Reduce the Impact of Storm Water Runoff

Stormwater runoff is any rain or melted snow that doesn’t soak into the ground. Instead, it carries soil, pet waste, fertilizer, salt, oil and other pollutants into rivers, lakes and ponds. Here are 10 products to slow or stop that harmful runoff.

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Lawn Seed Mat

One way to reduce stormwater runoff is to plant grass or other ground covers to help stop erosion (a major contributor to stormwater runoff). Or, simply roll out and water the Grotrax all-in-one Bermuda rye lawn seed mat. Each roll contains seed, fertilizer and mulch and holds up to six times its weight in water. The mat holds everything in place so rain won’t wash the seeds or fertilizer away or erode the soil.

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Pressure Washer Soap

When you pressure-wash decks and siding, soapy, dirty water can flow over pavement and reach storm drains. To mitigate the effects of this runoff, use a non-toxic, biodegradable detergent, such as the Oxy Solv line of products from Simple Green. There are formulas for decks and fences, siding and concrete. 

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Downspout Extension

Channeling water from the gutter downspout into the ground prevents stormwater runoff from leaving your property. It also keeps it away from your foundation. These kits include a debris filter/ice guard, green lid, center post and bubbler pot.

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Alternative to Saltwater Salt

Salt used to melt ice from sidewalks and driveways washes into streams and waterways and can harm aquatic life. It can also kill plants by preventing their roots from absorbing nutrients. Consider spreading chicken grit instead. It contains sharp, crushed granite that will help you keep your footing without the harmful effects of salt. And, at the end of the slippery season, you can sweep it up and reuse it next year. 

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A Rain Garden

A rain garden is a beautiful way to mitigate stormwater runoff from roofs, roads and parking lots. In this book, authors Lynn M. Steiner and Robert W. Domm discuss where to site the garden, how to design it, what to plant in it and how to care for it. 

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Soak Up Spills

Sand and sawdust can be used to trap spilled oil and other pollutants to keep them out of stormwater runoff, but there are other products that work better and are more convenient. SpillFix, an organic super-absorbent, soaks up all industrial and household spills of oil and other auto fluids, hazardous liquids and unused paint. It can also be used indoors to absorb laundry liquids, vomit, blood and pet urine. 

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Permeable Paving

Prevent hundreds of gallons of stormwater runoff by letting it pass through the pavement and into the ground. Standartpark EasyPave Grid comes with installation anchors and can be planted with grass. It handles loads up to 88,000 pounds and uses a horizontal push-and-lock method to prevent disconnection. 

Pet Waste Disposal

Pet waste is a significant source of polluted stormwater, and it’s easy to minimize its impact by depositing the waste in an in-ground container and adding a special powder. The Doggie Dooley Pet Waste Disposal System works like a miniature septic tank, using natural bacteria and enzymes to reduce dog waste into a liquid absorbed by the ground. It features a foot-operated lid opener that also controls odors.

Photo Courtesy from Amazon
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Straw Mulch

Putting straw mulch over gardens or newly seeded areas slows erosion and reduces stormwater runoff. EZ-Straw Seeding Mulch includes an organic bonding agent (tackifier) that holds it together better than unprocessed straw, protecting the seeds from washing out or blowing away. Because it’s biodegradable, there is no mess to clean up. Just leave it in place. 

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Soil Test Kit

Over-fertilized lawns are major contributors to polluted stormwater runoff. Instead of dumping a blanket of fertilizer and pesticides on your lawn a couple of times each year, test the soil to see what products it actually needs and in what quantity. The Soil Savvy test kit provides a complete nutrient analysis and recommends what fertilizer (if any) to apply. 

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