concerns by promoting changes in the way residents landscape.
Texas SmartScape™ is a landscape program crafted to be "smart" for North Central Texas. Based on water-efficient landscape principles, it promotes the use of plants suited to our region's soil, climate, and precipitation that don't require much-if any-additional irrigation, pesticides, fertilizer, or herbicides to thrive.
Keep Our Water Clean
Most people are unaware that the quality of our rivers, streams, and lakes are threatened each time it rains. Stormwater runoff carries pollutants such as oil, lawn fertilizers, litter and other waste, untreated into our waterways.
Storm Water Runoff
Storm water runoff is the rain that hits the ground and flows off streets, rooftops, and lawns. Storm water is collected by storm drains and drainage swales and flows into streams, rivers, and lakes.
The Problem With Storm Water Runoff Pollution
Storm water runoff picks up pollutants and debris as it flows across rooftops and lawns, streets and parking lots. During periods of rainfall, pollutants are picked up and washed directly into our streams, rivers and lakes. Some of these pollutants include oil and grease, harmful bacteria, fertilizers, toxic chemicals and other contaminants which are harmful to both people and aquatic life. A common misconception is that water running off streets and into a storm drain goes to a wastewater treatment plant. It does not. In fact, stormwater usually receives no treatment.
The Source of all These Pollutants
We all are! The fact is that all of us are part of the stormwater pollution problem. Many of the things that we do on a daily basis including taking care of our lawns, driving our cars, washing our vehicles and walking our pets can contribute to stormwater pollution. In addition, there are several categories of business activities that can pollute stormwater runoff. Since we are all part of the problem, we now have the opportunity to be part of the “solution to stormwater pollution.”
How We Solve the Problem
As the public becomes aware that there are problems with stormwater runoff quality and begins to take action, the water quality of the region’s streams, rivers and lakes will improve. As people learn that the storm drain or swale on their street flows directly into a nearby stream, they will be more interested in what drains to, or what is dumped into, the storm drain or swale. They will also be more likely to support the efforts of their local government to address the problems of stormwater runoff quality in their community.
Top Ten Things You Can Do to Be a Solution to Storm Water Pollution
- Never dump anything down a storm drain or into a drainage ditch.
- Recycle motor oil and other vehicle fluids.
- Throw litter in its place.
- Clean up after your pet.
- Check your vehicles for leaks (repair them!)
- Dispose of household hazardous wastes at designated locations.
- Compost yard clippings.
- Use fertilizer and pesticide only when needed (Read the label!)
- If you wash your vehicle at home, do so on the lawn rather than on pavement.
- Tell a friend or neighbor about how to prevent stormwater pollution and get involved in your community.