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What Can You Do?

There are several things that you can do to reduce non-point source pollution from around your home and yard.

  • Report Pollution - If you see a construction site that has runoff, a road that has litter, or any type of spill, call Shelby County Environmental Services at (205) 669-3737.
  • Don't Litter - Litter and debris can wash into the streams and tributaries, eventually polluting the Cahaba River or Coosa River systems. How to host a litter Clean-Up (PDF)
  • Properly Dispose of Yard Waste - Yard waste such as leaves and grass clippings that washes into drains and streams will biodegrade. As the bacteria decompose these organic materials, they utilize the oxygen in the water and cause a strain on the aquatic life in the stream. Yard waste may be recycled at home through composting or taken to the local landfill.
  • Be Responsible When Washing Your Car - Take your car to a car wash facility or wash it in your yard over the grass. Don't wash your car on the concrete or asphalt driveway as the water will run into the storm drain, increasing the amount of detergents that enter the stream.
  • Reduce Pesticides, Herbicides, and Fertilizers - Follow manufacturers’ recommendations for dosage and don't over-spray onto concrete or pavement. Don't apply just before a rain – the majority will run off into the drain or stream and will not help your lawn.
  • Prevent Oil from Entering the Storm Drains or Streams - Take your vehicle to an oil change facility or properly dispose of oil products if you do it yourself. Fix oil leaks on your vehicle. Always remember: if it hits the pavement, it will run into the stream the next time it rains.
  • Put Down a Storm Drain Marker - Look in your neighborhood for storm water inlets along the street. If they do not have a storm drain marker, please call Shelby County Environmental Services. We will either install one or provide a community group with a packet that includes storm drain markers, adhesive, instructions, and educational information. This is a great opportunity to educate children about how to reduce non-point source pollution.