What is a watershed?
A watershed is the land area that water flows across or under on its way to a body of water such as a river, lake, stream, or bay. No matter where you are in New Jersey, you are in a watershed.
Why You Should Care About Your Watershed?
Water systems are life supporting, and a healthy water system is essential for a robust economy and a good quality of life. Whether it is the brook that wanders through town, the lake where we fish and swim, or the glass of crystal clear water we drink, clean water is essential to our well-being.
What You Can Do to Protect Your Water
- Take responsibility for your own back-yard through sensible lawn care, waste disposal, and resource conservation. Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly and correctly.
- Pick up litter and properly dispose of your own trash.
- Practice good housekeeping by properly disposing of toxic substances like paint and paint thinners, automotive fluids, and cleaning products. Contact your mu-nicipality for collection days and sites. See www.mcmua.com for Morris County Household Hazardous Waste collection schedule.
- Clean up spilled brake fluid, oil, grease, and antifreeze. Do not hose them into the street where they can eventually reach streams and lakes.
- Scoop the dog poop! Do not leave it on the ground or throw it down a storm drain-storm drains empty directly to lakes, streams, rivers, and wetlands.
- Get involved in volunteer clean-up, mon-itoring, and environmental protection efforts. Participate in a local river cleanup program.
- Maintain your septic system if you have one. Frequent pumping, proper drain field maintenance, and careful waste disposal will prolong the life of your system and prevent discharge of untreated sewage to ground and surface waters.
- Reduce or limit the amount of imper-vious coverage on your property and/or create a rain garden to capture run-off. Hard surfaces like driveways, paver/concrete sidewalks, increase stormwater runoff into streams and rivers worsening erosion and flooding and reduce ground-water recharge necessary for drinking water supplies.
- Create a buffer if you live along a stream or river. Plant native shrubs, trees and plants along the bank to prevent erosion, discourage waterfowl and provide shade to help keep the water cool for fish.
- Do not pour medications down a drain or flush down a toilet. Medicines that are disposed into a sewer or septic system can contaminate waters, harming aquatic species, and food and water supplies. Most medicines are not removed by wastewater treatment plants or septic systems. Dis-pose of unneeded medicine through your police department or local collection site. See https://sheriff.morriscountynj.gov/community/drug/