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Stormwater Quality

Caring for a stream means caring for the land or watershed that drains to it. Pollution prevention is the key.

Hazardous chemicals, automotive products, pesticides, fertilizers, pet wastes, excessive soil erosion and air pollution all contribute to water pollution.

Pollutants can be washed from streets, lawns, roofs and even out of the air by rainfall-eventually ending up in wetlands, streams and lakes.

Fort Collins Stormwater System

Storm drains or gutters carry water into a network of pipes that lead directly to the Poudre River. Storm drains are not part of the sewer system, so water in storm drains is not treated in a treatment plant. Instead, stormwater runs directly into streams, rivers and lakes.

Utilities sponsors and supports a storm drain marking program to educate the community about stormwater drainage.

Keep Stormwater Clean

  • Use chemical fertilizers and pesticides sparingly. Sprinklers and rain wash chemicals into nearby storm drains, eventually damaging aquatic life. Even lawn clippings contain pollutants. Leave clippings on the lawn as natural fertilizer or compost them.
  • Clean up after pets. Pet waste contains pollutants that can contaminate surface water.
  • Wash cars at commercial car washes instead of at home in your driveway. Car washes drain to the treatment plant, while driveways drain to creeks and other surface water.
  • Prevent dripping and spilling of automotive fluids. Repair leaks and recycle oil, antifreeze and other fluids.
  • Properly dispose of paints, solvents, used oil, cleaning products and other hazardous household wastes at the Larimer County Landfill. Call 970.498.5760 or visit Larimer County's website for more information.

Find information about stormwater education for kids.