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
- “Protect our Lakes and Streams: Help Stop Polluted Runoff”
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- UW-Extension’s clean water publications
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.