Stormwater MS4 Application
Please contact the Department of Public Works with any comments or concerns or if you notice a violation of the City's stormwater ordinance. Examples of the types of materials that if discharged constitute a spill or an emergency due to the potential introduction of pollutants to local waterways either directly or through stormwater:
- Dredged spoils
- Solid waste
- Sewage sludge
- Chemical wastes
- Biological materials
- Radioactive materials
- Heat sources
- Wrecked or discarded equipment
- Rock or sand
- Petroleum products
- Industrial, municipal, and agricultural waste
You can also access the Huron River Watershed Council's website to visit the Livingston Watershed Advisory Group Page for to see a list of meeting dates, volunteer events, and great ways for everyone to help keep our watershed clean and learn valuable information!
Proper Cooking Oil Disposal
The first rule of cooking oil disposal is DO NOT pour it down the sink drain or into the toilet. This can block plumbing and piping, which could cause sewage to back up into your home.
The safest way to dispose of used cooking oil is to mix it with an absorbent material, such as sawdust, cat litter, floor dry, or flour, until the consistency is thick enough to easily throw it away.
Converting the oil into a semi-solid state will avoid the oil leaking into your trash can and out of the trash truck when they compact the garbage. If the oil leaks from the truck and onto the roadway, it can then be washed into the storm sewer and into the lakes and river. It also deteriorates the asphalt, which can cause it to decay.
Cars - Maintaining & Washing Responsibly
Did you know that just four quarts of oil can form an eight-acre oil slick if spilled or dumped down a storm drain? With over four million vehicles in Southeast Michigan, we all need to practice good car care to protect our lakes and streams.
How does caring for your car affect our waterways? Storm drains found in our streets and yards and roadside ditches lead directly to our lakes and streams. So, if motor oil and other fluids are dumped or washed into the storm drain, they pollute our local waterways.
What can you do? It's Simple!
- Maintain it: Keep your vehicle properly tuned and use the owner’s manual to guide decisions about how often it is necessary to change fluids such as oil and antifreeze.
- Take advantage of business expertise: Consider taking your vehicle to the shop to have the oil and other fluids changed. These businesses have the ability to recycle the used materials and clean up accidental spills.
- Recycle: If you choose to change your oil and other fluids yourself, label the waste containers. Then, take them to your community's household hazardous waste collection day or to a business that accepts used oil. Never dump used oil, antifreeze, or other fluids on the ground or down the storm drain.
- Soak it up: Use kitty litter promptly to absorb small amounts of spilled vehicle fluids. Then sweep it into a bag and throw it in the trash. Don't leave these spills or wash them off pavement. They'll be flushed into the storm drains.
- Do it under cover: Whenever possible, perform vehicle maintenance in a well-ventilated, but covered location (e.g., garage). This minimizes the potential for rainfall to wash those inevitable spills and drips into our lakes and streams.
Remember, you're not just washing your car!
Did you know there are over four million vehicles in Southeast Michigan? With that many cars and trucks, we all need to practice good car care to protect our lakes and streams.
How does caring for your car affect our waterways? Storm drains found in our streets and roadside ditches lead directly to our lakes and streams. If dirty water from washing our cars gets into the storm drain, it pollutes our local waterways. This “dirty” water contains pollutants such as grease and dirt, and the soap itself contains phosphorus, which can lead to excessive algae growth in our lakes.
What can you do? It's Simple!
- Make a date: Car-wash facilities treat their dirty water before discharging it to our lakes and streams. So, make a date to take your car to a car wash.
- Wash it—on the grass: If you wash your car at home, consider washing it on the lawn. The lawn will gladly soak up the soapy, dirty water preventing it from entering storm drains or roadside ditches. If you can't use the lawn, try to direct the dirty water towards the lawn and away from the storm drain.
- Minimize it: Reduce the amount of soap you use or wash your car with plain water.
Remember, you’re not just fertilizing your lawn!
Storm drains found in our streets and yards empty into our lakes and streams. So, when we fertilize our lawn we could also be fertilizing our lakes and streams! While fertilizer is good for our lawn, it’s bad for our water. Fertilizer that enters our lakes and streams can cause algae to grow and use up oxygen that fish need to survive.
So what can you do to help? It's Simple!
- Sweep it. Sweep excess fertilizer and grass clippings from pavement back onto your lawn so that they don’t wash into storm drains.
- Buy low and go slow. First, find out if you even need fertilizer! Contact your Michigan State University Extension office to get a soil test. If you do need it, choose a fertilizer with no or low phosphorus--phosphorus causes algae growth. You can also use an organic or slow-release nitrogen fertilizer, which causes less harm to water.
- Hire smart. Select a lawn care service that follows the practices noted above.
- Mow high. Keep your lawn at three inches in height. Taller grass strengthens roots and shades out weeds. Also, remember that the nutrients from grass clippings left on your lawn act as a great fertilizer.
- Make fertilizer-free zones. Keep fertilizer at least 20 feet away from the edge of any lakes, streams, or storm drains.
Remember, you’re not just walking your dog!
Did you know that pet waste has bacteria that can make our lakes and rivers unsafe for swimming and other recreational activities? That happens when pet waste left on sidewalks or yards gets washed into storm drains or roadside ditches that lead directly to our lakes and river.
How can you help? It's Simple!
- Whether in your yard or on a walk, promptly dispose of your pet's waste in the trash or down the toilet where it will be properly treated.
- Watch and enjoy the ducks and geese, but avoid feeding them. Feeding ducks and geese may seem harmless, but, in fact, can be harmful to our water. Feeding waterfowl causes them to become more dependent on humans which, in turn, creates unnaturally high populations and more animal waste. This waste contains bacteria that pollutes our parks and lakes.
Remember, it's not just toxic to you!
Did you know that many household products are dangerous to our kids, pets, and the environment? These materials pollute our waterways if washed or dumped into storm drains or roadside ditches. Remember, storm drains lead to our lakes and river.
How can you help? It's Simple!
- Identify it - Be aware of household products that can harm kids, pets, and the environment. The words "danger", "caution", "warning", or "toxic" indicate that you need to be careful in how you use and dispose of the product.
- Less is better - Reduce waste and save money by purchasing only the materials you need. When possible, choose less toxic alternatives, For example, try cleaning your windows with vinegar and water.
- Store Properly - Keep unused products in their original containers with label intact. Select cool, dry storage areas that are away from kids, pets, and wildlife.
- Disposal is Key - Never dump motor oil, chemicals, and other toxic materials down storm drains, sinks or on the ground. Contact the Livingston County Solid Waste Department at 517-545-9609 or visit their website at co.livingston.mi.us/SolidWaste to learn when they will be holding their Household Annual Waste Collection Event.