Businesses can make a direct difference in the water quality of Onondaga Lake and its tributaries by focusing on two major issues: stormwater and litter. Businesses should strive to reduce the amount of stormwater that runs off of their properties. This will reduce the amount of stormwater entering our sewer system and will lead to improved water quality of Onondaga Lake and its tributaries. It is also important to keep places of business litter free! This will serve the dual purpose of beautifying our community and keeping the Lake clean. Check out the ideas below to help us Save the Rain:

1.) Reduce Impervious Surfaces –Impervious surfaces do not allow rain water to soak into the ground. Instead, this water runs off into our sewer system. Common impervious surfaces include rooftops, driveways, sidewalks and parking lots. Green infrastructure allows nature to do the work for us by allowing natural processes to manage our stormwater! Some examples of green infrastructure include green roofs and porous pavement. Green roofs use vegetation to catch the rain where it lands, prevent it from running off and then return it to the atmosphere. Porous pavement allows stormwater to soak into the ground so that it can become part of the natural water cycle. Save the Rain has a Green Improvement Fund program that provides funding to eligible property owners to support the development of green infrastructure and stormwater mitigation techniques on private property.

2.) Combat Litter – Litter in our streets can make its way to our lakes and waterways during storm events. The best way to avoid this pollution is to stop litter at its source. It is very important to ensure that your place of business is free of litter! Simple ways to do this are to provide and properly maintain trash and recycling cans as well as cigarette butt receptacles. It may be helpful to speak with your neighboring business owners about teaming up to keep the area litter free. Visit our “Connect the Drops” site to learn more about how rainwater and litter are connected.

3.) Proper Drainage – Make sure that roof and sump pump drains are not tied into the sewer system. If they are they should be disconnected. Instead, a discharge tube should run from the sump pump to the exterior of the building.

4.) Use and Dispose of Chemical Products Properly – DO NOT dispose of gasoline, paint, motor oil, fertilizer, pesticides or any other chemicals by pouring them down your household or storm drains. Homeowners should contact the Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency for instructions on disposal of these products.