10july13 bishop---A home stands dry as rising waters on Rt 303 work closer and closer to the house. Many homes in that area were in danger of flooding

10july13 bishop—A home stands dry as rising waters on Rt 303 work closer and closer to the house. Many homes in that area were in danger of flooding

Each and every one of us lives in a watershed!  A watershed is an area of land in which all of the water drains into the same place.  In Streetsboro and 23 other communities within the Tinker’s Creek Watershed, all of the water drains into Tinker’s Creek, then to the Cuyahoga River, and ultimately to Lake Erie!  It is your responsibility to do your part to protect the water quality and habitats of your watershed!

Reduce Runoff and Erosion:  By minimizing and decreasing the amount of impervious surface on your property, like impermeable pavements, you can help increase groundwater infiltration and decrease the amounts of runoff leaving your property.  Instead of connecting your downspout to the storm sewer, capturing rain water using a rain barrel or cistern can help reduce runoff and your water utility bill!  Captured rainwater can be used for outdoor irrigation!  Plants actually prefer rainwater to tap water as well.  Planting appropriate riparian vegetation along waterways can help hold the soil in place and reduce erosion as well.

As you may have noticed, State Route 303 in Streetsboro is prone to flooding!  Urban flooding can occur when groundwater infiltration is limited by impervious surfaces.  Cutting rainwater off from the soil and decreasing infiltration rates leaves the rainwater few other places to go, leaving much of the runoff to collect on highways and parking lots.  Flooding is dangerous to both infrastructure and humans.  Do your part to help decrease the frequency and magnitude of these flood events by installing rain barrels or permeable pavement, and encourage your neighbors to do the same!

Keep Stormwater Clean:  Every time it rains, pollutants like fertilizer, gasoline, or other chemicals are carried into streams and other water bodies with stormwater.  The chemicals you use have a direct impact on the quality of stormwater.  Reducing your use of fertilizer, pesticides, and other chemicals on your yard can help prevent excess nutrient inputs that may lead to eutrophication or other ecosystem disturbances.

Properly Dispose of Trash:  Stormwater and wind can carry plastic bottles and bags, aluminum cans, and other litter far distances.  The empty water bottle you toss out of your car window could easily end up in a stream or lake.  A lot of litter, like plastic, takes an extremely long time to degrade and is likely to be consumed by animals before degradation.  Be sure to recycle when possible and always properly dispose of trash.  Using reusable bottles, plates, and other materials can help reduce the amount of trash you produce overall as well!

Be aware of how to properly dispose of your pharmaceutical and household hazardous wastes.  Improper disposal of these materials poses a serious threat to water quality and fish populations, among others.  Never flush your pharmaceuticals down the drain, and deliver any hazardous wastes to proper disposal locations to prevent leaching of these materials in landfills.

Reduce Water Use:  The water you use either discharges directly into the watershed or must be treated at a wastewater treatment plant prior to discharge into a stream.  Turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth or washing dishes can greatly reduce the amount of water you use.  Additionally, try to only run the dishwasher when it’s full.  Sweeping your driveway instead of washing it can both reduce your water use and help keep stormwater clean.

Get Involved:  Encourage others to do their part to help keep your watershed clean and healthy!  If you see litter, pick it up.  Get involved with your local watershed organization to see what volunteer programs you can help with.  The only people who can keep our watershed clean is us!

Please let Tinker’s Creek Watershed Partners know how we can better help you help our beautiful watershed!  Contact Babette at [email protected] to find out how you can get more involved and to let us know what information or services you need help with!  Join us and the City of Streetsboro in protecting the water quality and habitats of the Tinker’s Creek Watershed!