What can you do?
The following tips have been provided to show that we can all make a difference to protect our streams, and prevent harmful pollution from entering the environment.
- Pick up pet waste to prevent it being picked up by runoff, and ending up in our streams and rivers. Dispose of this waste by flushing down the toilet
- Recycle used oil, antifreeze, and other fluids properly. Clean up spills and fix leaks promptly and properly.
- Dispose of old paint, solvents, and other hazardous wastes correctly. The Town of Christiansburg takes part in an annual Household Hazardous Waste Collection event, and this is the correct way do dispose of these materials.
- Dispose of trash properly, including cigarette butts.
- Create a compost pile to dispose of yard waste. Composed leaves and grass clippings creates free organic fertilizer
- Minimize the use of fertilizers and pesticides by planting pest and disease resistant plants. When fertilizers or pesticides must be used, be careful when mixing and applying and always follow all the directions on the label.
- Avoid using fertilizers and pesticides near rivers or streams.
- If you wash your vehicle at a commercial carwash, choose one where water is either recycled or sent to the sanitary sewer system where it is treated properly.
- If you wash your vehicle yourself, do this in the grass which allow the grass and other vegetation to filter the water partially, and then allows biological process occur which further filters and cleans the water, before it recharges our aquifers.
- Sweep driveways, patios, and sidewalks clean instead of hosing them down.
Commercial and Industrial
- When storing raw materials, and waste products outdoors, protect them from rainfall, and store them in such a way that runoff will not flow through the storage area, potentially picking up pollution. Clean up any spill promptly, and dispose of the spillage properly.
- Wash vehicles and equipment in wash bays that discharge to the sanitary sewer. Don't wash off detergents, oils, and greases into streets or storm drains.
- Divert rainfall runoff from fueling islands by building a canopy or cover over them
- Store hazardous chemicals properly, so that any spill is contained.
- Be sure that all waste and process water is discharged to the sanitary sewer. Discharge of wastewater to the ground or storm drains is prohibited
- Make sure that all employees know spill cleanup procedures. Have cleanup kits nearby and prepare spill prevention plans and train employees frequently.
- Erosion and Sediment controls should be kept in repair at all times. Should silt fence or a construction entrance become clogged or inoperable, time must be taken to fix these issues before other work continues.
- Have a designated washout area for concrete trucks, and mortar mixers. These should be constructed in such a way that waste water is trapped, and normal rain event will not wash these substances into the nearest stream.
- Store all paints, oils, solvents and other potentially hazardous substances under cover to prevent stormwater from being polluted. If possible, store these materials indoors, but when this is not practical, at least try and protect the materials with tarps or other rain shedding covers.
- Where possible perform vehicle and equipment maintenance in designated areas, where spills can be detained. Should spills occur, they should be cleaned up as quickly as possible, and any spilled material or contaminated soil shall be disposed of properly.
- Store porta-potties away from streams and creeks, and in a place where containment is possible. If overflows occur, or the structure turns over, the contents should be prevented from entering nearby streams.