I recently came across this article from EBR's website about storm drains and our waterways.
The main thing I learned is:
What drains naturally into our storm drains along with what we add to it, eventually flow into our waterways, this includes physical trash, debris and pollutants.
If anyone has seen Keep Tigertown Beautiful, you know they have spent thousands of hours cleaning up all the litter in BR. They have also posted pictures of creeks littered with trash.
Some of this comes from our storm drains.
According to EBR's website, here are some simple things we can do to protect our waterways:
Use lawn chemicals safely. Follow instructions and never apply before rain or watering the lawn, unless directed. Set aside for Hazardous Materials Collection days.
Pick up after pets. Bring extra bags to pick up and dispose of waste properly. Do not throw in stormwater drains.
Recycle used oil. Never place used motor oil in the trash or pour down storm drains. Instead, bring it to a local recycling location.
Wash cars on the lawn or at a car wash — not on a driveway or in the street. ** I admit I did not know this and am guilty of this.
Dispose of debris with a broom instead of a water hose. Hosing can send unwanted debris into your storm drain.
Keep litter and yard debris clear from storm drains. Litter is easily carried into storm drains and waterways by wind and rain. Please don't blow your yard clippings into the street.
Secure items intended for trash and recycling pickup. Wind could easily blow these items into a storm drain. Bag your trash and make sure it is not overflowing your trash can.
See their Storm Water Brochure