It's a Fact

  • Even if you don't live near water, excess fertilizer from your lawn gets into our water supply and can be toxic to plants and animals.
  • Hosing your driveway off for 15 minutes wastes 150 gallons of water—and sends pollutants like motor oil into the river.
  • One quart of motor oil can pollute 250,000 gallons of river water. So use a large pan if you are changing motor oil yourself.
  • Most storm drains empty into local rivers. The fertilizers, motor oil, and pesticides you hose of the pavement at your house pollutes our fresh water.
  • Pet waste contains e. coli. Even if you don't live near water, leaving pet waste on the ground increases the risk of harmful bacteria in local rivers and lakes.
  • Even if you don't live near water, pesticides from your lawn can wash off and pollute rivers—harming wildlife and water quality.
  • Washing your car in your driveway can pollute fresh water. All the detergent and oil you rinse into the storm drain ends up in the river.
  • Even if you don't live near water, the salt you use on your driveway in winter ends up in local rivers and streams. Pour sparingly.
  • Everyone lives in a watershed. What happens on your property can affect the entire watershed and beyond.
  • Rain gardens and rain barrels can be used to effectively manage stormwater. A rain barrel attached to a downspout collects rainwater that can be used to water lawns and gardens. Rain gardens are designed to collect stormwater and allow it to infiltrate into the ground.
  • Increased stormwater runoff ends up in rivers, streams and lakes. It can degrade the natural stream channel, increase flooding, and pollute area waterways.
  • Sediment is one of the leading pollutants in local rivers and streams. Preventing soil erosion on your property will help to reduce sediment loading into our water resources.
  • During periods of heavy rain in urbanized areas, like the Greater Lansing Region, rainwater flows directly into area waterways, such as the Red Cedar and Grand Rivers.
  • The Great Lakes contain nearly 20 percent of the world's and 90 percent of the United State's fresh surface water supply. Reducing pollutants in your backyard can help keep the Great Lakes clean.
  • What can you do? There are lots of things you can do as a family to protect water quality: volunteer in a river clean up, choose natural cleaning products, clean up spills on your driveway and pick up and properly dispose of pet waste. Contact one of the organizations below to learn more.
  • Did you know? that because of impervious surfaces like pavement and rooftops, a typical city block generates more than 5 times more stormwater runoff than a woodland area of the same size? Runoff carries pollutants such as oil, dirt, chemicals and lawn fertilizers directly to streams and rivers. (from

Working together to reduce and prevent pollution in the Grand River watershed

Middle Grand River Organization of Watersheds