University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

Facilities offers tips for storm water pollution prevention

It is great to see the colorful leaves hanging around campus, but those leaves will also find their way into small streams and eventually flow into larger bodies of water. When rain or snow 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 leaves, grass and shrubbery clippings, and pet waste, to automotive fluids, and construction materials.

Contaminants that end up in the storm drains are carried off, untreated, to water bodies used for drinking or fishing. Here are ten helpful habits to reduce the amount of harmful pollutants entering storm drains this fall:

― Use fertilizers sparingly and sweep up driveways, sidewalks, and roads.
― Never dump anything down a storm drain.
― Recycle grass clippings on your lawn.
― Do not blow leaves or grass clippings off your property. The fewer leaves that make it to the street, the better.
― 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 a commercial car wash where dirty water is filtered for reuse.
― 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, 777.2594.

-- Debbie Merrill, Facilities, 777.4878,

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