What Can I Do?

There are three things that you can do:

  1. Conserve
  2. Don’t Pollute
  3. Soak it Up


Simply put, use less water.  If you do, you will not only save money on the clean water coming into your home but also reduce the volume that entering the combined sewer system. What comes in, must go out!

  • On average, Americans use 60 gallons of water every day.  To learn more about how to conserve water in your home, check out Water Sense.  Be sure to check out the tools where you can calculate how much water that leaky faucet is wasting every day. Drip. Drip.Drip.
  • Toilets.  We use them every day and they use a lot of water.
  • Here’s a handy dandy Web site from the Environmental Protection Agency:  Water Sense.  You’ll find helpful information about water saving products and more.
  • Does it drive you crazy when you see people watering half their side walk or street when they are intending to water their lawns?  What a waste!  At Water Sense, you can learn how to be smart when using water in your backyard.

Don’t Pollute

Keeping the water as clean as it can be before it enters the combined sewer system is another simple step we can all take. Don’t use harsh chemicals or detergents at home, don’t dump or throw anything in the stormwater inlets along the streets, pick up your pet waste, check and repair automotive leaks. Learn about what you can recycle and dispose of safely at the Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority.  Keep it clean!

Soak it Up

There is a lot of pavement in Lancaster City.  In fact, 73 percent of the City is covered in parking lots and buildings. Doing whatever we can to allow rainwater to soak into the ground is a good thing by redirecting rainwater to green spaces, removing concrete and/or pavement and planting trees and native shrubs.

  • Do you want to know how much stormwater your property is generating annually? Start by figuring out the size of your roof or consider the average residential row home roof in Lancaster is about 1000 square feet.  The annual rainfall in Lancaster is approximately 42 inches per year. Here is a helpful table and formula for calculating your stormwater.
  • Capture rain water in your backyard. To learn more about the Lancaster County Conservancy’s rain barrel program click here.
  • Meet Ben Rush.  He lives at 168 Elm Street in Illinois.  Take a virtual tour of all the green things he as done around his house and learn about sustainable landscaping. Also, check out Green Scapes.  It’s a whole new world!
  • Trees! To calculate the benefit of the trees on your property, check out this calculator.  It can even calculate the energy savings benefits. (If you don’t know the kind of tree that you have, check out Common Trees of Pennsylvania.)
  • Once you’ve completed the work remember you may qualify for a reduction in your stormwater fee.  For more information: Understanding the stormwater fee credit program.  click here (PDF) Reference pages 13-18.  For the Stormwater Fee Credit Application.  click here (PDF).

Depending on where you live in the City, you might have very few options to allow rainwater to soak into the ground.  Cisterns or rain barrels are ideal ways to slow the flow of rainwater into the combined sewer system.

To help get you started conserving, keeping it clean or soaking it up, click on a link below: