The City of Nashua is doing its part to manage stormwater. However, everyone living and working in Nashua can help manage stormwater and prevent water pollution. The City of Nashua wants to provide residents, businesses and visitors with public outreach to better understand stormwater pollution and what can be done.
Stormwater Pollutant Types
Pollutant sources related to stormwater runoff are discussed below. Click the links below to learn more.
Impervious surfaces such as roads, driveways, decks, and even compacted soils, change the way water flows over and through the land. They prevent stormwater from soaking into the ground, which increases the volume of stormwater runoff that needs to be managed by communities. Unmanaged stormwater runoff contributes to flooding, stream bank erosion, and reduced groundwater recharge.
Erosion is the gradual wearing away of land by water, wind, or ice. During construction, land can be disturbed by excavation, filling and paving. This can increase erosion by exposing the soil to stormwater. Nutrients such as phosphorus have the ability to "stick" to soil and can be transported to lakes and rivers.
Fertilizer, pet waste, and septic systems can contribute excess nutrients that speed up plant and algae growth, including cyanobacteria, which can harm humans and animals and can be a nuisance for swimming and boating. They can also increase bacteria that can make swimmers sick and lead to beach closures. Bacteria can not only pose a human health risk, but can cause economic hardships for communities that rely on beaches for tourism revenue.
Stormwater collection systems such as catch basins are comprised of miles of underground pipes that convey stormwater to a waterbody. As these systems are underground, identifying leaks and illicit connections to the system can be difficult.
The following good practices will help reduce the volume of stormwater created and help prevent pollutants from coming in contact with stormwater.
Only rain down the drain. Never dump anything down a storm drain. Anything dumped down a storm drain, such as chemicals, oil, etc. will end up in a local waterbody. Learn More!
Reduce the amount of runoff from your property. Plant rain gardens, reduce the amount of impervious surfaces or install a rain barrel. Learn More!
Report illegal dumping into storm drains and waterbodies and other stormwater issues.
Disconnect roof leaders. Direct roof leaders onto pervious surfaces and away from walkways and driveways so that stormwater can infiltrate into the ground. Learn More!
Keep your automobiles serviced regularly by a qualified mechanic, clean up fluid leaks, and put an absorbent rag under the leak to absorb the fluid until it is fixed.
Use a commercial car wash or wash your car on a lawn or other unpaved surface to minimize the amount of dirty, soapy water flowing into the storm drain and/or waterbody. Learn More!
Take care of your septic system. Have your septic tank pumped and inspected at least once every two years. Plant only grass over your drainfield to avoid damage from roots and do not park or drive on it. Only put washwater and wastewater down the drain. Don’t dump excessive chemicals, medications, food, flushable wipes or household products into your system. Learn More!
Use pesticides sparingly and avoid using them before a rainstorm. Learn More!
Use fertilizers sparingly and avoid using them before a rainstorm. Learn More!
Properly manage and dispose of grass clippings, yard waste, and leaf litter. Do not dump yard waste in storm drains, ditches, or water bodies. Manage grass clippings and leaf litter in your yard and keep in mind that some of this material can provide good natural fertilizer for lawn or garden areas. Learn More!
Plant native and drought-tolerant species that require less water, fertilizer, and pesticides. Vegetate bare spots in your yard to minimize erosion of soils into local waters.
Protect stockpiles by storing under a roof, impermeable tarp, or plastic sheeting. Do not store or stockpile materials near a storm drain, wetland, or stream.
Designate waste disposal areas. Remove trash, debris, and wastes on a regular basis and ensure that dumpsters are covered.
Pick up pet waste and flush it down the toilet or place in trash. Learn More!
Clean up small spills immediately using dry cleanup methods.
Manage winter salt application and storage. Cover salt piles. Limit the amount of salt applied. Sweep and properly dispose of any visible salt deposits once the application surface or storage area has dried.
Maintain your buildings. Prevent wash water and debris from building repairs from entering storm drains. Clean rain gutters frequently. Direct roof downspouts away from paved surfaces or into rain barrels or rain gardens.
Maintain your parking lots, sidewalks, and driveways. Sweep sidewalks, loadings docks, driveways, and parking lots regularly to collect sand, debris, and litter and dispose of it in the trash.
All of these good practices can reduce potential negative impacts to the water cycle. To learn more about the water cycle, click here