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Stormwater: Finding a solution for Rossville’s pollution

Dec 28, 2018

By Jasmine R. Rothman, [email protected]

Catoosa County News

The city of Rossville has been making efforts to prevent stormwater pollution in the area.

Stormwater is water from rain or melting snow that doesn’t soak into the ground. This includes water from rooftops, paved areas, and sloped lawns. As it flows, the stormwater carries debris such as animal waste, chemicals and pesticides, litter, oil, and other pollutants.

The rainwater carrying these pollutants runs into our drains and sewers, which eventually empty the polluted water into our rivers and streams. This is known as stormwater pollution.

One important fact to note is that a sanitary sewer system and a storm sewer system are not the same. The water that goes down our drains is sent directly to wastewater treatment or sewer treatment.

The water that flows into storm sewers goes directly into our rivers, lakes, streams, and other bodies of water. The most obvious issue that arises from this is the detriment it has on wildlife such as fish and plants, affecting their habitats.

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There are many types of pollutants that make it into our storm drains. Some common pollutants are animal waste, litter, motor oil, yard clippings (including fertilizers and pesticides), and soapy water from car washes.

All this new information raises a question: What can we do to help?

Officials from the city of Rossville released an informational sheet detailing “ten things you can do to be a solution to stormwater pollution.”

Included in the list are the following:

--Never dump anything on the street, down a storm drain, or in a drainage ditch.

--Scoop after your pet. Bag it and throw it away in the trash.

--Compost grass clippings and leaves, or bag them for curbside collection.

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--Use fertilizers and pesticides sparingly.

--Check your vehicles for leaks and repair.

--Reduce, reuse, and recycle the amount of cleaning chemicals used at home.

--Recycle motor oil and other vehicle fluids.

--Throw litter in its proper disposal bin.

--Wash cars at a commercial car wash or on a grassy area, not your driveway.

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Tell a friend or neighbor about how to prevent stormwater pollution and get involved.

There is no quick solution to this problem, but these small efforts can make a difference. Annually, the US Army Corps of Engineers dredges 83 million cubic yards of sediment linked to pollution sources at a cost of 180 million.

Violations or questions should be directed to the city of Rossville at 706-866-1325.

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