Protecting Our WaterHow You Can Help
What You Can Do at Home
Properly Dispose of Household Hazardous Waste
For a complete list of hazardous household waste items, click the button below!
Pesticides, Herbicides & Cleaners
Never dump items such as cleaners, paints, pharmaceuticals, and pesticides on the ground or down the drain. They can contaminate groundwater and surface water.
Motor Oil & Fuel Products
Motor Oil can be disposed of for FREE at your local auto store! Oil and fuel products can also be taken to an upcoming HHW event.
If you have oil-based paint, your label will say “alkyd,” “oil-based,” and “caution: combustible.” The label will mention “mineral spirits,” “soya oil,” “aliphatic hydrocarbons,” or “petroleum distillates.”
Latex Paint (water-base) may be dried out with kitty litter or saw dust and placed in your garbage cart for disposal. This is not considered hazardous material.
Medications & Pharmaceuticals
If you have expired, unused or unwanted medications, properly disposing of them helps to protect the environment. It also helps to protect our community against prescription drug abuse, addiction, and accidental or intentional overdose.
Pet waste can act as a fertilizer in surface water, triggering algal growth and decreased oxygen levels. Plus it’s full of bacteria that can be harmful to human health. 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.
Excess salt can run off paved surfaces into surface and groundwater increasing chloride concentrations to levels harmful to the aquatic environment and our drinking water. One tsp. of salt permanently pollutes 5 gal of water. One 12oz. coffee cup full is enough for 10 sidewalk spaces.
FROG: Fats, Rags, Oil & Grease
Those so called “flushable” wipes are not so flushable! Only poo, pee, toilet paper and wash water are acceptable to go down the drains. Any wipes, grease, oils or fats that are flushed or rinsed down your drains can eventually cause backups into your home, which can be very expensive.
Only Rain in the Storm Drain
Rain water and snow melt are the only things that should wash down our storm drains. Anything else—grass clippings, leaves, motor oil, and fertilizer—is considered an illicit discharge. Storm water travels UNTREATED to lakes, rivers or wetland.
Keep Leaves Out of the Road
When it rains, leaves in the roadway will flow to the nearest waterway through a storm inlet leading to a release of nutrients that cause algae blooms & weeds to grow. This can be harmful to the environment. Built up leaves in the roadway can also cause localized flooding. Adopt a storm inlet near you and help keep our clean water, CLEAN!
Conserving Water: Check for Leaks
Conserving Water: More Ways
Fuel Storage Tanks
Leaking above and underground storage tanks can be a major source of contamination. Check all tanks on your property regularly for leaks.
If you have a septic system, have it checked every 2–3 years to insure it is working properly. Improperly maintained septic systems can leach harmful nutrients and bacteria into the surface and groundwater. For information on how to care for your septic system, please visit: EPA.gov.
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.
Close any abandoned wells on your property. They can act as conduits for contamination of groundwater.
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!
Use No-Phosphorus Fertilizer
In 2012, the State of Michigan banned the use of fertilizer containing phosphorus for residential use with a few exceptions (new turf and where soil tests show deficiency). Fertilizers list their nutrient with three numbers in order as Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium. For example, a fertilizer listed as 5-10-10 has 5% nitrogen, 10% phosphorus and 10% potassium. So, be sure to choose a fertilizer with a middle number of 0.