Dispose of household hazardous waste at designated sites.
Brushes used with water-based (latex) paint should be rinsed in the sink. If you have a small amount of paint left in the can, put some absorbent material in the can, and let the paint dry out completely, then put it in the trash. Some paints and solvents contain harmful chemicals and are a threat to aquatic life if they are allowed into the storm sewer system.
Tip: Save and reuse paint thinner and turpentine whenever you can. Leftover paint and paint thinner can be taken to the La Crosse County Hazardous Materials Office for disposal.
Almost every household product that is typically kept out of reach of children is hazardous. Never pour these products down the storm drain because they can be toxic to the environment. Some common household hazardous products include: air freshener, bleach, drain cleaners, furniture polish, hand cleaners, linoleum floor cleaners, metal polishes, toilet boil cleaners and window cleaners. For information on how to dispose of these materials, visit the La Crosse County Hazardous Materials webpage.
Pick up and dispose of pet waste by placing it in a plastic bag and putting it in the garbage, or pick it up with a scooper and flush it down the toilet.
When pet waste is left on the ground, harmful bacteria can be carried away by storm water to contaminate our rivers, lakes and streams.
Direct downspouts to your lawn
Keep your car tuned and repair leaks immediately.
Inspect and maintain your car to keep oil, antifreeze, and other fluids from leaking. Some garages and gas stations will accept used motor oil and antifreeze for recycling, but may charge a fee.
Repair auto's on the lawn or in area where used oil and other contaminants will not get into the street.
Always use a drip pan when performing oil changes outdoors. If you spill motor oil or other fluids, don't hose the spill into the gutter or ditch. Instead, spread kitty litter or oil dry to absorb the spill, then sweep it up and dispose of properly. NEVER dump motor oil, antifreeze, or any other chemicals down the storm drain or in the street. One quart of oil can contaminate 250,000 gallons of water!
Wash your car on the lawn or at the car wash.
When washing your vehicle at home, wash it in the grass to avoid the drainage of cleaners and chemicals into the gutters and storm drains. If water is getting to the street, look for biodegradable soap that is safe for fish and plants.
Provide for adequate construction site erosion control
Install a rain barrel or container to collect and store rainwater from downspouts and rooftops for future use in water lawns and gardens. Generally, a rain barrel is made using a 55-gallon plastic or wooden drum, vinyl garden hose, PVC couplings, a spigot and screen grate to remove debris and keep insects out. Check out information on the La Crosse Utilities Stormwater Credit Policy to see how installing rain barrels may not only help protect our environment, but save you on your Stormwater Fees.
During the summer months, it is estimated that nearly 40% of household water is used for lawn and garden maintenance. With rain barrels collecting rain water and storing it for those times you need it most - during the hot and dry summer months, you can potentially lower water bills and improve the vitality of your flowers, plants, trees and lawn.
A rain garden is a planted depression that allows rainwater runoff from impervious urban areas like roofs, driveways, walkways, and compacted lawn areas the opportunity to be absorbed. This reduces rain runoff by allowing storm water to soak into the ground. Rain gardens can cut down on the amount of pollution reaching rivers, lakes and streams by up to 30%. Check out information on the La Crosse Utilities Stormwater Credit Policy what it entails to install a rain garden and learn how it by doing so, not only helps protect our environment, but can save you on your Stormwater Fees.