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Stormwater Solutions for Homeowners Fact Sheet: Minimizing Contaminants

Find fact sheets on techniques to control runoff and reduce stormwater contamination, developed by the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM).

The Stormwater Solutions for Homeowners fact sheets—developed by CZM as part of the Coastal Water Quality Program—give property owners a variety of options to effectively reduce runoff pollution and other stormwater impacts to local waters.

    Fact Sheet Summary

    minimizing contaminants fact sheet cover

    This fact sheet discusses how to minimize household contaminants—such as oil from automobiles, toxins from pesticides and cleaning products, soils and other sediments from landscaping activities, and bacteria from pet waste and septic systems—which can contribute to stormwater pollution. Simple changes at home, from reducing fertilizer use to properly disposing of batteries and other hazardous household products, can help keep inland and coastal waters clean. These common-sense practices can also be combined with vegetated buffers, rain gardens, vegetated swales, and other stormwater solutions to further protect local water quality.

    For the complete PDF version of the fact sheet, download Stormwater Solutions for Homeowners Fact Sheet: Minimizing Contaminants (PDF, 3.2 MB).

    Other Available Stormwater Solutions Fact Sheets

    Fact sheets are currently available on these techniques:

    • Vegetated Buffers - Trees, shrubs, high grasses, perennials, and other vegetation can be strategically planted to help slow, capture, and filter runoff and reduce stormwater impacts.
    • “Green” Lawn and Garden Practices - Environmentally friendly yard care methods—such as planting native species, conserving water, and reducing fertilizer and chemical use—help to protect water quality and can save time and money.
    • Rain Gardens - Rain gardens are specially designed and planted depressions in the ground that collect, filter, and treat stormwater.
    • Vegetated Swales - Vegetated swales are channels with moisture-loving plants and amended soils that intercept, treat, and slowly convey stormwater runoff to where it can be effectively infiltrated.
    • Reducing Impervious Surfaces - Impervious surfaces (such as asphalt driveways and concrete patios) allow greater volumes of stormwater to flow quickly offsite, carrying contaminants and causing local flooding and erosion. Replacing impervious surfaces with gravel driveways, planted areas, and other options that infiltrate or absorb water can significantly reduce stormwater problems.
    • Preventing Erosion - Stormwater can carry sediments that fill storm drains, obstruct channels, smother wetlands, and cause other water quality and habitat impacts. Erosion and sediment controls can help slow and redirect stormwater, reducing erosion and capturing sediments and attached pollutants on site.

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