Protecting the water quality of our streams and rivers is something that is important to everyone. Because of our need for clean, non-polluted water it is important for Sand Springs citizens to know how our municipal water systems work and how each individual can help prevent pollution.
The City of Sand Springs has 3 separate water systems. The first one is the stormwater system, also known as the municipal separate storm sewer system. These are the drains you see in the street and the ditches along roads that drain directly to lakes, river and streams. No treatment or cleaning is done to this water before it reaches a waterbody. The lakes, rivers and streams that stormwater drains to can have many uses, even drinking water.
Next is the drinking water system. Drinking water systems are engineered to be actively piped into citizens’ homes. Before reaching anyone’s home the water is taken from a lake, river or stream and is treated to meet current drinking water standards set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency. In Sand Springs’ case water is taken from Skiatook Lake and is used for our drinking water.
Finally, there is the sanitary sewer system which consists of the drains inside citizens homes that use gravity to drain used water to the wastewater treatment plant. There the water is treated before being discharged to the Arkansas River.
On the right is an infographic of how all three systems work in conjunction with each other.
At any point in the water cycle water can become polluted. Once water is polluted it is difficult to remove the pollutants, so prevention is the best way to keep our waters clean.
Below you will find another infographic showing how stormwater moves through a typical property and 8 simple steps you can take to help prevent stormwater pollution.
• Don’t use lawn chemicals or use them sparingly. If you do use lawn chemicals read and follow instructions precisely. Don’t over apply or apply just before a rain event. Look for ways to reduce using them or look for organic options that are less harmful to our environment.
• Use a mulching mower and blow leaves and grass back on to your yard. Blowing grass into the street is not only illegal but also dangerous for motorcycles. Grass in the streets can clog storm sewer inlets causing flooding. If the grass is carried to streams it can cause water quality issues do to the oxygen demand for decomposition, thus taking oxygen away from fish and insects that need oxygen to survive. Citizens can also bag up to 8 bags of additional trash or yard waste outside of what your city polykart can hold.
• Pick up after your pets. Pet waste contains harmful bacteria that will runoff into our streams during a rain. Dispose of pet waste in the trash or toilet.
• Clean and maintain septic tanks. Improperly maintained septic tanks can cause sewage to flood property and contaminate our waterways.
• Dispose of trash properly. Make sure your trash lids are closed and trash does not fly out of your vehicle. Trash put into the bed of a pickup truck will blow out and become litter.
• Make sure your car or other motorized vehicles do not leak fluids onto the ground or concrete surfaces. If a spill does occur, use kitty litter to absorb the spill and dispose of fluid laden kitty litter into solid waste container. For motor oil disposal citizens can use the City of Sand Springs Metropolitan Environmental Trust Location at 312 E. Morrow Rd. Located just east of Ferrellgas on Morrow Rd or you can call The M.E.T. for more information 918-584-0584.
• Dispose of pool water/hot tub water and their chemicals properly. You may drain the old pool water into the sanitary sewer or onto your property. When draining it onto your property or into the sanitary sewer be sure stop use of chemicals at least 72 hours before disposal. Pool chemicals can be harmful to the sanitary sewer systems and lawns. Never drain pool/hot tub water into the street or storm drain because pool/hot tub chemicals are harmful to stream inhabitants.
• Dispose of unused chemicals properly. Call The M.E.T at 918-584-0584 or visit their website at www.metrecycle.com for more information on chemical disposal. The City of Sand Springs works with the Metropolitan Environmental Trust for use of the City of Tulsa’s household pollutant collection facility. Sand Springs residents can call The M.E.T at 918-584-0584 to reserve a voucher to dispose of difficult to discard household pollutants.
Disposing any foreign material into the Stormwater system is against the law and can harm our local waterways. If you see someone dumping polluting substances into the streets, storm water inlets, or local water ways, please call the Stormwater office at (918) 246-2589.
If you would like to request a speaker or the Sand Springs Stormwater booth for a meeting or event please contact the Stormwater Project Manager, Julie Monnot, at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 918-246-2589.