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.
Report Emergency Spills or Illegal Dumping By Calling 911
Emergency spills include hazardous materials, large volumes of contaminants or contaminants that are potentially life-threatening or harmful to the environment. It also includes spills or illegal dumping directly into a storm drain, creek or river.
For other spills or illegal dumping, report online at Access Fort Collins or call 970-221-6700.
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.
Low Impact Development (LID)#
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.
Did You Know?
Turning off the faucet while shaving or brushing teeth saves water.
The watersheds where our water comes from drain snowmelt and rainfall to the Cache la Poudre and Big Thompson rivers and Horsetooth Reservoir.