The quality of the water and stability of flow are important to support a diverse and healthy ecosystem and to provide recreational, economic, aesthetic, and educational opportunities that are essential to our quality of life. The way we use our land determines the condition of our watershed and water resources.
A watershed is another word for a river basin. It’s an area of land that drains into a common body of water. Rain and melting snow washes down the drain in the parking lots and streets into our storm water sewer system. This system then transports the water into rivers and streams and eventually into our lakes. In most of Macomb County, the eastern half of Oakland County, and small areas of southern Lapeer and St. Clair counties, this water makes its way into the Clinton River and eventually out to Lake St. Clair. Protecting and enhancing our water resources is the responsibility of everyone in our watershed and requires the coordinated involvement and effort of individuals, businesses, governments, and organizations throughout the watershed.
The City of Rochester is committed to protecting and enhancing our waterways by implementing bank stabilization, habitat improvement, and green infrastructure projects on our properties, improving recreational opportunities on our rivers, and educating our residents on the importance of our natural resources. We all play a part in keeping our lakes, rivers, and streams clean.
Here are a few tips on ways to help us protect this vital resource:
- Household Hazard Waste
- Storm Drains
- Pet Care
- Lawn Care
- Car Care
- Additional Information
- Commonly Asked Questions
- Keep household hazardous waste stored in its original container with its label intact, inside dry, cool areas, away from kids and pets.
- Never dump household hazardous waste down storm drains, sinks, or on the ground.
- Use baking soda, white vinegar, and essential oils when cleaning your house.
- For more information regarding the North Oakland Household Hazardous Waste (NO HAZ) Program, visit their website at: https://www.oakgov.com/advantageoakland/planning/wasteandrecycling/Pages/nohaz.aspx
- Don't know where to take your expired and/or unused prescriptions? Visit the Oakland County's Operation Medicine Cabinet webpage to find a drop-off center close to you: https://www.oakgov.com/sheriff/Pages/community_services/operation_medicine_cabinet.aspx
- Never dump motor oil, chemicals, pet waste, leaves, dirty or soapy water, or anything else down the storm drain.
- Sweep extra fertilizer, grass clippings, and dirt on your driveway back onto your lawn. Hosing down your driveway sends these pollutants into storm drains that lead to lakes, streams, and beaches.
- Pick up after your pets before watering your yard or cleaning patios or driveways. Don’t use a hose to clean pet waste off driveways or sidewalks.
- Whether in your yard or on a walk, promptly dispose of your pet’s waste in the trash.
- Don’t dump lawn clippings into storm drains or ditches, rather leave clippings on your lawn to return nutrients to the soil.
- Keep a 15-foot buffer along waterfronts in your yard by not fertilizing or letting the grass grow.
- Set your mower deck high (three inches) to establish strong, healthy roots and shade out weeds.
- Sweep or blow fertilizer and grass clippings back onto the lawn and not into the street to prevent them from getting into storm drains and ditches.
- Wash your car on the grass to keep from harming our waterways; dumping wash water on the lawn allows the ground to filter wash water naturally.
- Host car wash fundraisers at the car wash. Commercial car washes are required to send wash water into the sanitary sewer where it can be properly treated.
- Prevent fluid leaks from reaching paved surfaces.
- Check for leaks regularly and fix them promptly.
- Use ground cloths or drip pans to capture leaks until you can get them fixed.
- Never dump oil, antifreeze, or other fluids down the storm drain.
- Automotive: oil, transmission fluid, gasoline/diesel fuel
- Cleaners: tub, tile, oven
- Home Improvement: oil-based products, glue, rust remover
- Lawn: pesticides & other weed killers
- Other: nail polish, hair relaxer, mercury thermometers, alcohol-based lotion, prescription medication, aerosol cans