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Public Works
359 Boyden Avenue
Maplewood Township, NJ 07040

(973) 762-1175

Stormwater Management

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The Department of Engineering and Public Works would like this opportunity to discuss stormwater management, specifically stormwater pollution.  Per New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP), stormwater pollution is defined as the following:

Water from rain and melting snow that flows over lawns, parking lots and streets is known as stormwater runoff. This water, which travels along gutters, into catch basins and through storm drain pipes and ditches, usually is not treated, but then flows or is discharged into local waterbodies. Along the way, the stormwater picks up trash (fast-food wrappers, cigarette butts, styrofoam cups, etc.) and toxins and other pollutants (gas, motor oil, antifreeze, fertilizers, pesticides and pet droppings). This polluted stormwater can kill fish and other wildlife, destroy wildlife habitat, contaminate drinking water sources and force the closing of beaches because of health threats to swimmers.

Human activity is mostly responsible for the pollution. Anything discarded inappropriately can make its way in our stormwater management system and can lead to pollution. Fortunately, we as a community, are able to do something about it. Here are a few tips from NJDEP to keep in mind:

  • Gardening:
    • Conserve water by watering during cooler times of the day.
    • Use natural pesticides such as milky spore.
    • Test your lawn to check if you need to fertilize or not.
    • Use mulch on flower beds and gardens to prevent weeds and to help absorb water. 
  • Pets:
    • Do not feed wildlife such as geese as this results in more pollution from their wastes.
    • Pick up after your pet. Ensure proper disposal of waste into the trash or toilet.
    • Carry a newspaper or plastic back to pick up waste when you walk your pet.
  • At Home:
    • Shop for non-hazardous, biodegradable and phosphorous-free cleaning products.
    • Keep trash cans closes to prevent trash from scattering.
    • If you use hazardous substances such as paints and cleaners, use them sparingly and store them properly to avoid spills
For more information and tips, please visit NJDEP’s Clean Water NJ website at www.cleanwaternj.org.