HWU was a guest at Bend Gate Elementary School, and presented a lesson
on stormwater runoff to the fourth grade students.
Watch the video (Approx. 27 minutes)
(NOTE: 256K DSL/Cable connection required!)
Need the FREE RealAudio "RealPlayer"? Get it
- See why it is important to help keep our stormwater runoff clean!
- See a REAL ROBOT that helps patrol our storm sewers!
- See what YOU can do to help!
tri-fold brochure to accompany the lesson. (PDF Format)
coloring book to accompany the lesson. (PDF Format)
You will need Adobe's free
Acrobat Reader to be able to access PDF files.
Would you like a FREE high quality DVD of the stormwater lesson?
Contact us at
or call (270) 826-2824 and ask for the Bend Gate Stormwater DVD.
|If you suspect that pollution may be entering Henderson's stormwater
system, please call our stormwater hotline to let us know.
call (270) 826-2824 (Available 24 hours). You may remain
anonymous, but if you give us your contact information, we will be able to
report back to you what we find, and what we will do about it!
Alternately, you may send us some
e-mail . Our address is
Stormwater runoff – Why is it a problem in
Stormwater can pick up debris, chemicals, dirt, and other
pollutants and flow into a storm sewer system or directly to a lake, stream,
wetland, or the Ohio River. Anything that enters a storm sewer system is
discharged untreated into the waterbodies we use for swimming, fishing, and
providing drinking water.
The effects of pollution
Polluted stormwater runoff can have many adverse effects on
plants, fish, animals, and people.
- Sediment can cloud the
water and make it difficult or impossible for aquatic plants to grow. Sediment
also can destroy aquatic habitats.
- Excess nutrients can cause
algae blooms. When algae die, they sink to the bottom and decompose in a
process that removes oxygen from the water. Fish and other aquatic organisms
can’t exist in water with low dissolved oxygen levels.
- Bacteria and other
pollutants can wash into swimming areas and create health hazards, often
making beach closures necessary. The lake at Audubon State Park has been
closed to swimming for many years because of this.
- Debris – plastic bags,
six-pack rings, bottles, and cigarette butts—washed into waterbodies can
choke, suffocate, or disable aquatic life like ducks, fish, turtles, and
- Household hazardous wastes
like insecticides, pesticides, paint, solvents, used motor oil, and other auto
fluids can poison aquatic life. Land animals and people can become sick or die
from eating diseased fish and shellfish or ingesting polluted water.
- Polluted stormwater often
affects drinking water sources. This, in turn, can affect human health and
increase drinking water treatment costs.
We all live downstream from someone, and upstream from
someone else. We inherit the pollution that comes from upstream. We greatly
impact the quality of water for those who live downstream from us.
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What can residential homeowners do to help
Excess fertilizers and pesticides applied to lawns and
gardens wash off and pollute streams. In addition, yard clippings and leaves can
wash into storm drains and contribute nutrients and organic matter to streams.
- Don’t overwater your lawn.
Consider using a soaker hose instead of a sprinkler.
- Use pesticides and
fertilizers sparingly. When use is necessary, use these chemicals in the
recommended amounts. Use organic mulch or safer pest control methods whenever
- Compost or mulch yard
waste. Don’t leave it in the street or sweep it into storm drains or streams.
- Cover piles of dirt or
mulch being used in landscaping projects.
Washing your car and degreasing auto parts at home can send
detergents and other contaminants through the storm sewer system. Dumping
automotive fluids into storm drains has the same result as dumping the materials
directly into a waterbody.
- Use a commercial car wash
that treats or recycles its wastewater, or wash your car on your yard so the
water infiltrates into the ground.
- Repair leaks and dispose of
used auto fluids and batteries at designated drop-off or recycling locations.
Leaking and poorly maintained septic systems release
nutrients and pathogens (bacteria and viruses) that can be picked up by
stormwater and discharged into nearby waterbodies. Pathogens can cause public
health problems and environmental concerns.
- Inspect your system every 3
years and pump your tank as necessary (every 3 to 5 years).
- Don't dispose of household
hazardous waste in sinks or toilets.
Pet waste can be a major source of bacteria and excess
nutrients in local waters.
- When walking your pet,
remember to pick up the waste and dispose of it properly. Flushing pet waste
is the best disposal method. Leaving pet waste on the ground increases public
health risks by allowing harmful bacteria and nutrients to wash into the storm
drain and eventually into local waterbodies.
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Other choices we make can make a difference.
Permeable Pavement – Traditional concrete and
asphalt don’t allow water to soak into the ground. Instead these surfaces rely
on storm drains to divert unwanted water. Permeable pavement systems allow rain
and snowmelt to soak through, decreasing stormwater runoff.
Rain Barrels – You can collect rainwater from
rooftops in mosquito-proof containers. The water can be used later on lawn or
Rain Gardens and Grassy Swales – Specially designed
areas planted with native plants can provide natural places for rainwater to
collect and soak into the ground. Rain from rooftop areas or paved areas can be
diverted into these areas rather than into storm drains.
Vegetated Filter Strips – Filter strips are areas of
native grass or plants created along roadways or streams. They trap the
pollutants stormwater picks up as it flows across driveways and streets.
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