Stormwater Management

View of a Creek

What Stormwater Is

Stormwater is any water that flows overland when it rains. It enters storm drains and local waterways like streams, creeks, and ponds. Other types of water that enter the storm drains or flows overland and into local waterways have the potential to affect the quality of our stormwater.

Report a Stormwater Problem

You may be surprised by the things that can become pollutants if they find their way into storm drains, sewers, and creeks. The following can all be damaging:

  • Animal waste
  • Fertilizer/pesticides
  • Litter
  • Motor oil
  • Soapy water from washing cars
  • Yard clippings

If you see or suspect there is a stormwater pollution problem in your neighborhood, please report it by using our ONLINE FORM

Pet Waste

Nobody wants to talk about it but If not disposed of properly, pet waste can put the health of you, your family and your pet at risk. What do you do with Pet Waste? Do you leave it to decay on the sidewalk or on the grass near the street? Many of us have been guilty at one time or another of not picking up our pet’s waste. Maybe you forgot your bag and think you will just pick it up next time. However you may be causing pollution or health problems. Pollutants from improperly disposed pet waste may be washed into the storm drainage system by rain. Storm runoff receives NO treatment. When pet waste is washed into lakes or streams, the waste decays, using up oxygen and sometimes releasing ammonia. Low oxygen levels and ammonia combined with warm temperatures kill fish. Pet waste also contains nutrients that encourage weed and algae growth. Overly fertile water becomes cloudy and green which is very unattractive for water recreation. Pet waste can also carry diseases which could make water unsafe for contact. Parvovirus is just one example.

Now you know why it’s so important to pick up your pet’s waste. But what should you do with the waste you pick up?

1. Flush it down the toilet. The water in your toilet goes to a sewage treatment plant that removes most pollutants before the water reaches a river or stream. To prevent plumbing problems, don’t flush debris or cat litter. Cat feces may be flushed but used litter should be put in a securely closed bag in the trash.

2. Put it in the trash. This is probably the easiest but may not be the best solution. Put waste in a securely closed bag and deposit in trash. Because pet waste may carry diseases, you should not bury it or put it in a vegetable garden. Do not put wastes in a compost pile. The pile won’t get hot enough to kill disease organisms in the waste.

Please always carry plastic bags and dispose of your pet waste properly. Together we can Keep White Settlement Beautiful.

Fertilize Responsiblygrass-clipart-lg

Fertilizer can become a huge problem for our lakes, rivers, and streams. If you use too much or apply at the wrong time it can wash away into our storm drains and waterways. Phosphorous in fertilizers gets carried into lakes and rivers and can result in the growth of algae which causes problems with boating, fishing, and swimming. It also steals oxygen from the water and kills the wildlife.   

Here are some tips and questions you need to ask before fertilizing this year. 

What type of grass? Different grasses need different fertilizers. It also depends on where you live and what soil you have. 

When? How often? Twice a year is usually the standard. Many people follow the early spring starter followed by a mid-season application. To avoid runoff going into our drains do not fertilize before it rains.

Do I even need to? A soil test is the best way to determine if you need to fertilize. These tests determine the amount of nutrients in your lawn. Soil tests should be done every three years. 

How to select a good one? Select based on your soil test results but remember that lawns in Texas usually have more than enough phosphorus and potassium, so phosphorus free fertilizer is best and is the best solution for cutting down on pollution. 

What happens if I don’t? Like people, lawns must have the right supply of minerals and nutrients. If they don’t they will have diseases, insects, weeds and become thinned out gradually. This could cause more storm water runoff, erosion, and soil loss. 

We can all benefit from keeping our water clean. Clean water provides recreation, fish habitats, drinking water and gorgeous landscapes.  Together we can help Keep White Settlement Beautiful.