Stormwater Pollution Prevention


Stormwater runoff is known as the water from rain and melting snow that flows over lawns, parking lots and streets. This water, which travels along gutters, into catch basins/inlets and through storm drain pipes and ditches, is typically not treated. Ultimately it either flows naturally or is discharged into local waterbodies.


Along the way, stormwater picks up trash (fast food wrappers, cigarette butts, styrofoam cups, etc.), toxins and other pollutants (gas, motor oil, antifreeze, fertilizers, pesticides and pet droppings). This polluted stormwater can kill fish, destroy wildlife habitat, contaminate drinking water sources and force the closing of beaches because of health threats to swimmers.

Human activity is largely responsible for the stormwater pollution. Everything that we put on the ground or into the storm drain can end up in our water. Each of us has a responsibility to make sure these contaminants stay out of our water. Whether we have clean water is up to you.


Visit the following New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection website links to find small changes you can make every day to help improve water quality:

Tips on How to Help Reduce Nonpoint Source Pollution

  • Place litter in trash receptacles. Place litter, including cigarette butts and fast food containers, in trash receptacles. Recycle, recycle, recycle!
  • Avoid overuse of fertilizers. Do a soil test to see if you need to add fertilizer. Avoid the overuse of fertilizers and do not apply them before a heavy rainfall. If you use fertilizers, follow the label directions carefully.
  • Use alternatives to pesticides. Many household products made to exterminate pests are toxic to humans, animals, aquatic organisms, and plants. Follow the label directions carefully and use alternatives whenever possible.
  • Clean up after your pet. Animal waste contains bacteria and viruses that can contaminate shellfish and cause bathing beaches to close. Pet owners or their keepers must pick up and properly dispose of pet waste dropped on public or other people's property. Dispose of wastes in the garbage or toilet.
  • Don't feed wildlife. Do not feed wildlife, such as ducks and geese, in public areas.
  • Dispose of yard waste properly. Keep leaves and grass out of storm drains. Use leaves and grass clippings as a resource for compost. Refer to for the rules, guidelines, and schedules for leaf and brush collections.
  • Properly use and dispose of hazardous products. Many common household products contain toxic ingredients. Use natural and less toxic alternatives whenever possible. Do not pour any hazardous products down a storm drain because storm drains are usually connected to local water bodies.
  • Recycle used motor oil. Used motor oil contains toxic chemicals that are harmful to humans and animals, especially fish. Recycle all used motor oil by taking it to a local, public, or private recycling center.
  • Wash your car only when necessary. Consider using a commercial car wash that recycles its wash water. If you wash your car at home, use a non-phosphate detergent.
  • Inspect your septic systems annually. An improperly working septic system can contaminate groundwater and create public health problems. Inspect your tank annually and pump it out every three to five years, depending on its use.
  • Keep pollution out of storm drains. The Township has labeled and marked all storm drain inlets. Labels remind residents that these storm drains are connected to local waterways. Do not let sewerage or other wastes flow into a stormwater system.
  • Don't dump boat sewerage overboard. Dumping boat sewerage overboard introduces bacteria and viruses to our water. It may also be illegal. Boat owners should always use marine sanitation devices and pump-out facilities at marinas.

It is important to remember these easy things you can do to assist with restoring the health of our streams and environment. Refer to Chapters 423 and 540 for Middletown's adopted stormwater pollution ordinances.