How can I make a difference?

* Select native plants that require less water, fertilizer and pesticide.
* Mulch flower beds to reduce weeds and conserve water.
* Hand pull weeds.
* Plan pest-resistant species or species that attract beneficial insects.
* Compost lawn wastes instead of washing clipping or leaves down the storm drain (Where do I take compost?).
* Avoid putting lawn waste near ditches or creeks.
* Install practices such as rain gardens that filter runoff and promote infiltration. Permeable pavers can be used on top of open-graded stone to create driveways and sidewalks that allow rain to soak into the ground. Allow downspout water an opportunity to soak into the ground (at least a few feet away from foundation) instead of connecting it directly to a storm drain or street gutter.

Pesticides and Fertilizers

* Always follow the label for disposal (Solid Waste Management).
* Avoid overwatering after applications & watch the weather for rain, since most will be washed away
* After application, sweep driveways and sidewalks onto the yard where it can do its work
* Use natural fertilizers such as compost or bone meal
* Use slow release nitrogen fertilizer

Pet Waste

* Place waste in the trash
* If walking the pet, carry a plastic bag and pooper-scooper (be a good neighbor)

Automotive Maintenance

*Routinely check for leaks.
Engine Repair
Brake fluid
* Use kitty litter; saw dust, or wood chips to soak up fluid spills. Be sure to sweep up and dispose properly.
* Recycle Used Motor Oil (Where do I take it?)
* Do not “top off” when fueling your car, truck, motorcycle or any other motorized vehicle.
* Use car wash to clean your vehicle or other motorized vehicles

Household Hazardous Waste

* Follow Label Directions. Use and dispose hazardous household material properly.
* Use the least hazardous products
* Unused household chemicals should be taken to Solid Waste Management for proper dispose.

Septic Systems

* Have your septic tank inspected every 3-5 years.
* Compost your kitchen garbage, not the garage disposal.
* Don’t pour household chemicals down the drain. This could disrupt the septic system’s treatment process and contaminate groundwater.

Show All Answers

1. Why was there an increase in my taxes?
2. How will the money be spent?
3. Why should I have to pay? I live out in the country and have no drainage problems.
4. Doesn't the County already have funding in place for storm water issues?
5. Do residents of Valparaiso, Portage or other Cities & Towns within Porter County have to pay the county storm water fee?
6. What is Storm Water and why is Storm Water Management so important?
7. What is Storm Water runoff?
8. What problems can runoff cause?
9. Who oversees Storm Water Operations?
10. Are sanitary sewers and storm drains the same thing?
11. What is the clean water program?
12. How can I make a difference?