The City of St. Augustine Beach is taking steps to improve the quality of our surface waters by reducing the amount of pollution carried to our waterways due to stormwater runoff.
Stormwater is water that originates from rain and enters the City's stormwater system. Precipitation that is not absorbed into the ground due to an impervious surface, like concrete or asphalt, is considered stormwater runoff.
The City's stormwater system is designed to collect stormwater runoff in catch basins and storm drains and channel that water to our waterways using a network of underground pipes that make up our stormwater system. A variety of toxic pollutants are washed from the streets and parking lots into storm drains, waterways, and ultimately to the ocean. These pollutants include leaking oil, antifreeze, and gasoline from motor vehicles; copper dust which is released from motor vehicle brake pad linings; rubber tire dust; soaps and chemicals used to wash motor vehicles; waste motor oil from vehicles, lawn mowers, and small equipment; and fertilizers, pesticides, and insecticides. This type of pollution is called non-point source pollution due to the fact that it comes from many unidentifiable sources making it hard to regulate and prevent.
Stormwater pollution has a significant effect on surface waters and is a major problem in cities all over the country.
How you can help:
The best way to reduce stormwater pollution is to stop it at its source. Keep your storm drains clean and free of debris. Remember that pollutants flushed down storm drains directly affects the quality of our waterways and could possibly make them unsafe for boating, fishing, swimming, and other water related activities. Here are some tips to help keep our waterways clean:
- Don't work on your car in a place where oil and grease could be washed into street gutters. Used motor oil should be contained and taken to a collection center. Most automotive shops provide this service.
- Grass clippings should be bagged and disposed of with yard waste. Dumping grass clippings down a storm drain can slow storm water flow, and clog the drains.
- Do not wash dirty paint brushes under an outdoor faucet. Chances are the dirty rinse water will flow into a storm drain and into our waterways. Water-based paints can be washed in the sink and oil based paint should be cleaned with a paint thinner, filtered out, wrapped in newspaper and discarded with the trash.
- Pet dropping should not be discarded into storm drains or left in the yard. Clean up pet droppings and dispose of them in the garden, trash bins, or in the toilet.
- When washing your vehicle, park on grass or some other area that can absorb the runoff water. Washing your car on the street sends all the chemicals used to clean your car into a catch basin and directly into our water.
- Use pesticides sparingly and don't fertilize right before it rains.
- Try to keep trash and other debris out of gutters and away from catch basins.
Report Illegal Dumping:
Dumping waste down storm drains is not only bad for the environment, it is illegal too. If you have questions or a complaint please call the City of St. Augustine Beach Public Works Department at 904-471-1119, or email at Public-Works@cityofsab.org .