Public Education and Outreach
General Stormwater and Storm Drain Awareness
When it rains, water is carried into local North Haven streams and waterbodies through catch basins installed on Town and State roadways. This occurs in order to reduce flooding. Rain and stormwater can no longer be absorbed in impervious surfaces such as areas where driveways and parking lots are constructed. Stormwater can cause human health hazards and convey stormwater related pollution due to the actions of the community to Town waterbodies. When pet wastes, hazardous chemicals, oils and other contaminants are left on the grass and/or on the sidewalks and it rains, the resulting stormwater travels to the various catch basins and into pipelines which conveys that water to Town streams and waterbodies. To learn about the different topics related to stormwater and how to prevent stormwater pollution from occurring, please click on the links below.
- Be Riversmart about things you do at home
- General Stormwater and Storm Drain Awareness
- Illicit discharge and water pollution
- Impacts of development on waterways
- Preventing polluted runoff everybody's business
- Protecting water quality from urban runoff
- Step by step- A citizen's guide to curbing polluted runoff
- The monsters of the waterways
- What is a watershed
- Where does all the dirty water go
Household Chemicals and Wastes:
There are many products one uses in his or her household that contain hazardous chemicals. These products include paints, cleaners, car batteries, motor oils, pesticides and more. The local streams can become polluted if one does not properly dispose of these hazardous chemicals. One should not dispose of wastes by dumping the chemicals down the drain or on the ground, into catch basins, or by putting them out with the weekly trash. North Haven residents have options, including Regional Water Authority’s Household HazWaste Central, which is available and FREE to any/all North Haven residents.
One should never dispose of hazardous wastes into the toilets because it can present a hazard to the people living in the home as well as destroy the good bacteria found in septic systems and the Town of North Haven’s Wastewater Pollution Control Facility.
To learn about the different ways one can properly dispose of household chemicals and wastes, please click on the links below.
- Clean water starting in your home and yard
- Household hazardous waste
- Make your home the solution to stormwater pollution
- What happens after the flush
Lawn and Garden Care:
Many people choose to use lawn fertilizers and/or pesticides on their lawns to ensure they have a healthy and more robust lawn. People tend to see only the positive impact that fertilizers have on their respective lawns and gardens. Has anyone ever stopped and thought of the negative impacts that one cannot necessarily see right outside of his or her door? Fertilizers and pesticides that are often used on lawns pollute local North Haven steams and waterbodies. When it rains, these fertilizers and pesticides are often swept into the streets and drain into the catch basins, pipelines and ultimately North Haven’s streams and waterbodies.
There are many ways to reduce the pollution to North Haven’s streams and waterbodies while still using ‘green’ fertilizers and pesticides. To learn more about the different ways one can reduce the amount of pollution related to fertilizers and pesticides which are often deposited into a North Haven stream or waterbody, please click on the links below.
- Green up your lawn not your lakes and rivers
- Starting in your home and yard- Lawn care the environmentally friendly way
- Reduce the need for pesticides and herbicides
- Organic fertilizer fact sheet
Motor Vehicle Care:
Many vehicle maintenance practices can cause stormwater pollution. When it rains, the stormwater runoff can easily pick up oils and greases that have dripped from cars and trucks and metals from spilled fuels. Oils and greases deposited into a North Haven stream or waterbody can cause fish life to be negatively affected. Oils and greases deposited into waterways can clog fish gills, and ultimately decrease the oxygen content in the water, which can harm the aquatic species, fish and animals.
There are a few ways to prevent the streams from becoming polluted. When washing ones car or vehicle, ensure that the wash water does not drain into a catch basin or stream/waterway. One can also use biodegradable detergent when washing his/her vehicle. To learn about the different ways you can prevent your vehicle from polluting the local streams or waterbodies, please click on the link below.
Pet wastes are one of the many contributors to stormwater pollution. Pet wastes that are left on lawns, driveways or sidewalks can be discharged through sheet flow into the various catch basins and ultimately to the Town’s streams and waterbodies conveyed through the pipeline systems. This pollution becomes both a human health hazard and an environmental hazard. There is an easy solution to preventing pet wastes from entering the local streams and waterbodies. The simplest solution is to pick up the pet waste and dispose of it properly. There are a few ways one can dispose of pet wastes. Some of these options include flushing it down the toilet, putting it in with household trash, and burying it in the yard. Cat litter should never be disposed into the toilet.
To learn more about the different ways that pet wastes can pollute the Town’s streams and waterbodies and how to properly dispose of pet wastes, please click on the links below.
Septic System Care:
A septic system is designed to effectively treat household waste where sanitary sewers may not be available. By maintaining a septic system properly, one can save money, protect property values, and keep the neighborhood or area where the septic system is located in a healthy condition. Certain items should never be deposited into a toilet or sink. These items include feminine hygiene products, dental floss, diapers (adult or child), cigarette butts, coffee grounds, cat litter, household chemicals, and pharmaceuticals, just to name a few.
To learn how to properly maintain ones septic system and how a septic system properly functions, please click the links below.
- A Homeowners' Guide to Septic Systems
- Clean waters- Starting in your home and yard-Caring for your septic system
- Do Your Part, Be SepticSmart
- Know your septic system
It is important for children to learn about stormwater and all the different ways they can reduce stormwater pollution. As the ‘next generation’, it is critical for children to practice what they learn at school or through the library about reducing stormwater pollution at their home(s). The link below has a few activities for children to complete that will allow them to learn about stormwater and stormwater pollution prevention.
After the Storm
The link below is to a video called After the Storm. After the Storm presents how polluted runoff threatens watersheds. The video shows examples of what people can do to protect their local streams and waters by reducing the amount of stormwater pollution they create. The video involves three case studies which include Santa Monica Bay, the Mississippi River Basin/ Gulf of Mexico and New York City.
Video: After the Storm
The links below provide an online library of educational material from UConn Nemo’s website and the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s website.