Stormwater Management - Together, We Can Keep Our Water Clean

Stormwater Management - Together, We Can Keep Our Water Clean

Pollution: We see it on streets, in parking lots, on driveways and lawns. It contaminates our lakes and streams and can taint our drinking water. Stormwater pollution is one of New Jersey’s greatest threats to clean and plentiful water. We can decrease that threat if we all do our part to keep pollution from being carried away by our stormwater collection system.

Sometimes, we may not recognize potential stormwater contaminants when we use or see them. “Contaminants” are things like fertilizers, oils, pesticides, detergents, pet waste and grass clippings. They remain on our lawns or streets until there’s a significant rainfall, when they wash off and end up in our storm sewers and water supply.

We all want clean water, so we share the responsibility for keeping common pollutants out of our stormwater. When we control the ways in which we use or dispose of contaminants, we’re helping to keep our water clean and lower taxpayer costs for cleaning our water.

To help keep our water clean, and to meet state and federal requirements, Fair Lawn has adopted several ordinances to help prevent stormwater pollution. Following these ordinances will result in cleaner water for everyone.

Here are a few easy, common-sense steps we can all take:

Easy Things to Do:

Dispose of yard waste properly.
In addition to polluting the water, yard waste can create blockages to your neighborhood’s storm sewer system, which can lead to flooding.

Keep solid items and things that can float – like leaves – out of storm drain inlets.
Take a look at the storm drains near your property and make sure the areas around them are clear of these types of items.

Apply fertilizers properly and only when necessary.
Fertilizer chemicals can contaminate drinking water, and can kill fish, wildlife, and plants. Our ordinances prohibit applying fertilizer when the soil is saturated or when a rainstorm is predicted.  If fertilizers or pesticides are improperly applied, they can wash off and end up in storm drains that lead directly into waterways.

Clean up after your pet.
Keep harmful bacteria out of our water by cleaning up after pets and properly disposing of pet waste in the trash or toilet. 

Try to control erosion and surface water runoff.
Soil erosion can occur wherever soil is disturbed or surface water is discharged. When eroded, soil quality is reduced, and the soil can wash into the storm sewer system and waterways, causing water pollution. Something as simple as adding mulch or rocks can help prevent erosion and runoff. 

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
Bags, boxes, and containers can have second lives. Help reduce the amount of material that ends up in our landfills and also reduce the litter that could end up in our waterways.

And a Few Don’ts:

Don’t litter.
Litter ends up in our water – whether through stormwater runoff, wind, or by other means. When we dispose of things properly and pick up litter that we see, we all help keep our water clean.

Don’t feed wildlife.
Believe it or not, waste from wildlife can be a significant source of pollution. Feeding wildlife attracts more animals, which leads to more animal waste and harmful bacteria in our waterways.

Don’t put anything other than stormwater into the storm sewer system.
Storm drains are not equipped to handle toxic substances or pollutants – that’s what home drains and toilets are for. Anything other than stormwater that’s dumped or spilled into the storm sewer system may contain pollutants that could contaminate our water. In addition, unnecessary discharges can reduce the effectiveness of the system.

Thank you for helping keep our water clean by reducing stormwater pollution in Fair Lawn. The steps we take now will benefit us, our children, our grandchildren, and future generations.

For information on stormwater-related topics, visit Fair Lawn Engineering or Clean Water NJ.
You may also contact the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection Bureau of Nonpoint Pollution Control at 609-633-7021. 
More information is available at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Website.

One Last Note...Pay Attention:

If you suspect a problem, report it.
Please don’t assume that someone else is aware of a stormwater-related problem that you’ve noticed. When you report a potential problem right away, you lessen the time it takes to remedy that problem.
For non-immediate issues, send us a request for service.
For immediate issues – for example, seeing someone in the process of dumping garbage in a brook or wastewater into a storm drain – call the Fair Lawn Police Department at 201-796-1400.

Together, we can keep our water clean – for our families now, and for generations to come.  Thank you.