Oil stains on your driveway and outdoor spills of antifreeze, brake fluid, and other automotive fluids are easily carried away by a rainstorm. Routine maintenance can prevent your car from leaking and help identify potential leaks. Pans, carpet scraps, and matting can also catch drips.
Never dump used oil, antifreeze, or gasoline down a storm drain, in a ditch, or on the ground. These wastes will end up in a nearby lake or stream, or they may pollute your drinking water.
Most households store lawn and garden products like weed killers, insect killers, and fertilizers. If these products reach stormwater or floodwater systems, it can transport them into surface water and possibly to your drinking water.
Pool chemicals, salt for water softeners, and a wide variety of other chemical products can also cause trouble if they washed into the system. Keeping such products in waterproof containers and storing them up high and out of the potential path of runoff or floods is important.
When mixing chemicals, try to do so within a washtub so spills will be contained. If you spill chemicals, act quickly to contain and clean up the spill. Using more pesticides or fertilizers than you need only invites problems. Timing of applications is important. Do not apply pesticides if rain is expected within 24 hours.
The risk of stormwater contamination increases if pet wastes are allowed to accumulate in animal pen areas or left on sidewalks, streets, or driveways where runoff can carry them to storm sewers. Droppings may either be buried or wrapped and put in the garbage for disposal.
If left on sidewalks, driveways or roads, grass clippings and other yard wastes will wash away, clogging storm sewers. Rather sweep clippings back onto the grass and compost leaves and garden wastes on your property to recycle nutrients.