Stormwater runoff can be generated from a variety of everyday residential and commercial activities such as washing cars on paved surfaces, improperly disposing of pet waste, over fertilizing our lawns, and making home improvements without erosion protection.

By identifying and understanding how some of our everyday actions can contribute to stormwater runoff and making small changes to how we perform these tasks, we can help prevent water pollution in our communities.

Below are the most common stormwater runoff problems in the Lake Champlain Basin, and simple actions everyone can take to prevent such runoff.

Gutter Runoff

As stormwater runoff moves across the landscape it picks up debris, chemicals, oil and other pollutants before entering streams and lakes. Proper installation of gutters, rain barrels, and rain gardens can help minimize the runoff from your home.

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Fertilizer Use

Most lawns and gardens in Vermont do not need fertilizer. So when you fertilize without needing to, you actually help things grow in the lake instead of in your lawn or garden.

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Auto Maintenance

Did you know it’s actually better to use a commercial car wash to prevent oil and grease, and other toxics from washing into our storm drains and enter Lake Champlain UNTREATED!
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Pet Waste

Pet waste can be a major source of bacteria and excess nutrients in local waters. This can cause harm to people and result in beach closures.

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Where does pollution come from?

Below is a breakdown of where pollution in Lake Champlain comes from. In addition, there are smaller graphics for each of the three population areas that border the lake.

Vermont contributes the most pollution to Lake Champlain, and therefore has the greatest opportunity to improve the health of the lake.

New York