Even if your home is located in a rural area it can have impacts on downstream water bodies like Lake Champlain.

The pesticides and fertilizers used in these locations can wash into nearby streams and ultimately impact the Lake. Similarly, failed septic systems or poor management of animal manure can have a significant impact on local and downstream water bodies. Follow these practices to help prevent stormwater pollution from rural properties

Protecting your Well

Since old, uncapped and abandoned wells can serve as direct conduits to our groundwater, it’s important to maintain these areas. Keep all livestock confinement areas away from wells, and keep septic drain fields and chemical storage areas down slope from wells. Install anti-siphoning devices between your well and water pipes to prevent backflow of pollutants and drinking water contamination. REMEMBER: Never dispose of anything in wells.

Fertilizers & Pesticides

Avoid buying and mixing more pesticide than you need, and never apply more than the recommended amount. Consider spot treatments, rather than spraying pesticides everywhere. REMEMBER: Don’t dispose of excess chemicals by dumping them on the ground, pouring them down a well, or draining them into ditches, sewers, drains or septic systems. Call 872-8111 for disposal information. Finally, store chemicals in a covered area, with an impermeable lined floor to prevent contact with rainwater.

The Rural Landscape

Reduce soil erosion by covering parking areas with gravel, and by covering other exposed soils with vegetation. Gravel and vegetation will not only improve the appearance of your home, but will also assist in filtering out pollutants from water. For information call VT Master Gardener: 1-800-639-2230.

Autos & Other Equipment

Repair vehicles and other equipment away from wells, ditches and drains. Avoid accidental spills by using a drip pan and funnel when draining or pouring fluids. Prevent leaks from stored vehicles by draining gas, hydraulic oil, and transmission, brake and radiator fluid. For recycling information, call 872-8111.

Septic Systems

Septic systems should never be piped into a road ditch, storm sewer, stream or farm drain tile system. Also, avoid washing or flushing grease, alcohol, or strong chemicals into your septic system; these substances kill the bacteria needed to break down wastes. Have your septic system emptied regularly.

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