JeffCO H20: Risky Business

not-down-the-stormdrainThey are called storm drains, inlets, culverts, and gutters.  These openings, pipes, and ditches along roadways are built for the purpose of quickly removing rainwater from paved areas to prevent flooding.  Unlike the sanitary sewer system which carries wastewater from homes and businesses to a wastewater treatment plant, storm drains carry rainwater and anything else on the ground directly to the nearest creek or stream.  This water does not get treated.  The thing is, storm drains are very conveniently located, and therein lies the problem.  When working outside, it’s normal to want to be done as quickly as possible, and that includes cleaning up after completing a project.  But it is not okay to use a storm drain for the disposal of grass clippings, car wash water, vehicle fluids, or any other material associated with your project due to its potential to pollute waterways. Take the extra step to properly dispose of waste or leftover materials.  Grass clippings and other yard debris can be used to start a compost pile which will create some wonderfully rich nutrients to add to your garden.  Cars should be washed on a grassy or other pervious area so that wash water can soak into the ground rather than run off into the street, or taken to a commercial car wash which captures and recycles wash water. Used vehicle fluids are accepted at most locations that service cars.  The bottom line is that stormwater pollution affects everyone, and it takes everyone working together to keep Jefferson County waterways clean!

What’s Happening?

Brown Bag Lunch and Learn Seminar Series – Birmingham Botanical Gardens, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm – This free seminar series continues through October.  No reservations required; light refreshments provided.  For more information, visit

September 14 – All about Bulbs

Easy care, low maintenance, and they bring added color and texture all year long!

September 28 – Transplanting and Care

Discover the tried and true techniques of planting, propagating or moving established     plants in your yard.

October 12 – Ask the Experts

Bring your garden related questions and ask the panel.  Trees, turf, vegetables, soil, pests and disease – our experts have the answers!

October 26 – They’re So Wicked

Discover what plants are harmful or toxic, how to control them and the folklore   associated with them!


Lyn DiClemente
Jefferson County Department of Storm Water Management
B-210 Jefferson County Courthouse Annex
716 Richard Arrington Jr. Blvd. North
Birmingham, AL  35203


Leave a Reply