Westbrook Storm Water Management

We just started a big commercial Storm Water Management project in New Haven; it’s a sizable project that will keep Storm Drain Coversome of our crew busy for the next couple months. But it got us to thinking – what do people think about municipal storm water management?

Living on the shoreline, storm water management is a critical issue to protecting the Long Island Sound and other shared water resources. Our friends in the Town of Westbrook have posted an informative brochure on the town website about storm water. It contains some tips on what average homeowners can do to help alleviate contaminants that get funneled into the storm water management system during a precipitation event.

There are some things an average citizen can do to reduce the potential for stormwater that will flow to the Sound to have contaminants in it. The following list are guidelines; not everyone will be able to do everything here. But if you try to adopt a few of these steps, you will be contributing to reducing the toxicity of the water flowing into the Long Island Sound. 


  1. Maintain your car or truck. Never dump anything down a storm drain. Always recycle used oil, antifreeze and other fluids. Fix oil leaks in your vehicles.
  2. Wash your car at a commercial car wash rather than in the street or in your driveway. If you wash your car at home, wash it on your lawn.
  3. Drive less. Leave your car at home at least one day each week and take a bus, carpool or bike to work. Combine errands when you drive.
  4. Cut down on fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides. If you use these chemicals, follow directions and use them sparingly. Don’t fertilize before a rainstorm. Consider using organic fertilizers. Compost or mulch lawn clippings. Preserve existing trees or plant new ones – trees hold rainfall and help manage stormwater.
  5. Remove part or all of your lawn. Lawns require a lot of watering, mowing and caring. Replace part of your lawn with native, drought-resistant plants. Add compost to planting soil and dress it with mulch to improve plant growth and reduce stormwater runoff.
  6. If you are on a septic system, maintain the system. Septic systems require regular inspections, maintenance and pumping, or they will fail, cost a lot of money to fix and could pollute nearby lakes and streams. Have a professional inspector check your system regularly and have it pumped out when needed.
  7. Pick up after your pets and keep animals out of streams. Scoop your dog’s poop and properly dispose of it. Also, make sure fences and other structures are keeping cows, horses and other animals out of streams. Compost manure in a designated area so that it doesn’t wash off into nearby waterways.
  8. Reduce impervious surfaces at home and increase the vegetated land cover of your property. Impervious surfaces include your roof, driveway, patios and lawn. Reduce rooftop runoff by directing your downspouts to vegetated areas, and not to the storm drain on your street. For your driveway and patios, consider putting in permeable paving or patterns of cement and brick that allow water to filter through it.

If you need assistance in inspecting or cleaning your septic system, please contact us.