Our Responsibility

Our Responsibility
Stormwater is not treated or filtered before it goes to the river. This means that yard fertilizer, oil, soap, chemicals, debris and trash that is washed out into the street WILL end up in the Colorado River. Keeping the river free of pollution is our responsibility.

5 Tips for Cleaner Rivers
How can you help keep our keep our rivers clean?
Most of us don’t realize many of the actions that can lead to pollution. It is obvious to us that we shouldn’t pour chemicals down a storm drain, or throw trash in the street, but we might not be aware of seemingly insignificant tasks that can make a huge impact.
Tip 1: Wash your car at a car wash or on a porous surface such as your lawn.

Soap contains phosphorous which can use up dissolved oxygen in the water. This is harmful to fish and other wildlife. Washing your car on a porous surface prevents the water from running out into the street and eventually down the storm drain. When you wash your car at a carwash, the water is collected and treated before going into the river.

Tip 2: Clean up your lawn clippings and leaves.

Though leaf litter may seem organic and harmless, leaves are a major source of storm water pollutant. Leaves, grass clippings, prunings and lawn sediments create a high nutrient load leading to algae, rapid decay and depleted oxygen levels in the water. Instead of blowing them into the gutter, rake up leaves for disposal or create a healthy compost or mulch.

Tip 3: Fertilize after it rains, or when it is dry. Never before.

Fertilizers often contain synthetic chemicals as well as a very high amount of nutrients. These nutrients run off of our lawn when it rains, washing high amounts of phosphorus and nitrates into our river. This creates an environment where oxygen is depleted from algae and bacteria, and aquatic wildlife can no longer survive.

Tip 4: Clean up after your pet!

Rain and melting snow can wash pollutants from pet waste directly into the storm drain. When pet waste is washed into the Colorado River, it absorbs oxygen and releases ammonia. Overly fertile water becomes cloudy, green, unattractive and creates an unsafe environment for local wildlife. Most importantly, pet waste can carry diseases which could make water unsafe for contact.

Tip 5: Report dumping and waste management concerns –
521 Drainage Authority is committed to protecting our Colorado River and wildlife. If you witness illegal dumping or environmentally harmful activities, please contact our hotline. Our representatives will follow up with the responsible parties, provide recommendations and let you know if a resolution was reached.
HOTLINE: 970-263-8201
Online Hotline Form

Please use our online form below to report illegal dumping or environmentally harmful activities.