When it rains or when snow melts, stormwater washes away pollutants that have accumulated on lawns, driveways, roads, highways, and parking lots. These pollutants flow over land into storm drain systems and ditches and eventually into rivers and streams. When left untreated, these pollutants can impair local and downstream water bodies used for swimming, fishing, aquatic life, and drinking water. You can help improve and protect the waters in Carroll County at home and in your municipality by learning more about stormwater pollution and prevention.

10 Things You Can Do to Help Prevent Stormwater Runoff Pollution

  • Use fertilizers sparingly and sweep up driveways, sidewalks, and gutters
  • Never dump anything down storm drains, into ditches or streams
  • Vegetate bare spots in your yard
  • Compost your yard waste
  • Use the least toxic pesticides, follow labels, and learn how to prevent pest problems
  • Direct downspouts away from paved surfaces; consider a rain garden to capture runoff
  • Wash your car on the lawn or take it to a car wash instead of washing it on a paved driveway
  • Check your car for leaks and recycle your motor oil
  • Pick up after your pet
  • Have your septic tank pumped and inspected regularly

Stormwater in Carroll County and the eight incorporated municipalities is regulated by law under Phase I and Phase II Municipal Separate Storm Sewer (MS4) permits under EPA's National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System program administered through the Maryland Department of the Environment.