Stormwater Pollution Prevention

stormwater runoff diagramThe Stormwater Division maintains the flow of stormwater through Cape Girardeau.  Stormwater is rain that falls on streets, roofs, parking lots, and other surfaces.  It then flows into inlets and travels through storm drains to creeks, streams, rivers, or other bodies of water.  Since the water is not filtered, everything in the pipelines is released into the waterways.  You should never pour any chemicals or hazardous materials on the ground or down the storm drains.  Pollution harms everything that relies on the water source including plants, fish, wildlife, and humans.  Even moderate pollution can damage the water supply.  Most of Cape Girardeau's stormwater ends up in the Mississippi River, which is a drinking source for many communities.

What can you do to prevent stormwater pollution?

  • Participate in our Storm Drain Stenciling Program
  • Remember that only rain belongs in the drain
  • Don't blow your yard clippings into the street
  • Plant native, low-maintenance plants and grasses
  • Use fertilizers sparingly and sweep up driveways, sidewalks, and gutters
  • Don't overwater your lawn or garden
  • Use less toxic pesticides and be sure to follow labels
  • Direct downspouts away from paved surfaces; consider a rain garden to capture runoff
  • Install a rain barrel or cistern to capture roof runoff
  • Wash your car at a car wash or over gravel instead of your driveway
  • Check your vehicle for leaks and recycle your motor oil
  • Pick up after your pet
  • Put trash in proper receptacles - DON'T LITTER