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Reducing Runoff: Stormdrain Markers and Rain Barrels

Pomperaug River Watershed Coalition received grant funding from First Light Power Resources and Connecticut Community Foundation which allowed for the purchase of 1000 new stormdrain markers. PRWC and the Youth Conservation Corps strategically installed 470 markers on 36 roads in Woodbury, Bethlehem, and Southbury to address areas near local streams classified as impaired by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). The markers, which have the appearance of a sticker, act as a reminder to residents to be mindful of storm water runoff. Impervious surfaces such as roads and rooftops carry unabsorbed water and often pollutants such as fertilizers, litter, oils, pesticides, and other unwanted waste into waterways that can harm water quality and pollute the watershed. Since this water is not treated, stormdrains often carry polluted water to our ponds, lakes, streams, and the Long Island Sound!

Take action to help improve water quality:

  • Use less fertilizers and pesticides on your lawn – mow high and let it lie, opt for non-toxic.

  • Don’t litter – recycle what you can, secure your trash, and pick up litter.

  • Properly dispose of pet waste - bag it and place in garbage receptacle, or bury it.

  • Recycle used motor oil and antifreeze at a used oil collection and recycling center.

  • Take hazardous household materials to authorized collection sites. Check out the Connecticut DEEP website for collection days and locations.

  • Wash your car on the lawn and use a vegetable based liquid soap - or bring it to a commercial car wash where grease and grit is trapped and water is recycled.

  • Limit sand and salt use.

  • Visit the RiverSmart website to learn more and to take the RiverSmart Pledge today!

As part of a River Network program, PRWC hosted six ‘Project Rain Barrel’ workshops over the past year, which resulted in 71 rains barrels put into use; each barrel diverts upwards of 1,300 gallons of runoff a year for a total diversion of 92,300 gallons of runoff. Rain barrels help to reduce runoff and provide clean water for car washing, watering plants, gardens, and more. Coca-Cola Foundation and Walker Road Vineyards in Woodbury both donated 40 to 55 gallon barrels that workshops attendees repurposed using Rain Recycle Diverter Kits, while they learned about the benefits of and how to use their rain barrel. Don’t forget to winterize your barrel by bringing it inside or disconnecting the spout and draining all the excess water to avoid cracking from expanding ice this winter!

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