Protect Our Water

  • Use Water Wisely & Only When Needed - Keep the untreated rain water for landscape plants and to maintain the natural water table. Make use of rain-barrels, rain-gardens, permeable paving, and/or bio-swales. Collecting rainwater helps to reduce overwhelming the storm sewer capabilities.
  • Street Storm Water Sewers - drain directly to local streams and Lake Erie without any filters or treatment.  Therefore, DO NOT pour any liquids down the street storm water sewers. This ban includes oils, antifreeze, soaps, fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. All these items have negative environmental effects. The lake is our source of drinking water and contamination can have effects on public health.
  • Don't Dump Yard Waste in Streams or Lake -  Dumping leaves, grass clippings, or other items in the stream and lake contributes to nutrification of the lake water which, in turn, causes unnatural algal blooms.  When these algae die, their breakdown depletes the lake water of oxygen and creates dead zones. The dead zones cannot support aquatic life and, therefore, disrupts the balance of life in Lake Erie. The lake is our source of drinking water and its health can have effects on our own health.
  • Do Not Flush Prescription Drugs and Medicines Down the Toilet – unless the label specifically indicates that as the only proper disposal method. Wastewater treatment facilities cannot adequately filter these medicines out of sewage before it is dumped into the lake. Therefore, it has the potential to contaminate drinking water supplies. Instead, follow the FDA guidelines for proper medicine disposal found here: http://www.fda.gov/forconsumers/consumerupdates/ucm101653.htm
  • Wash Car On Lawn – Regular car wash soaps will not harm the lawn and will keep it greener with the extra water. The goal here is to avoid having the runoff go into the street storm sewers because the soaps act as a fertilizer and contribute to the nutrification issue described in the previous tip.
  • Raise the Height of your Mower – Mowing lawns on the mower’s highest setting helps the grass shade the soil, which in turn, keeps the soil from drying out in the summer. This ultimately requires less water to keep your lawn green and healthy. Additionally, the longer grass helps crowd out weeds. This style of trimming is recommended by landscaping experts and does not require any more frequent trimmings than if you had cut the grass at a lower setting.
  • Pick Up After Your Pet – Pet waste is a contributor to local water quality issues in our streams and at Huntington and Columbia Beaches. Waste left in our yards is carried by rainwater into our storm sewers.  These sewers drain directly into our streams and Lake Erie without any treatment. Pick up the dog droppings with a biodegradable bag and place it in your regular trash.  More information is available from the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District website at http://wheredoesitgo.weebly.com/
  • Use a Rain Barrel on Your Property – These can prevent the flushing of pollutants into our streams and lake.  Additionally, they provide a free water source for watering your gardens. Workshops are offered yearly in Bay Village. Participants will leave the workshop with a fully functional, and ready to install, rain barrel. Visit http://www.cuyahogaswcd.org/RainBarrels.htm for details.
  • Install Low Flow Shower Heads - Take advantage of the Columbia Gas rebates. Columbia Gas offers low flow shower heads and programmable thermostats at reduced costs. They also offer rebates if you purchase qualified models on your own. Both upgrades help you use energy more efficiently. This translates directly into dollars saved. Check out your Columbia Gas rebate options and subsidized purchase options here: http://www.energyfederation.org/columbiagasohio/default.php
  • Install Alternative to Low-Flow Shower Heads - If you don’t want a low flow shower head, you may like this simple and green alternative. Instead, add a flow control valve to your existing shower head for under $15. This will allow you to vary the amount of water flow while showering. Dial the valve to save water when appropriate.  Check your local hardware store for this flow control valve or buy it here: http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3702383