What Can I Do
By following these tips, you can help prevent erosion, pollution and even flooding.
Use Stormwater for Your Lawn & Garden
You can do some things to control stormwater runoff and at the same time beneficially use this water for your lawn and garden. The basic idea is to allow the stormwater from your home’s hard surfaces to spread out and absorb into the ground or your lawn before it enters the stormwater drainage system. One simple way to do this is to let your roof downspouts discharge to your yard instead of piping it underground to the nearest stream, stormwater inlet, or street curb. Allowing the water to absorb into the ground or run across your lawn allows natural filtration and reduces the flow entering the nearby stream.
Consider Building a Rain Garden
If you are planning on installing a garden or a landscaping project, consider constructing a rain garden, which uses native plants and also can absorb rainwater into the ground and reduce stormwater runoff. Rain gardens are also an excellent choice for the low spot in your yard that holds water. Instead of filling the area in and allowing the water to flow away, capture the water in your new beautiful rain garden, which can provide color to your lawn year-round. This Rain Garden Poster (PDF) explains more about rain gardens. Download this Rain Garden Flyer (PDF) to help you plan your own rain garden. Learn more at the Grow Native website.
The City of St. Peters rain garden pictured captures stormwater from the St. Peters Rec-Plex South building and nearby trail seen in the photo. Rain gardens are shallow depressions landscaped with perennial flowers and native vegetation that soak up rainwater after a storm, rather than having it run off to a storm drain or stream.
Rain barrels are another great way that you can capture roof runoff and beneficially use the rainwater for watering outside plants and lawns on dry days. Using captured rainwater can reduce your water bill, too. Rain barrels are available for sale at a number of local St. Peters businesses.
Don't Dump Waste, Period
Throw away all trash where it belongs. Learn more about solid waste disposal in St. Peters. In St. Peters, we make trash disposal, recycling and yard waste easy with curbside service. St. Peters residents also can drop off yard waste at Earth Centre for free. And, you can recycle items at St. Peters' Recycle City facility or St. Charles County's Recycle Works.
This Fall 2011 My Hometown Magazine Story (PDF) called "Stormwater and You: What you choose to do can be the difference between water flowing-and disaster" has great information and some photos of what happens when we don't properly dispose of waste, including lawn clippings, brush and tree limbs.
Don't Shoot Your Grass Clippings Into the Street & Sidewalk
Point your mower so that it throws grass clippings onto your yard, not the street. To further reduce yard waste, use a mulching mower. For the best results for your lawn, "cut it high and let it lie." This means that when you mow the lawn, you cut it at a higher length so that the grass clippings mulch your lawn but won't choke your lawn. Alternatively, you could mow lower but more often. Taller blades of grass shade the ground, which reduces the need for lawn irrigation.
Recycle Your Hazardous Wastes
Recycle your hazardous wastes such as household chemicals, paints, motor oil, cooking oils, etc. Learn more about where you can recycle hazardous wastes.
Don't Allow Soil to Erode Your Property
Sediment is also a pollutant in streams. Keep up your lawn and use landscaping to avoid bare spots. Pollutants attach themselves to sediment, which is then carried to streams through stormwater runoff.
Report Illegal Dumping
Illegal dumping is dumping of any waste upon any public right-of-way, City property or private property, without consent of the owner.
You can join hundreds of other local people who help pick up trash during our Clean Stream Days. Other volunteer options include picking up trash on a regular basis through the City of St. Peters' Adopt-A-Road, Adopt-A-Stream and Adopt-A-Road programs, or you can help plant trees to stabilize stream banks.