Protecting Our Rivers

Protect our Rivers and Streams!

Did you know that anything that goes into a catch basin or storm inlet on the street eventually ends up in a stream or river?  You can help protect our water resources by reporting any activity that could cause pollution of our waterways.  If you see someone dumping anything into a storm inlet or even just dumping something on the street such as oil or auto fluids, litter, paint, grass clippings, hazardous waste or cleaning fluids, you can report this to the borough office at (412) 384-7771.  Please get as much information as possible including a photo, the location and time and other pertinent information.  Together we can all protect water, our most valuable resource.

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Got Grass?   Mow High!

Make your lawn easier and cheaper to maintain by mowing high – Three Inches is the rule.  The roots of your grass grow as deep as the grass grows tall, so taller grass has deeper, healthier roots.  Keep your lawn 3” high and never cut off more than 1/3 of the blade each time you mow.  A healthy lawn tolerates hot, dry weather better – so you won’t need to spend your summer watering and fertilizing.

Mow High, Save Time and Money.  It’s that easy.

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RESOLVE to protect your drinking water!

Antifreeze, carpet cleaners, gasoline, pesticides, oil paints, solvents, used motor oil…these items should never be put down the drain in your house or in the street where they can wash into catch basins.  Improper disposal allows these items to seep into our groundwater and rivers.  So the next time you are house cleaning or on the move, do the right thing.  Call the Allegheny County Health Department Water Pollution Control Division at 412-578-8040 to find out how to dispose of these items safely.

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Rake it or Leave it!

Rake It!

Follow your community guidelines for yard waste disposal whether it be to rake it to the curb or place it in paper bags for pickup.  Never rake leaves or yard waste into storm drains, ditches, creeks or the river.  Decaying leaves and grass use up the water’s oxygen harming aquatic inhabitants.

Leave It!

Mulch leaves or grass clippings with the lawn mower.  Leaves and grass clippings are the best fertilizer for your lawn.

Rake it AND Leave it!

Rake yard waste into a compost pile for a nutrient rich fertilizer touse on your garden or flower bed.

 

A Doo-Doo Don’t Do

When your pets leave those little surprises, rain washes all that pet waste and bacteria into our storm inlets which drain into our creeks, streams and rivers.  This pollutes our waterways.  So what should you do?  Dispose of it properly – in the toilet or bag-it and trash-it.  Then that little surprise gets treated like it should.

 

Keep Your Feed on the Grass

You fertilize the lawn.  Then it rains.  The rain washes the fertilizer into the storm drain which leads to creeks, streams and rivers.  This causes algae to grow, which uses oxygen that fish need to survive.  Some fertilizers also contain weed killer which poisons our water when it runs off.  So please, if you fertilize, follow directions and use sparingly.

 

Storm Water News Corner

You, the public are an important partner in the campaign to preserve Western Pennsylvania’s greatest asset – our water supply.  Pure water is essential for all forms of life.  Keeping our water safe from contamination is in everyone’s best interest.  In each newsletter, we will be providing tips on how you can help preserve this vital commodity.

When you wash your car at home, where does that water go?  It likely goes onto the street where it is collected in a storm sewer which transports it to a stream or river.  If you use harsh chemicals to clean your car, they will also go into the stream where they can kill fish or wildlife that may drink the water.  It is better to go to a commercial car wash where the water is cleaned and reused or if possible, wash your car in a grassy area where the water will filter into the ground instead of running off into a creek.

Salt is another source of water contamination.  While we all want to clear the snow and ice from our walks and driveways to be safe, please remember to use salt or other de-icers sparingly.  Use only as much as needed.  This will help minimize contamination and also save you money!

More information on how to protect our water resources is available at www.epa.gov/npdes/stormwater

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