What is Stormwater?
Stormwater is rainwater plus anything that the rain carries along with it (e.g., pollutants, trash, debris). As rain falls onto the roof of your house, or collects on paved areas like streets, alleys, and driveways, it gets carried through a system of pipes and channels (separate from the sanitary sewer system). These storm drain pipes and channels lead directly to Benbrook Lake and other local creeks.
Unlike sanitary sewage, stormwater is not treated at a wastewater treatment plant. Remember that our drinking water comes from Benbrook Lake; if you discharge pollutants into the storm drain system, you pollute your drinking water. As a homeowner, you can take ten simple steps to help prevent stormwater pollution.
10 Tips to Help Prevent Stormwater Pollution
- Take your car to the carwash instead of washing it at home. Car washes drain to the sanitary sewer and some even recycle their water. If you must wash your car at home, use biodegradable soap and apply water sparingly.
- When you change the oil in your car, properly dispose of it at an oil recycling center. Don’t dump it on the ground or in the storm drain.
- Check your vehicle, boat, and motorcycle for leaks. Don’t rinse spilled fluid into the storm drain. Instead, use an absorbent material, such as kitty litter, and then sweep it up.
- Never dump or sweep anything into the storm drain, which is a violation of city code. Compost your grass clippings or leave them on the lawn.
- Pick up after your pet. When pet waste is left on the ground, the rain washes it into the storm drain, then into Benbrook Lake and area creeks.
- Don’t apply pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides before it rains. The rain won’t help these chemicals soak into the ground; it will only create polluted stormwater runoff.
- Use non-toxic or organic alternatives to pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides.
- Drain your pool into the sanitary sewer where it can be treated. If this option is not available, then the pool water has to be de-chlorinated prior to draining into the storm drain.
- Dispose of paint and other household hazardous waste at one of Benbrook’s recycling events or you can take it to the City of Fort Worth’s Environmental Center, with proof of residency, for free disposal. Paint cans can also be opened, allowed to air dry, then disposed of in the trash.
- Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Throw litter away in your garbage container but recycle what you can.
To report a prohibited discharge into the storm drain, channel, or creek system during business hours, please call City Hall at 817-249-3000. After hours, you may call the non-emergency Police number at 817-249-1610. To learn more about water pollution, visit our website at benbrook-tx.gov/546/Storm-Water-Runoff.