Genesee County Health Department
Better Life Through Better Health
Storm Water –
Drinking Water – It’s All the Same
Where does storm water from
your yard end up? In the Great Lakes. Where do many communities get
their drinking water? Same answer. Even water from a ground water well
is linked to surface water.
The Earth’s supply of water
is limited to the water presently available. Water is continuously
recycled, moving from one place to another and from one form to another.
Water vapor rising from surface waters, such as lakes and rivers, will
fall back to the earth as rain. Rain percolates into the soil and runs
off solid surfaces into surface waters. When it rains, pollutants from
yards, streets, parking lots, and rooftops are washed into storm drains
that are directly connected to our streams and rivers. Water (and other
liquids) from these drains do not receive treatment to remove
contaminants before they are dumped into surface waters.
Protecting the quality of water
is vital for our health. To help improve water quality:
- Properly dispose of used
motor oil with a recycler.
- Mow grass no shorter than 3
inches high. Roots will grow healthier and water will be absorbed
instead of running off into storm drains. Leave mulched grass
clippings on the lawn as a natural fertilizer.
- Test your soil for nutrient
levels before applying commercial fertilizers. Often 4 or 5
applications per season are used, although most Michigan soils need
just one application in the fall. If you must fertilize, use a low
- Use natural pesticides on
gardens and lawns.
For more information
about water quality, call the Genesee County Health Department at (810)
257-3190 or visit the Flint River Watershed Coalition website at www.flintriver.org.