Homeowner Opportunities

How individuals can contribute to better stormwater management

Installation of BMPs

BMPs, or Best Management Practices, can look like many things in terms of stormwater. Some examples of feasible BMPs for homeowners to install in their yards include rain gardens, rain barrels, and downspout gardens. These practices reduce the peak rate of runoff, as well as volume. Infiltration practices such as rain gardens and downspout gardens also contribute to better water quality. To learn more about these practices, check out this brochure. Rain barrels can be bought at a discount – go to the Ripple Effects website to learn about pickup locations for discounted rain barrels and information on reimbursements.

Leaf Free Streets Sign

Leaf-Free Streets

With fall fast approaching, it is crucial that we keep excess leaf litter out of storm drains and inlets. Leaves release nutrients when they decompose- although it may be great for lawns or compost, large quantities of these nutrients in waterways contribute to low water quality and lake eutrophication. Click on the image to the left to learn more about how and why we should keep leaf litter off the streets. 


Grasscycling is an easy way to regenerate the life of your lawn and a great use of grass clippings. Not only is it of no cost to you, but it reduces the use of synthetic fertilizers. Generally, these synthetic fertilizers contain nutrients such as Phosphorous, which in excess, can cause large algal blooms and contributes to the eutrophication of the Yahara Lakes. To learn more about grasscycling, visit our page here, or the WDNR.

Be SaltWIse
Salt use in the winter is extremely important for public safety- it prevents slips and serious injuries. However, it also contributes to excessive chlorine in surface and groundwater. Check out this brochure on being SaltWIse for tips or take a look at our "Winter Maintenance" page to learn more. 

Additional Information

The following links contain information on how individuals can help improve water quality year-round by constructing rain gardens, reducing fertilizer and pesticide use, cleaning up pet waste, and using a low-salt diet for winter maintenance.

If you are interested in public stormwater infrastructure and what Fitchburg is doing to improve stormwater management, look at this document.

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