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MSD cannot keep the region’s waterways clean alone. It needs the support, resources, and actions of concerned citizens, businesses, and municipalities to improve local water quality. Since our waterways and sewers are shared public resources, there are many steps that you can take to help maintain both.

Residents can:

  • Disconnect rain gutters and downspouts from nearby sewer lines
  • Install a rain garden or rain barrel to capture stormwater runoff
  • Avoid planting trees, shrubs and bushes on your property near the sewer line. As plants’ roots deepen, they can enter, block and damage sewers
  • Reduce your water use, especially during rainy weather
  • Check whether the sewer line that leads to your house has cracks or separated joints and report damage to MSD
  • Reduce fertilizer and pesticide use and lawn watering
  • Properly dispose of household hazardous waste like cleaning products, motor oil and paints
  • Collect and dispose of trash and pet waste properly
  • Reduce impervious surfaces (blacktop, concrete, etc.) on your property where possible.