Prevent Stormwater Pollution

picture: storm drain pollution

Storm drains are those drains you see in streets and parking lots that rainwater runoff flows into. Did you know that storm drains DO NOT go to a wastewater treatment plant like sanitary sewer drains (indoor sinks and toilets)? Storm drains flow into area streams, rivers and lakes. Storm water runoff can pick up harmful pollutants on its way to a storm drain. The following are ways you can help prevent stormwater pollution.

Reduce Home Runoff

Reducing runoff not only reduces the potential for pollution, but also helps prevent erosion in downstream waterways. A good way to start is by simply directing your roof downspouts to your yard instead of to your driveway or the street. Vegetation slows down the flow of water and allows some of it to soak into the ground. To reduce runoff even more, plant a rain garden or install a rain barrel.

Fertilize Responsibly

Excess fertilizer on your yard gets washed off when it rains and is a waste of money. This fertilizer is harmful to area waterways, causing unsightly algae and other problems. Sign up for a free soil test and fertilizing plan for your yard by registering online or calling 417.836.4847. Also, visit the Show-Me Yards & Neighborhoods Program for additional environmentally-friendly yardcare tips.

Report Pollution

To report spills, dumping, or draining of pollutants to the street, storm drain, drainageway, or waterways, call 417.864.1901 or submit a service request. What to watch for...

Recycle Household Chemicals

Keep harmful household chemicals out of the environment by taking them to the Household Chemical Collection Center where they are recycled or properly disposed. Also consider minimizing the use of household chemicals and choosing nontoxic alternatives.

Recycle Motor Oil

Used motor oil is the single largest source of oil pollution to waterways. The source can be from improper disposal, spills when oil is being changed outside, and leaking vehicles. You can help by fixing oil leaks, using a drip pan if you change your own oil, cleaning up accidental spills with an absorbant such as kitty litter and recycling used oil. Check out the Recycling Guide (229k) for drop-off locations.

Vehicle Washing

If washing your vehicle at home, do so in a grassy area to prevent runoff of the wash water. If using soap, consider phosphate-free. Businesses washing vehicles or equipment must use a commercial car wash or indoor wash bay that drains to the sanitary sewer. Businesses conducting washing outside must collect and dispose of the wash water to the sanitary sewer or obtain a discharge permit by contacting the Missouri Department of Natural Resources at 417-891-4300.

Pet Waste

Pet waste can contaminate runoff with harmful bacteria. Pick up pet waste from your yard and when you take your pet on a walk or to the park. Convenient bag dispensers are available at several City parks.

Yardwaste Disposal

Dumping of yardwaste in streets, storm drains, or drainageways is against city ordinance. It can clog storm drains and degrade downstream waterways with excess nutrients that cause unsightly algae and other problems. Compost your yardwaste or take it to a recycling center.


photo of manhole cover with words upstream starts here, protect our waterways stormwater engineering home

Contact Us

Busch Building
PO BOX 8368
840 Boonville Avenue
Springfield, MO 65802
Tel: 417.864.1901
Fax: 417.864.1907

Related Links