Keeping stormwater clean is all about the little everyday actions that add up over time. Storm water health is key to making sure our lakes, rivers, and streams remain clean and usable.
Clean Water Tip #1: Scoop Your Dog’s Poop
You hate stepping in it, and fish hate swimming in it, too! Regularly scoop your dog’s poop from public areas and your backyard, before it washes into our waterways.
Clean Water Tip #2: Catch Your Rain
Clean Water Tip #3: Test Your Soil and Read Your Fertilizer Labels
Clean Water Tip #4: Bag or Compost Your Grass
In the spring, bag your grass clippings for curbside pickup. You can download and view the 2021 collection schedule here. Even better, compost them to make a natural fertilizer for your garden.
You can purchase a compost bin from the Medford DPW throughout the year. But whatever you do, don’t dump them in a storm drain or leave them on the sidewalk!
When grass clippings decay in your composter, that’s healthy fertilizer. But when they rot in our streams, that’s water pollution!
There are more ways you can help!
Be aware of illegal dumping.
If you are unsure whether or not that the dumping is illegal, contact the Office of Planning, Development, and Sustainability at (781) 393-2480.
To report someone call Medford’s Code Enforcement Officer Dennis McDonald at (781) 393-2510.
The best way to wash your car is to bring it to a professional car wash. These facilities have infrastructure to deal with excess amounts of waste water. If you want to do it at home, try washing your car on your lawn or in a place where the water will flow into a permeable surface. Also try using biodegradable/non-toxic soap or no soap at all.
Wash your car in an environmentally friendly way.
Make your driveway permeable.
Asphalt and/or concrete create an impervious surface, causing an increase in stormwater runoff. Permeable pavers are a great alternative that allows water to seep through the pavement and soak into the ground below. This significantly lowers the amount of stormwater runoff. They come in many different styles — they even come in pavement form! You can also consider using brick, gravel, cobblestones, and natural stone as substitutes for concrete.
What can YOU do to keep your pavement safe while also keeping your water clean?
- Use de-icer (sodium acetate, potassium acetate, and calcium magnesium acetate) instead of salt (sodium chloride, calcium chloride, and magnesium chloride)
- Shovel early and often. Remove as much snow and ice as you can, and only use de-icer on what you can’t take care of with a shovel
- Follow product instructions and only use as much de-icer as you need. More is not better.
- For heavy snowfalls, shovel early and often to avoid the snow compacting and forming ice.
- For wet snow or sleet and freezing rain, apply de-icer product early on to prevent snow from bonding or ice from building up.