Water Quality Awareness Month: Three ways to eliminate water pollution

Water Quality Awareness Month reminds us of the vital importance of maintaining clean and safe water sources for ourselves, our communities and the environment. 

Here are three easy ways to help keep our water clean:

  1. Only rain down the drain

As water travels to storm drains, it picks up many pollutants such as motor oil, yard and pet waste, fertilizer and much more which can harm our ponds, lakes and wildlife. 

Eliminate pollutants entering our waterways by avoiding the overuse of lawn fertilizers and keeping automotive fluids and soapy water from traveling from your driveway to a storm drain.

  1. Be a responsible pet owner

Pet waste left on lawns does not break down and fertilize the grass. Pet waste washes into storm drains, ditches and lakes, traveling miles through the water. Harmful bacteria in pet waste can contaminate the water, making it unfit for human contact. 

Avoid disposing of pet waste in storm drain inlets, leaving pet waste on your lawn and rinsing pet waste from kennel floors directly onto the ground. Instead, use waste bags to clean up after pets, placing used bags in the garbage. The City even provides complimentary pet waste bags in parks and along greenways.  

  1. Rake it or leave it

Mulched leaves and grass clippings can add valuable nutrients to lawns, but nutrients from yard waste placed in or near bodies of water or storm drains slowly make their way into the water, causing potentially harmful algae blooms. 

Collect yard waste in paper yard waste bags to be picked up by your private trash hauler, or drop off your yard waste at a composting facility or other designated drop-off location.

More than 70 miles of creeks, streams and rivers flow through Overland Park. You can prevent stormwater pollution by following essential sustainability best practices around your home. Find more tips and resources at opkansas.org.