Protecting the Chesapeake Bay

When it rains, a portion of the rainwater, or stormwater, flows over the land into the storm drain and discharges directly to our streams, rivers, and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. Unlike sewage, stormwater is not treated before it discharges to the stream. As it travels over land, stormwater comes in contact with many substances. These substances may have a significant impact on the storm drain system and stream water quality. Effects include flooding, clogging, property damage and endangerment to aquatic life, recreation and drinking water.

Examples of stormwater pollutants

  • Motor oil
  • Oil filters
  • Antifreeze/transmission fluid
  • Paint
  • Solvent/degreaser
  • Cooking grease
  • Detergent
  • Home improvement waste (concrete, mortar, etc.)
  • Pet waste
  • Yard waste (leaves, grass, mulch and tree branches)
  • Excessive dirt and gravel
  • Trash
  • Construction debris
  • Pesticides and fertilizers
  • Other substances

Things you can do

  • Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly
  • Repair auto leaks
  • Use recycling centers for disposal of household hazardous waste, used auto fluids (antifreeze, oil, etc) and batteries
  • Clean up after your pet
  • Use a commercial car wash or wash your car on an unpaved surface
  • Sweep up yard debris rather than hosing down areas; compost or recycle yard waste when possible