Preventing Stormwater Pollution

What would Bay County be without its water? The bays, the many creeks, lakes and reservoir all contribute to make this county what it is and we would be a poorer place without them. But just having water is not enough. If it is polluted, impaired, or unattractive it is no longer an asset. The biggest threat to clean waterways is polluted stormwater. Also, when rain cannot flow freely through the stormwater management system, flooding can be the result. It is not the tidal waters of the bay system that cause the most flooding. It is rainfall from our frequent and sometimes intensely stormy weather.

Fish, frogs and plants all enjoy a good rain. But as rain flows off our rooftops, over our driveways, lawns, and sidewalks, it gathers litter, chemicals, and other pollutants. Rain then becomes polluted runoff water, which poses the number one threat to clean water. All waters that enter the storm drainage system ultimately flows to a natural water body such as a lake, stream, wetland, bay or coastal water. This storm water needs to be able to flow through a clog free drain and come out at the end of the drainage system pollution free.

Pollution Prevention Tips

We all need the rain, so do your part to prevent pollution and to prevent storm drain and drainage ditch clogs that lead to flooding. By taking the actions recommended you will allow the benefits of rain to flow into the drainage system.

  • Don't put soil, grass or leaves into the street or storm drain. Soils and sediments clog waterways making it difficult for plant growth. In addition, they can impede stormwater flow.
  • Both pet waste and faulty septic systems contribute to fecal coliform in our recreational waters. Clean up pet waste and flush it down the toilet or put it in the garbage. Have septic tanks pumped and inspected every 3-5 years so they don't leak.
  • Keep your car working properly so motor oil and fluids don't leak onto roads and into stormwater systems and stormwater bodies.
  • Wash your car at a commercial car wash where wastewater is captured and treated or wash it on the lawn rather than over the driveway.
  • Never pour waste oil or antifreeze on the ground, into the street, or down a storm drain.
  • Take unwanted hazardous household chemicals to a drop off location for proper disposal or recycling. Check out the recycling dropoff sites webpage for locations.
  • Use lawn chemicals wisely and fertilize sparingly. Excess fertilizer flows downstream and often results in algae bloom in ponds and lakes.
  • Litter collects in ditches and waterways after storms. This is a great time for community trash pick up project.
  • Visit other Stormwater Related Links on Stormwater Pollution Control.

Household Chemical Disposal

Bay County runs a recycling program called 'Taklin' Trash: A Guide to Solid Waster Disposal and Recycling in Bay County Florida". To find out more about the program, they can be contacted at 850-236-2213 or visit their webpage.