Keep pollutants out of storm sewer drains
(Jun 07, 2017)
Every gutter in your neighborhood empties to streams, ditches, lakes and ponds. These water bodies are drinking water supplies, recreational areas and the homes of wildlife.
If you live north of 92nd Avenue, all water accumulated from gutters ultimately flows into Big Dry Creek. If you live south of 92nd Avenue, all water accumulated from gutters ultimately flows into Little Dry Creek.
Westminster has identified six items that impact surface water quality:
- Total suspended solids - metals, minerals and sediment
- Flow volume - increased volume erodes a waterway's habitat
- Nutrients - nitrogen and phosphorus increase the growth of algae in waterways, decreasing the amount of oxygen in the water; these two nutrients may also release ammonia, which is toxic to fish and other aquatic life
- Fertilizers - they contain nitrogen and phosphorus
- Pesticides - pesticides that enter surface waterbodies ultimately impact the environment by killing beneficial insects and small animals, like frogs and minnows that are essential to an effective ecosystem
Simple things you can do to help increase the quality of water in Westminster:
- Wash your car at a commercial car wash.
- Pick up pet waste.
- Decrease the amount of bare area in your yard by planting native plants.
- Store products in their originally labeled containers.
- Keep your vehicle well maintained to stop leaks before they happen.
- Use kitty liter, sawdust or dirt to soak up a spill and put it in the trash. DO NOT wash the spill to the gutter.
- Raise your lawn mower's blade to the highest level to provide shade to your grasses roots and lower the amount of water required.
- Avoid over-watering your grass.
- Use alternatives to pesticides and fertilizers.
- Properly dispose of your household hazardous waste (for more information call 303-706-3362, or visit the Household Hazardous Waste Section).
- After household painting projects, wash brushes and equipment in your sink or shower - DO NOT wash to the gutter.
Report an illegal dumping to the stormsewer
While businesses may have permission from the State of Colorado to discharge into state waters, no business has permission to discharge to the storm sewer conveyance system without prior approval through the city.
If you witness an illegal dumping and it is currently taking place, call 911. If you have questions about permission to discharge, contact Nick Butel, 303-658-2183 or firstname.lastname@example.org. All requests will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
In Westminster, nothing can enter the stormsewer system (gutters and surface water bodies) except for non-chlorinated water and weather related run-off.
Get more information about stormwater protection including the municipal code that restricts dumping in city stormsewers.