Steps to Take
Individuals can participate in the revitalization of Onondaga Lake by practicing sound environmental measures in their homes and businesses in the lake's watershed.
In the Yard and Garage
If you live in Syracuse or other areas around Onondaga Lake, anything you dump or throw on the ground or in the street can end up in Onondaga Lake!
You can do the following at home to reduce pollution of the lake:
Reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers on your lawn.
Pesticides and fertilizers can be carried with
runoff into sewers, creeks, and the lake. Fertilizers
that helps unwanted algae and weeds to grow in the lake.
Follow application instructions carefully.
Keep storm drains clear of debris.
Call the city to clean, repair, or replace clogged storm drains (315-448-CITY).
- Help pick up litter and street debris. Street debris, litter, and trash can be carried into storm drains that lead to storm sewers and combined sewer overflows that empty into creeks and the lake. This causes unsightly trash along creek banks, the Inner Harbor, and the lakeshore.
Dispose of used motor oil properly.
Never pour it down storm drains or into the street. Service stations that change oil accept used oil for recycling.
Dispose of household hazardous wastes like paint thinners properly.
Call 315-453-2870 (OCRRA) for information on community disposal days.
- Pick up pet waste and put it into the trash.
Don't put leaves, grass clippings, or tree clippings into the street.
Put yard waste between the curb and sidewalk (on the boulevard strip) for designated pickup times, or take to special collection sites operated by the City. Call 315-448-8005 for locations and hours.
- Keep lids on all garbage cans and trash containers when stored or placed by the curb for pickup.
- Sweep driveways and sidewalks and put the sweepings in the trash. Hosing down sidewalks and driveways wastes water and can wash oil, grease, and dirt into storm drains.
- Plant bare spots in your yard with grass or shrubs to cut down on erosion.
- Direct roof drains into grassy areas to water your grass and plants, save water, and reduce erosion.
And in agricultural settings, individuals can adopt farming practices which reduce erosion and runoff containing fertilizers, pesticides and animal waste.
Onondaga County has developed additional information on pollution control practices. Click here.
Water Conservation at Home and at Work
You can also assist the revitalization of the lake by practicing sound environmental practices such as water conservation at home and at work. It is estimated that 30-50% of the water supply used in the United States is wasted. Some water is wasted through disposal as wastewater and some is lost in the water pipe transport system before it gets to its distribution points. Fixing leaky faucets and other running fixtures in homes and businesses will prevent thousands of gallons of drinking water from at wastewater treatment facilities. In Syracuse and Onondaga County, water conservation could assist in reducing the amount of flow going to Metro for treatment.
Other water conservation measures include:
- Install water-saving shower heads
- Install low volume toilets
- Reducing overall water usage to help send less water to sewage treatment facilities; thereby saving water and reducing costs.