Vehicle & Garage
Use a commercial car wash or wash your car on a lawn or other unpaved surface to minimize the amount of dirty, soapy water flowing into the storm drain and eventually into your local waterbody.
Check your car, boat, motorcycle, and other machinery and equipment for leaks and spills. Make repairs as soon as possible. Clean up spilled fluids with an absorbent material like kitty litter or sand, and don't rinse the spills into a nearby storm drain. Remember to dispose of the material properly.
Recycle used oil and other automotive fluids at participating service stations. Don't dump these chemicals down the storm drain or dispose of them in your trash.
Lawn & Garden
Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly. When use is necessary, use these chemicals in the recommended amounts. Avoid application if the forecast calls for rain; otherwise, the rain will wash the chemicals into your local stream.
When choosing plants, select native plants and grasses that are drought- and pest-resistant. Native plants require less water, fertilizer, and pesticides.
Sweep up yard debris rather than hosing down areas. Compost or recycle yard waste when possible.
Don't overwater your lawn. Water during the cool times of the day, and don't let the water runoff into the storm drain.
Cover piles of dirt and mulch being used in landscaping projects to prevent these pollutants from blowing or washing off your yard and into local water bodies. Vegetate bare spots in your yard to prevent soil erosion.
Home Repair & Improvement
Before beginning an outdoor project, locate the nearest storm drains and protect them from debris and other materials.
Sweep up and properly dispose of construction debris such as concrete and mortar.
Use hazardous substances like paints, solvents, and cleaners in the smallest amounts possible, and follow the directions on the label. Clean up spills immediately, and dispose of the waste safely. Store substances properly to avoid leaks and spills.
Purchase and use nontoxic, biodegradable, recycled, and recyclable products.
Clean paint brushes in a sink, not outdoors. Filter and reuse paint thinner when using oil-based paints. Properly dispose of excess paints through a household hazardous waste collection program, or donate unused paint to local organizations.
Reduce paved area and increase the amount of vegetated area in your yard. Use native plants in your landscaping to reduce the need for watering during dry periods. Consider directing downspouts away from paved surfaces onto lawns and other measures to increase infiltration and reduce polluted runoff.
For other helpful tips to protect stormwater in your yard and community, please see these brochures listed below:
- DuPage County Stormwater Publications - click here for the brochure
- Lower Des Plaines Watershed Group - click here for the brochure
To report a waterway issue in our community, please call Public Works or submit a citizen's request