Did you know that once every two and a half minutes someone calls a poison control center to report exposure to a household cleaning substance?1 Over half of these calls involve the exposure of a child under five years old.2 Most of us have several different kinds of toxic substances in our homes, including cleaning supplies, paint thinner, pesticides, etc. Not only are these products toxic while inside your home, if not disposed of properly, they can also be toxic to the environment. Continue reading Household Hazardous Wastes
Note: This post describes the rain garden demonstration project which was installed in Scottsbluff in July 2010 with the help of the UNL Extension Stormwater Team. The garden is located on the corner of 19th Street and Avenue B.
Step 1 Choosing the Site
Rain gardens are designed to catch runoff from roofs, driveways, streets, sidewalks, or other areas of the lawn. This was an excellent site for a rain garden because of the downspout that drains into the area. Minimum work was needed to channel the runoff into the rain garden. Continue reading How to Install a Rain Garden
- Review your home for stormwater handling. If your gutter, downspout, driveway or deck directly discharges into a water body, retrofit it by redirecting the runoff onto a grassy area or installing a berm/swale system. Or even install a Rain Barrel.
- Design your landscaping to limit water use. Install a Rain Garden.
- If you have an irrigation system, make sure it is in good working order and limit its use to actual watering needs. Install rain sensors into your irrigation system.
- Consider replacing impervious surfaces like sidewalks, decks and driveways around your home with more pervious materials or methods like mulch, turf block, pervious concrete or clean stone.
- Retain shrubby vegetation along waterfronts to prevent erosion and help stop heavy rain sheetflow.
- Never dispose of oils, pesticides or other chemicals onto driveways, roadways or storm drains. The next rain will either carry it into a surface water or help it soak into our drinking water.
- Reduce the amount of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides you apply to your lawn and landscaping. What the plants can’t absorb quickly usually results in surface or groundwater pollution.
- Use environmentally friendly cleaning products — and continue to dispose of them in the proper manner.
- Educate friends and family on the importance of proper waste disposal.
- Attend community meetings and citizen panels, and voice your concerns. Continue reading More Ways to Help the Initiative
Easy tips for keeping our water clean
Litter disposed of in a storm drain can choke, suffocate and disable aquatic life. Dispose of your litter by throwing it in a trash can or recycling it. In addition, do your part by properly disposing of litter you find in the street or on the sidewalk.
- Washing your car
Washing your car in the driveway creates a runoff of soap and other chemicals that ends up in the nearest storm drain. You can either take your car to a self-service car wash, which is designed with special drains for proper disposal, or wash your car on your lawn. The dirt below will act as a filter for the soap.
- Pet waste
Pet waste dumped in storm drains goes straight into your rivers and lakes, contaminating the water. Continue reading What You Can Do to Help
What is a rain garden?
A rain garden is a garden of native shrubs, perennials, and flowers planted in a small depression, which is generally formed on a natural slope. It is designed to temporarily hold and soak in rain water runoff that flows from roofs, driveways, patios or lawns.
We’ve assembled this list of retailers that specialize in rain barrels. Continue reading Where to Buy Rain Barrels
What are they?
A rain barrel is any above ground container modified to receive, store, and distribute rooftop runoff for non-drinking uses. The typical size of a rain barrel is 55 gallons. The main components of a rain barrel are a connection to the downspout, a filter to prevent mosquitoes from entering, a faucet to allow for regulated usage, and an overflow pipe to divert the excess water. Continue reading Rain Barrels
We have made several commercials that have aired on television to promote and educate people about keeping our waters clean. Here are a few of them: