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Leading the nation with clean water solutions...



How to get started:


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Disconnect your downspout. Rain from your rooftop may flow indirectly or directly to the storm sewer, or a local waterbody. You can redirect the flow so it goes to your yard or garden.

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Install a rain barrel. Capture your rooftop runoff and store it for future use to water your garden or wash your car.

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Install a rain garden. Rain gardens are landscaped depressions that capture and slowly infiltrate runoff from your rooftop or a paved surface. They not only remove pollutants but are a beautiful alternative to lawns.

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Plant a tree. Trees provide oxygen to breathe, clean the air of pollution, reduce runoff, and when located properly can even lower heating and cooling costs. If you have a stream on your property, consider planting trees along the stream to stabilize the banks, provide shade to stream organisms, and filter pollutants from runoff.

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Pick up after your dog. Dispose of pet waste properly by either flushing it down the toilet, putting it in the trash in a sealed plastic bag, or burying it in your yard.

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Maintain your septic system. Have your septic system inspected every two to three years by a licensed septic tank service contractor, and pumped as recommended by the inspector (generally every 3-5 years). Septic system failures can be costly and also contaminate groundwater and nearby surface waters.

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Landscape with native plants, and if you have a lawn, make it a low-input one. Native plants require less water and fertilizer and are more resistant to pests and disease since they are already adapted to local conditions. Manage your lawn to use the least amount of water, fertilizer and pesticides possible, which also translates into low inputs of your own dollars!

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Properly dispose of household hazardous wastes. This includes many paints, solvents, used motor oil, pesticides, cleaning products and more. These substances should be disposed of at a household hazardous waste collection program or recycling facility, and should not be discarded in the trash, sink or storm drain.

Watershed Organization Icon
Join a local watershed organization!


Still want to do more?

Give the gift of watershed stewardship and donate to the Center for Watershed Protection.

Your generosity helps us protect and restore streams, lakes, rivers, and estuaries around the country.

Donate Now!


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