Just Say “Neigh” to Water Pollution!
No matter where you live, you live in a watershed. A watershed is more than just the flood plain around a river. It also includes the surfaces around our homes that drain into a common river, lake, or bay. What you and your horses and livestock do affects everyone in your watershed – plants, people, and other animals.
Horse and livestock wastes are among the many common stormwater pollutants that can degrade water quality. Stormwater runoff from livestock waste has been found to contain high concentrations of pathogens such as bacteria, parasites, and viruses. When they wash into our recreational waters, they can make people sick with sore throats, intestinal problems, rashes, nausea, and eye or ear infections. Manure also contains phosphorus and nitrogen that fertilize aquatic algae blooms and promote bacterial growth, which can degrade water quality.
The City of Aiken encourages horse and livestock owners to stay informed of the compliance requirements and to read our Stormwater Best Management Practices pamphlet to ensure clean water standards can be reached.
- Put barns, corrals, and paddocks in areas away from drainage areas.
- Design wash racks so that rinse water does not drain off your property.
- Collect soiled bedding and manure from stalls and paddocks daily, and store in sturdy containers that do not leak.
- Use plants to absorb some runoff and to prevent erosion around pastures and stables, and near stream banks.
- Dirt is natural, but too much clogs streams. Cover and berm exposed dirt piles.
- Shelter animals away from streams and areas where runoff can carry manure with rainfall.
- Composting manure can make a useful project! Be sure to keep compost away from rivers, streams and creeks. For composting information, call 1-877-R-EARTH – OR – 1-877-713-2784.
- Use less toxic materials like Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) products for mosquito control and fly traps or strips to control flies.
- If you must use pesticides, always read and follow the label directions.
- You can help by working with others to keep trails free of trash, litter, and debris.
- Stormwater Best Management Practices – Urban Horse Owners, Equestrian Centers, Boarding Stables, and Training Tracks
Scoop Your Pet’s Poop!
We all love our 2 and 4-legged family members. We all play a role in making sure that they are picked up after and everything is properly disposed. Throughout the City, pet waste stations and bags have been provided to facilitate clean up in public areas. We encourage you to get out with your pets, just make sure to be responsible for them as well. Please help us in preserving our water quality and Aiken aesthetic.
Here are some important facts to keep in mind:
- Stormwater carries pet waste and other pollutants directly into waterways.
- Pet waste adds nitrogen to the water. Excess nitrogen depletes the oxygen in water necessary for beneficial underwater grasses, wildlife and fish.
- Pet waste may contain harmful organisms such as Giardia, Salmonella and E. coli that can be transmitted to humans and other animals by ingesting contaminated water.
- Roundworms and hookworms deposited by infected pets can live in the soil for long periods of time and be transmitted to other animals and humans.
- It’s the law! Many urban and suburban areas require you to pick up after your pet. Even if there is no restriction, cleaning up after your pet is always the right thing to do.
- Joining the growing number of responsible pet owners may encourage hotel managers to accept pets when you are traveling and help keep fees to a minimum.
- No one likes to step in pet waste and spread it into homes, cars and businesses.
- Scooping on a daily basis and applying lime will help prevent odors.
- It’s easy to clean up by carrying plastic baggies and paper towels in your pocket. The baggies can be secured and thrown away in the garbage.
- Your neighbors will appreciate your good manners.
Should there be a location where you believe a pet waste station could be of value, feel free to contact the City of Aiken Stormwater Administrator.
Storm Drain Marking
Storm drain markers are a valuable addition to the City’s water quality and outreach efforts. Storm drain markers help prevent contamination and reduce the number of pollutants that are transported through the stormwater system to local bodies of water. You will notice that the City is making these markers a priority and will eventually find one located on each catch basin and inlet within the City limits. This is a great opportunity to get involved. The City will select areas and dates around town to work on this project in the coming year(s) and all schedules will be posted here. Should you wish to participate, feel free to join us – no experience or materials are needed! There will also be a QR code provided on these markers so you can always stay in the know on all our stormwater outreach events and opportunities. Just scan and go. And remember….ONLY RAIN DOWN THE DRAIN!