When managing stormwater the main objective is to reduce runoff and increase infiltration. There are a variety of ways this can be accomplished in residential areas. Below is a list of helpful techniques that can be implemented.
1. Direct downspouts to previous areas. A significant amount of water is collected on roofs. By way of gutters and downspouts, this water can be directed to pervious areas, such as lawns or gardens, where it can infiltrate into the ground instead of running off over impervious areas.
2. Minimize impervious areas. This can be done by reducing the size of paved areas, patios, walkways, and parking areas. If a paved area needs to be repaired, consider using permeable pavers, or gravel instead of concrete or asphalt.
3. Use a broom instead of a hose. When cleaning your driveway or other paved areas, consider using a broom and collecting the debris instead of washing the area with a hose. When driveways are washed with a hose, all the debris and pollutants get washed directly into the stormwater system, which deposits the pollutant filled water into the river.
4. Take your car to the car wash or wash it over a grassy area. Detergents used for car washing can be very harmful to river ecosystems. Car wash facilities have the proper infrastructure to handle contaminated water. The water is treated before it is released back into the ecosystem. Taking your car to a car wash is the best option, but if you do wash your car at home, wash it over a grassy area and not in the driveway or over pavement. By washing your car on the grass it keeps detergents out of the stormwater system. Soapy water is allowed to infiltrate into the grass. This is a much better option than depositing the water into the river. It is also helpful to reduce the amount of soap you use and wash with mild detergents that are labeled as “biodegradable” or “phosphate free.”
5. Keep your vehicle well maintained. Any leaks or debris that comes from your car will get washed by the next rainstorm down to the river. By keeping a well maintained car, you can help keep these pollutants out of the water.
6. Clean up after your pet. If pet waste is improperly disposed of it can be picked up by stormwater and carried to a storm drain and nearby water body. Feces carry bacteria, viruses, and parasites that are unhealthy both for wildlife and humans. Feces that are carried to the river can make recreational users of the river very sick. Always properly dispose of pet waste in your own yard as well as throughout town. The city of Aspen has pet waste stations that provide bags and waste receptacles, making it easy to clean up after your pet.