University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Facilities offers tips for storm water pollution prevention

It is great to see things warming up around campus, but warmer air also means moisture in those clouds. Rain makes up an integral part of our ecosystem. Falling from high above, it cascades over the landscape. It then trickles into small streams, eventually flowing into larger bodies of water. When rain falls into developed land, organized storm drain systems funnel it out of the area. Everything works like a charm, until those storm drains become polluted. These pollutants can be anything from fertilizers, grass clippings, and pet waste, to automotive fluids, construction materials, and soaps.

Contaminants that end up in the storm drains are carried off, untreated, to water bodies used for drinking, swimming, or fishing.

Here are ten helpful habits to reduce the amount of harmful pollutants entering storm drains this summer season:

• Use fertilizers sparingly and sweep up driveways, sidewalks, and roads.
• Never dump anything down a storm drain.
• Vegetate bare spots in your yard.
• Compost your yard waste.
• Avoid pesticides: learn about Integrated Pest Management (IPM). For more information, go to
• Direct down spouts away from paved surfaces. Placing the down spout toward a grassy area will filter out any unwanted debris.
• Take your car to the car wash instead of washing in the driveway.
• Check car for leaks and recycle motor oil.
• Pick up after your pet (except for fish).
• Have your septic tank pumped and system inspected regularly.

If you have any questions, please call Larry Zitzow, director of Facilities Management, at 777.2594.

-- Debbie Merrill, Facilities, 777.4878,

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