Tips for Reducing Stormwater Pollution

Throughout the 400 square mile watershed that supplies the Town of Billerica, many pollutants are routinely discharged into the environment through our roadway network and stormwater drainage system. Keeping the roadways and drainage system free from contaminants is a necessary step in protecting our water supply.

Cleaning Up Stormwater
In compliance with the Stormwater Phase II program, Billerica performs many activities that are critical to keeping stormwater clean. Street sweepers pick up sand and winter debris from the streets so that it won’t be washed into storm drains. Storm drains have catch basins, some with sumps to trap heavy particles and hoods to trap oils, that must be cleaned out regularly by the Public Works Department to keep the storm drains clear.

Cleaning up stormwater pollution is a task that the whole community can take part in. Here are some things all of us can do eliminate pollution that damages our watershed:
  • Never dump anything down a storm drain, including pet waste, motor oil, paint, litter, leaves, or sand
  • Don’t block storm drains with refuse or debris
Lawns can contribute stormwater pollutants through fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides. Steps that homeowners can take to reduce stormwater pollution from lawns include:
  • Use fertilizer, pesticides, and herbicides sparingly
  • Try using organic lawn care methods
  • Mow 2 to 3 inches high to encourage dense growth and deter weeds
  • Mulch lawn clippings and leaves
  • Do not over-water your lawn
  • Reduce lawn size by planting rock gardens, shrubs, and trees
  • Replant bare areas to stop erosion
  • Maintain native vegetation along streams and lakefronts
Cars can pollute stormwater with gas, oil, antifreeze, metals, and detergents. Steps that car owners can take to reduce stormwater pollution from cars include:
  • Keep your car well maintained to prevent fluid leaks
  • Recycle motor oil, antifreeze, tires, and batteries
  • Use a commercial carwash or wash your car on the lawn using small amounts of low-phosphate detergents
Additional Tips
Other tips to help clean up stormwater include:
  • Pick up after pets and dispose of droppings in the toilet or trash
  • Aim roof downspouts away from paved surfaces or into a rain
  • Dispose of paint, oil, and other household chemicals at a local hazardous waste collection dispenser
  • Don’t litter - instead recycle paper, cardboard, cans, plastic and glass
  • Start stream teams to help care for neighborhood streams
  • Coordinate neighborhood storm drain marking activities