At our November meeting we had a special presentation from Anne Saltman of the CNY Regional Planning & Development Board concerning stormwater and how we, as residents, can help prevent water pollution. Stormwater is any runoff that doesn’t get absorbed into the ground after rain or snow melt. Stormwater often carries pollutants from our yards, roofs and roads into our local water resources. As individuals, we can help by following a few simple rules:

  • Clean up after your pets by properly removing their waste.
  • Do not pile raked/gathered leaves on the road. Instead, leave them along the edge of your lawn. However, it is recommended to mow over or mulch your leaves if possible.
  • Do not use lawn fertilizers with phosphorus. You shouldn’t fertilizer your lawn unless it is needed and never fertilize between December 1st and April 1st.
  • Do not use dishwasher detergent that contains phosphorus.

Below is an article with more information, as well as links to brochures on how you can help prevent stormwater pollution. You can also visit the CNY Stormwater Coalition website at

Making a Challenging Issue a Bit Simpler to Understand
Regulated MS4s, SUA, CSO, bioretention … filtering through stormwater terminology can be quite a challenge but when all is said and done, it boils down to a simple message: we all need to work together to protect local water resources.

It’s not difficult to understand that preventing water pollution is easier and less expensive than dealing with the impacts after it occurs. What’s at stake when our waters become polluted? Among other things, our health, aquatic habitat, recreation opportunities, wildlife biodiversity, and many aesthetic benefits associated with clean water resources.

There are many pollutants carried in stormwater runoff. Here in Central New York, phosphorus from lawn fertilizers and sediment from lawns, gardens, construction and home improvement projects are major contributors to water quality impairments. Others include pathogens and bacteria from pet and household and automotive chemicals. When rain and snowmelt washes these pollutants into our local lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands, the impacts can include increased aquatic weed growth and algal blooms, some of which can be harmful to aquatic life and human health. Other less visible impacts include the loss of aquatic habitat and degradation of drinking water quality. With the increasing frequency of intense storms, runoff events are becoming more frequent. As a result, associated impacts including streambank erosion, flooding, and damage to municipal infrastructure and personal property are also on the rise. READ MORE

Brochures On How You Can Help:

Buying Fertilizer? Look For The Zero. Protect Your Waters.

Too Cute To Pollute? Get the Scoop Inside…

Scoop The Poop