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Polluted storm runoff is among the biggest concerns for water quality in our lakes.
Maitland has 21 scenic lakes in a 6.5-square-mile area. Many of these lakes are surrounded by development, which contributes large amounts of rain runoff with each storm.
How much? Florida averages 55 to 60 inches of rainfall each year. Just one inch of rain on an acre of land is equivalent to 27,154 gallons, or 113 tons, of water.
The initial flush of stormwater that does not evaporate or soak into the soil often washes across lawns, parking lots, roads and other surfaces, picking up all kinds of pollutants like grass clippings, fertilizers, pesticides, oils, metals and even bacteria from animal waste.
Stormwater often is collected by drainage systems that flow out to retention areas, ponds and natural lakes. The pollution can contribute to diminished lake water quality, algae blooms, fish kills and other problems.
Every property owner can help to reduce the impacts of stormwater pollution. Here are some tips from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection:
• Never dump anything down storm drains.
• Clean up trash and yard waste in your yard and gutters, and around storm drains.
• Do not blow leaf litter and grass clippings into the road or stormwater systems.
• Direct structure rain gutters and downspouts away from paved surfaces.
• Control soil erosion by planting over bare spots in the landscape.
• Sweep and collect debris from driveways and sidewalks instead of using a hose. Clean up oil and other leaked vehicle fluids.
• Keep ditches, swales and retention areas clear of debris such as including grass clippings, branches and leaves.
• Clean up after your pet while outside.