Best Stormwater Practices for Landlords
Landlords and property owners are responsible for complying with city, state, and federal stormwater regulations. It is important that landlords follow best practices for stormwater management in order to will reduce illicit discharges to local streams and avoid fines.
- Sanitary Sewer Maintenance
- Driveway/ Parking Lot Maintenance
- Pesticide and Fertilizer application
- Mulching Yard waste
Sanitary sewer maintenance
An effective way to avoid system failure and expensive repairs is to regularly maintain the sanitary sewer collection system on your properties. Preventative maintenance through scheduled inspections and routine cleaning of the sewer system can identify and help eliminate many of the causes of sanitary sewer overflows. Here are ways to prevent sanitary sewer pollution:
- Frequently maintain and inspect the property’s sewer collection system
- Educate tenants regarding proper cooking grease disposal :
- Allow grease to cool to a safe temperature after cooking
- Use a container with a re-sealable lid
- Pour the cooled oil and grease into the container
- Place lid on container and dispose of in the garbage
- Scrape or wipe cookware using a paper towel or spatula into the garbage before washing
- Immediately cleanup up any spills upon discovery and properly dispose of wastes
Driveway/parking lot maintenance
If the only thing sliding down a driveway is rainwater or melted snow, that's not bad. It's harmful if that water contains pollutants, which it often does. Most people treat their yards with chemicals like fertilizer and pest control, which sit on the ground until the rain comes. There's also pet waste to think about and oil that leaks from cars that sit out over an extended period. All these things get carried away with stormwater and pollute the local rivers and streams. The following tips help ensure that you aren't responsible for any stormwater pollution flowing off of your properties' driveways or parking lots.
- Routinely inspect parking lots, driveways and other outdoor areas for automotive fluid spill
- Establish a written policy that either prohibits vehicle maintenance activities onsite or limits the activity to a specific area where potential discharges can be contained (such as an enclosed bay).
- Acquire a spill cleanup kit that addresses automotive fluid discharges and discharges of other types of chemicals that are stored and/or used onsite.
- Promote vehicle wash water containment and proper disposal
Pesticides and fertilizer application
Improper use of fertilizers and pesticides can lead to increased concentrations of nutrients and chemicals in stormwater. Proper landscaping practices can reduce nutrient pollution and can also provide water quality benefits. Read below for actions that you or a landscaping company can take to reduce stormwater pollution:
- Always do a soil test to determine how much fertilizer to use
- Adjust fertilizer applicators every time they are used
- Use slow-release and zero phosphorus fertilizer whenever possible
- Always read and follow directions on the label
- Sweep up extra chemicals from the pavement
- Never apply chemicals near the storm drain system, ditches, or water
Photo provided by https://lewisvillenc.net/public-works/stormwater
mulching yard waste
Mulch reduces runoff by absorbing water. This not only helps plants and decreases watering needs (therefore decreasing the water bill), but it also helps to keep pollutants from being washed into storm drains and eventually into our waterways! Mulching also reduces yard debris, inhibits the growth and germination of nutrient-stealing weeds, keeps roots cool in the summer, and protects them from freezing in the winter. Prevent water pollution by following these best management practices for landscaping:
It’s against the law to dispose of leaves in the street. Here are some other ways to dispose of waste:
- Blow leaves and grass clippings back into yards instead of the street where they can clog storm drains and pollute creeks
- Compost yard waste or use the city's yard waste collection program
- Educate landscaping crew regarding proper disposal and/or recycling of yard wastes (leaves and grass clippings).