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What you can do

Nonpoint Source Pollution

The best way for you to become a solution to NPS pollution is to make your home a pollution-free zone. To start, try some of these helpful hints.

  • Reduce the quantity and toxicity of what you buy. Try using less toxic alternatives.
  • Read labels and use recommended amounts. More is not necessarily better and can lead to serious problems.
  • Keep products in their original containers with warning labels and directions.
  • Be sure to recycle used motor oil, anti-freeze and used batteries. Never dump anything into the storm sewer! It goes directly to a nearby lake, river, stream or wetland.
  • Try to protect and enhance wetlands on your property. Wetlands act as a filter to trap sediment, nutrients and toxins running off the land. Contact the DNR about managing your wetland.
  • Plant a rain garden. Visit Rain gardens: a beautiful way for you to reduce runoff pollution!
  • When caring for your lawn, apply fertilizer at the proper time and rate so that you use the smallest amount necessary.
  • Avoid getting pesticides and fertilizer on sidewalks and driveways, where they can easily be washed into storm drains.
  • Mow your grass with a sharp blade set at the correct height. Try not to mow more than a third of the grass height. Any more cutting will diminish your grasses nutrient reserves and stress your lawn’s health.
  • Keep litter, pet wastes, leaves and debris out of street gutters and storm drains — these outlets drain directly to lake, streams, rivers and wetlands.
  • Leave your grass clippings on the lawn. It will act as a natural fertilizer and save you money.

Learn more about what you can do to help reduce runoff pollution

Boating and fishing tips

Here are some tips for protecting water quality while boating and fishing.

  • Maintain your motor. Poorly maintained motors leak oil and gas.
  • Don’t “top off” your gas tank when refueling — it may spill and contaminate the water.
  • Observe “no-wake” zones, which are designed to reduce shoreline erosion.
  • Recycle used motor oil; never pour it down a storm drain!
  • Switch to non-toxic boat paints and anti-fouling compounds. Don’t sand your hull near water. Use a drop cloth to capture old paint chips.
  • Never throw trash overboard.