How to prevent pollution at home
Unlike wastewater from your home that goes down your sink drain to a treatment plant, stormwater flows into stormwater ponds or directly into local rivers and creeks. Rivers and creeks in Brampton carry this stormwater to Lake Ontario, the source of drinking water for Brampton, Mississauga, and Caledon.
What pollutes stormwater at home
When it rains, stormwater flows across the ground, including driveways, roads, lawns, and gardens. Stormwater picks up contaminants that have been spilled, applied or swept onto these surfaces. Common contaminants include the following:
- Antifreeze and other fluids from cars
- Car wash soap and cleaners
- Household chemicals
- Cigarette butts
- Cooking oils and grease
- Dyes, solvents, and paints
- Fertilizers and pesticides
- Leaking fluids from dumpsters and garbage bins
- Oil and lubricants
- Pet waste
- Plastic pellets
- Soil, grass clippings and yard waste
Help to prevent pollution at home
We all can help prevent stormwater pollution in local rivers and creeks by following these recommendations:
- Never dump or wash chemicals, oil, dirt, or polluted water into catchbasins, ponds, ditches, creeks, or rivers.
- Keep your property clean and free of litter.
- Store potential contaminants in containers to prevent accidental spills.
In the yard:
- Minimize the use of fertilizer to the extent possible.
- Choose native plants, shrubs, and trees for your yard and garden because native plants need less fertilizer.
- Apply lawn and garden chemicals only if needed and according to the product’s instructions and regulations.
- Do not apply fertilizer before, during or immediately after it rains.
- Avoid spraying fertilizers onto driveways, sidewalks, and roads.
- Keep yard debris away from roads and catchbasins to prevent blockages in storm sewers and flooding.
- When removing yard waste, dispose of it in yard waste bags or bins. Do not move yard waste into the road.
- Dispose of food in the Green Bin for curbside pick-up and beverages as liquid waste into household drains connected to the sanitary sewer system.
- Dispose of cigarette butts in the garbage, not on the ground.
- Pick up pet waste and dispose of it in the garbage.
- Dispose of household hazardous materials such as motor oil, antifreeze, and paints at Region of Peel’s Community Recycling Centres.
Draining your pool:
Only drain your residential pool water to the City’s stormwater system while following these recommendations:
- Wait at least 7 days after the latest chlorine or chemical treatment
- Wait at least 24 hours after the latest rainfall
- Check that copper and chlorine levels are below the limits in the City’s Sewage By-law
- Drain the pool slowly to the curb in front of your home so that water safely enters the City’s stormwater system
- Follow all other regulations regarding the discharge of pool water.
- Clean contaminants from your driveway and walkways by vacuuming, sweeping, and using rags or dry absorbents.
- Avoid cleaning paved areas with water because this will wash contaminants onto the road and ultimately into, rivers and creeks.
- Wash carpets, outdoor furniture, and other items on lawns or gravel surfaces, not on the driveway or road.
- Choose non-hazardous cleaning products.
- Shovel first. Shovel all the snow you can before using salt or sand. You may find you won’t need that much salt or sand at all.
- Use salt or sand only on iced-over areas.
- Be mindful of the amount of salt and sand you use.
- Follow the product instructions when applying ice control chemicals.
- Maintain cars often to prevent engine fluid leaks and quickly clean up any fluid that has leaked onto your driveway.
- Use a commercial car wash when possible because water from car washes gets treated at the wastewater treatment plant.
- Use a sponge and a bucket of water to wash your car at home. Dispose of the polluted water in the laundry sink or toilet so that it gets treated at the wastewater treatment plant. Do not dump wash-water on a driveway or road or into a catchbasin, pond, river, or creek.