Storm Water Public Education
The river is closer than you think!
What You Can Do to Stop Storm Water Runoff Pollution
Before you pour anything into the street gutter or down the storm drains, stop and think! Storm Drains go directly into drains and creeks...and through wetlands into the Detroit River and the Great Lakes.
What You May Not Know
Anything we use in our home, car, and businesses like the following can accidentally wind up in the street:
- Motor Oil
Water from Rain or a Garden Hose
A little water from rain or a garden hose can carry automotive and household materials through the storm drain polluting rivers, wetlands, and the Great Lakes. Storm drains are there to drain water off the streets and yards-not for disposal of hazardous materials.
Now that you have a better understanding of where pollution can come from and what causes it, you can help to reduce pollution by reporting problem areas. The sooner these problems are reported the sooner they can be eliminated and reduce the impact on the environment.
Contact the City of Trenton Engineering Department at 734-675-8251 to share ideas, ask questions, or to report pollution. The Wayne County Department of Environment (WCDOE) also has a 24-hour Hotline 888-223-2363 to report illicit discharges, spills, pollution, etc.
Tips & Useful Information
- Home Maintenance
- Lawn & Garden
- Ownership of the Storm System
- Recreational Vehicle
- Separate Sanitary Sewers
- Take used motor oil and antifreeze to gas stations that accept recyclable automotive fluids, or to a hazardous materials collection center. Did you know that dumping one quart of motor oil down a storm drain contaminates 250,000 gallons of water?
- Have your car maintained regularly to prevent oil, antifreeze and other fluid leaks.
- Reduce automotive emissions through routine auto maintenance, ride sharing and public transportation.
- Conserve water when washing your car and use biodegradable soap. Clean engines at a
Do It Yourself Car Washwhere the drainage is not connected to the storm drain.
- You can control pollution by supporting city and county activities to keep your streets clean. You can help by participating in recycling, river clean-ups, and the proper disposal of hazardous materials.
- Buy household products such as cleaners and furniture polish labeled
non-toxic. Use small quantities and purchase only the amount you need.
- Properly use and store all toxic products, including cleaners, solvents, and paints. Use up paint cleaners and other products or share leftovers with a neighbor.
- Take household hazardous materials and containers to a hazardous material collection center.
- Use kitty litter or other absorbent materials to clean spills. Depending on the substance, dispose of absorbents in the trash can or at a hazardous materials collection center.
- Rinse water-based paint brushes in the sink. Filter and reuse paint thinner or brush cleaners. Dispose of used thinner, oil and latex paint at a hazardous materials collection center.
- Recycle reusable materials. Throw litter into trash cans and keep cans tightly covered to prevent foraging by animals.
- Use pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers in accordance with label instructions. Do not apply before the rain and dispose of leftovers at a hazardous materials collection center.
- Use a broom rather than a hose to clean up garden clippings. Put leaves and clippings in a yard waste receptacle or a compost pile.
- Divert rain spouts and garden hoses from paved surfaces onto the grass to allow water to filter through the soil. Water only your lawn and garden. Caution! Do not use this suggested action in areas with steep slopes.
- Pick up animal waste and dispose of in the trash can.
The City of Trenton owns, operates, and maintains the storm sewer and public drainage system within the City. Regular cleaning and repairs, as well as upgrades when needed, are required to keep the system functioning properly and reduce the amount of sedimentation and pollution entering the waterways.
Certificate of Coverage
We have a Certificate of Coverage under a jurisdictional permit for separated storm water municipal discharge from the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). Also, the City has a Storm Water Phase II permit from the Michigan Depart of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). As such, we are required to educate the public about our watershed, storm water runoff and where storm water and pollutants ultimately discharge into the lake system. A Public Education Program (PEP) has been put into effect in order to achieve these goals.
The sanitary waste, dark water, or
honey wagon from a Recreational Vehicle (RV) should never be dumped down a storm drain. A proper RV dump station should be used.
In the City of Trenton, the Marathon gas station at the northwest corner of Van Horn Road and W Jefferson Avenue has a Boat/RV wash and cleanout station. Like the
Do it Yourself Car Wash, the drainage at this location is not connected to the storm drain.
In the past, sanitary and storm water flows were combined in one sewer system. This water all went to a treatment plant and was discharged into the river and lake system after proper treatment. Due to the costs involved in treating water, the sewer systems have been separated into two systems.
The sanitary system, which picks up bathroom, kitchen and utility drains, continues to flow to a treatment plant that the City of Trenton owns, maintains, and operates. The storm water system, which should only be catching fresh rainwater from roofs, paved areas, and green belt areas, now flows directly to creeks and rivers. Consequently, any illicit material put into the storm sewers will flow directly into our waterways.
City Building Code & Ordinance
The City Building Code and Ordinance require every home or business to be connected to the sanitary sewer system. Septic fields are not permitted within the city of Trenton.
We are all stewards of the environment. It is not ours to use as we wish but for us to use for the benefit of all, including generations to come.
Maintenance and the improvement of our waterways is the responsibility of everyone so that our impact does not cause harm for the future.
Since many businesses and residents are unaware of the storm water runoff problem, encourage neighbors and co-workers to be careful in not polluting the storm drain system.
Everyone needs to participate in order to keep our waterfronts, wetlands, and rivers clean. You, your neighbors and the City, working together, can make a difference.