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Healthy yard, clean water

Where does our water go? All of the water we use at home goes directly to the sewer system, to a treatment plant where it is cleaned and released back into our steams and rivers.

How about the water from our yards, driveways, roads, ditches and parking lots? Where does this water go? It is not always easy to see after it goes down the drain, but often the rain water that falls in our yard overflows into a stream before it can be cleaned.

Food not lawns<br />Cleveland Heights resident Mari Keating replaced a front lawn with this beautiful garden that includes perennials and food plants.Storm drain<br />Lawn chemicals can wash off into storm drains.Storm outfall<br />Storm sewers empty in to streams and lakes, not wastewater  treatment plants.Impacts on water quality and health<br />Pollutants that runoff lawns and streets end up in our streams and lakes.

What happens to the rain?

Rain water picks up trash and pollution—including oil and antifreeze drips on our driveway, fertilizer from our yards, litter and dog waste. Once it is picked up by the rain, it moves through ditches, street gutters, and pipes to our streams, rivers, and lakes where it can cause health and safety problems for us and our children.

Because we live near Lake Erie most of our water in Northeast Ohio flows from our streams to the Lake. When you live near a stream, what you do in your yard affects the health of fish and wildlife in your stream. It also affects the health of the Lake and your safety when you visit the beach.

What can we do to keep our streams and Lake Erie healthy and safe for our use? Keep the pollutants out of rain water.

Check out the all the ways you can keep your water clean, fix drainage problems, and save money from the links at right.

Support for this section provided by Lake Erie Protection Fund and Chagrin River Watershed Partners.

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