You can help improve the quality of your community waterways by adopting stormwater management practices that help stormwater absorb into the ground, reuse it, or control it.
Slow the Flow – redirect rain spouts away from hard surfaces, like driveways and sidewalks.
Scoop the Poop – pick up pet waste with a plastic bag and dispose of it in your household trash in order to keep our streams waste-free.
Don’t Litter – Pick up and properly dispose of trash, so it doesn’t get washed into our streams.
Refrain from the Drain – Storm drains are for water only. Be careful not to grass, pet waste, chemicals, or trash in them.
Read and Follow Labels – Use fertilizers as directed. Over fertilization does not help your plants and increases nitrogen and phosphorus levels in local streams. Even better, replace fertilizer with compost.
Curtail the Wash – Use a commercial car wash. If you must wash at home, try to park on a grassy area, or use phosphate-free car detergents.
Don’t flush Meds – Dispose of your medication through Hy-Vee or the Ottumwa Police Station. Do not flush them down the toilet. Our wastewater treatment plants cannot remove the chemicals from medications.
Some interesting facts: Almost 80% of rainwater runs off a lawn. It does Not soak into the ground. Over 160 tons of debris is kept out of streams each month by Ottumwa Street Crews street sweeping.
The Environmental Protection Agency estimates 47% of households own at least one dog, and some own more, and that a dog produces about 400 lbs of pet waste per year. That means that in Ottumwa we have approximately 1,729,600 lbs of pet waste that needs to be scooped to avoid transmission of bacteria and viruses, and contamination of our water supply. Once collected, pet waste can be thrown in the regular trash. Never compost pet waste. Compost doesn’t get hot enough to kill the pathogens in pet waste.