Residential Storm Water
Unlike the sanitary sewer system, which brings waste to a treatment facility where it is cleaned, storm sewer systems are designed to collect runoff and send it directly into nearby ponds and/or streams, without any treatment. Unfortunately, runoff can easily collect pollutants like fertilizers, pesticides, motor vehicle fluids and sediment that accumulate on driveways, parking lots and streets. These contaminants can severely pollute and impair our local waterways.
Fortunately, residents of Altoona can take an active role in protecting the City’s water quality by implementing Best Management Practices (BMP’s).
Learn about the different types of residential easements here: Property Easements.
Restore the health of your lawn by aerating and then apply a thin (1/4” – 1/2”) layer of compost and seed.
Minimize the use of fertilizers. When you do use them, purchase fertilizers containing “0” phosphorus (the middle number on the fertilizer bag indicates the quantity of phosphorus). Sweep up any fertilizer that is spread on sidewalks, driveways or streets and spread it back on the lawn.
Use native landscaping and native turf grass in your yard.
Wash your car at a carwash or on the lawn, not the driveway
Re-direct roof drains to gardens or other vegetated areas
Clean up pet waste
Properly dispose of all hazardous household waste
Residents can use rain barrels to capture rain water, which can be used later when it is not raining. Capturing a portion of rainwater from each rain event helps reduce the amount of water that flows into City streets and sewers and also provides homeowners with free irrigation water.
The City of Altoona provides up to $75 reimbursement for the purchase and install of a rain barrel on private property. Learn more about the City’s Rain Barrel Grant Program here:
Rain Barrel Grant Program Summary Rain Barrel Grant Program Application
More stormwater educational materials and information can be found on the Iowa Stormwater Education Program website: http://www.iowastormwater.org/Altoona City Code Chapter 147: Illicit Discharge to Storm Sewer System