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Stormwater Quality#

Improperly disposing of items such as paint, for example, allows runoff to carry the waste into our local streams.

According to the EPA, stormwater pollution is the number one cause of water pollution in the country. Caring for a stream means caring for the land or watershed that drains to it. Pollution prevention is key.

Stormwater runoff is a product of rain or snowmelt that flows over land or impervious (not absorbent) surfaces, such as paved streets, sidewalks and rooftops and does not soak into the ground. This runoff flows directly from storm sewers into the creeks and Poudre River without treatment by a water reclamation facility. 

Pollutants can be washed from streets, lawns, roofs and even out of the air by rainfall, eventually ending up in wetlands, streams and lakes. Hazardous chemicals, automotive products, pesticides, fertilizers, pet wastes, excessive soil erosion and air pollution all contribute to water pollution.

To minimize pollutants transported by stormwater runoff into the storm sewer system and downstream receiving waters, the City implements programs in accordance with its Colorado Discharge Permit System - the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit.

Keep Stormwater Clean#

  • Use chemical fertilizers and pesticides sparingly.
    • Follow directions for fertilizer use and clean up any excess. 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 household hazardous wastes (HHW). 
    • Learn about year-round household hazardous waste recycling options. To make it even easier, Fort Collins residents can bring antifreeze, batteries, motor oil and paint to the TRC, 1903 S. Timberline Rd., free of charge.

Learn More

Low Impact Development (LID)#

LID Graphic

Low Impact Development is a stormwater management technique that seeks to mimic natural systems, primarily through gardens and landscaping, while also offering a functional stormwater run-off system.

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Did You Know?

Lowering the thermostat temperature on winter nights and when no one is home can save money and energy.

There are more than 500 miles of water mains throughout Fort Collins.

Finding and repairing dripping faucets and leaking toilets saves water and money.