what you can do

Here are some simple steps we can all take to help

Shovel snow early and often in the winter. Try an alternative to salt.

Properly dispose of household hazardous waste
Never dump items such as motor oil, fuel products, cleaners, paints, pharmaceuticals, and pesticides on the ground or down the drain. They can contaminate groundwater and surface water. 

Use no-phosphorus fertilizer
During watering or rainstorms, unnecessary phosphorus applied to lawns is washed into street storm drains, which empty directly into local waterways. The City of Battle Creek and Calhoun County have ordinances against the use of fertilizers containing phosphorus.

Septic System
If you have a septic system, have it checked every 2–3 years to insure it is working properly. 

Fuel Storage Tanks
Leaking above and underground storage tanks are a major source of contamination. Check both regularly for leaks.

Abandoned Wells
Close any abandoned wells on your property. They can act as conduits for contamination of groundwater.

Only rain in the storm drain
Rainwater and snow melt is the only thing that should wash down our storm drains. Anything else—grass clippings, leaves, motor oil, even fertilizer—is considered an ILLICIT DISCHARGE

Pet waste
Be a responsible pet owner and prevent contamination of the surface water and groundwater we all share by cleaning up anything—“left behind” on your walk.

Leaves and grass clippings
The next time you mow your lawn, mulch, bag, or compost your grass clippings, but don’t let it run into the storm drains. All that grass can end up in our lakes and rivers and release nutrients, which make weeds and algae grow.

Travel Trailer Waste
During the camping season, remember to properly dispose of your black water tank waste at a designated RV sanitary dump station. Improper disposal of waste contaminates the ground and water and leaves the “great outdoors”—not-so-great!

Car washing
Wash cars at a commercial car wash or on the lawn so that wash water can be absorbed and naturally filtered, avoiding streets and storm drains.