Snow Melt and Water Quality, Tips for Protecting our Water

Snow Melt and Water Quality, Tips for Protecting our Water

(Ferndale Environmental Sustainability Commission, 3/13/2011)


When snow melts, storm water, which is water that doesn’t soak into the ground or other porous surfaces, is carried UNTREATED from your storm drain to nearby lakes, rivers and streams. The presence of chemicals and other pollutants like fertilizers, pesticides, and fluids from your car that are found on your yard, driveway etc. are carried in the storm water to nearby water bodies where they impact the water quality and the wildlife that depends on it.


In order to be a good steward of our lakes, rivers and streams as the snow begins to melt and springtime approaches, residents should take the following tips into consideration:

~Make sure ALL pet waste is picked up and discarded properly and in a timely manner.


~Make sure all storm drains are cleared of leaves, trash and other matter.


~Pick-up the area around your home and make sure all debris is discarded responsibly, recycled or composted.


~Direct gutter spouts away from paved areas.


~Sweep up any extra salt that is still on your sidewalk, driveway, etc.


~Properly and cautiously clean-up and dispose of any spilled chemicals or contaminants.


~Fill a rain barrel or garbage can with snow and use the melted snow to water house plants. (You can also fill smaller containers like a bucket or watering can with snow and bring it inside for watering house plants.)


~Check your car for any fluid leaks, and make necessary repairs.


~Wash your car at a car wash or on your lawn instead of in your driveway.

~If you fertilize your yard, please make sure to use phosphorous free fertilizers.


~NEVER pour anything down a storm drain. It’s illegal!


For more information please contact the Ferndale Department of Public Works or visit the Clinton River Watershed website ( read about what you can do to manage storm water on your property and protect water quality all year round.


FESC Green Tips and other Environmental information can be found on the City’s website and on the FESC Facebook group page.



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