Protect Lake Erie, even in the winter!

Even though Lake Erie may freeze during the winter, we need to continue to protect its waters. Many things we do around our homes and on our driveways in the winter time effects Lake Erie’s water quality, because whatever enters a storm drain or roadside ditch will eventually flow untreated to our rivers and end up in Lake Erie.

Here are a few simple tips to follow this winter:

1. Don’t wait until spring rains wash all the winter gunk off your car; take it to a commercial carwash so that the salt residue, dirt, oil, grease, and break dust that built up on your car will drain to a sanitary sewer where the water can be treated.

2. Use salt wisely, because a little goes a long way - apply salt to driveways and sidewalks BEFORE it snows to help prevent ice buildup; shovel as much snow as possible, and then apply salt when necessary; if there is salt remaining on your sidewalk or driveway after the ice melts, sweep it up and save it for the next snow storm; try to pile salt on grassy areas, not over catch basins or near streams, to minimize the amount of accumulated pollution in the snow, so when the snow melts, the grass will filter out the pollutants and it won’t flow into waterways.

It may not seem like you alone can make a difference in cleaning up stormwater pollution, but if everyone in your community did these simple steps, it would have a great impact on Lake Erie.  Do your part to love YOUR Lake and help keep our stormwater clean.

For more information on this recipe, call the Lake County Stormwater Management Department at (440) 350-5900.  Visit our website at www.lakecountyohio.gov/smd and like us on Facebook!

Lake County Stormwater Management Article