Pollution Solutions

Water Pollution

When we think about water pollution, we may instantly picture a big factory with smoke pipes, an oil spill, or a toxic leak from an industrial facility. But across the country, "non-point source pollution," or pollution that comes from small sources like our homes, yards, roads, and cars is the number one cause of water pollution. When it rains, water that doesn't soak into the ground, called stormwater or stormwater runoff, goes down storm drains along streets. These empty into neighborhood streams that flow to the Patuxent River, eventually entering the Chesapeake Bay. 

As stormwater flows down driveways and roads, it picks up trash, dirt, oil, pet waste, pesticides and really anything in its path. For example, washing a car on a paved driveway can cause auto fluids (oil, gas, anti-freeze), dirt, and heavy metals from wearing brakes or tires to flow from the driveway into the road, then down the storm drain and into a local stream.

Fortunately, there are many ways that each of us can minimize our contribution to polluted runoff. Look through the list below and choose at least one to try! 


Rain barrels are a great source of free water for use in your yard. A rain barrel is installed at the end of your gutter and downspout and collects rainwater that can be fed through a hose to your plant beds. Consider completing this registration form to let us know you have a rain barrel.