Around the House

Day-to-day urban activities disrupt the cycle of water movement and pollute Dane County's water resources. Many of the things that we do in our communities and around our homes can create problems for lakes and streams. There are many things you can do to improve water quality. Little changes collectively make a big difference. Think of environmental consequences in addition to conveniences. Be conservative and resourceful, don't be wasteful.


  • Plant a rain garden and direct downspout to empty into rain garden.
  • If you don’t have a rain garden, be sure to direct roof downspouts away from foundations and driveways to planting beds and lawns where the water can safely soak into the ground.
  • Use a rain barrel where practical.
  • Put splash guards on downspouts to help reduce erosion.


We live in Wisconsin, so we know winter. We combat the brutal season by using winter maintenance procedures that keep us safe. But one of these practices, deicing with salt, is costly and harms our water, vegetation and infrastructure. It's time for Wisconsin to wise up and slow down on spreading salt. Visit to learn about actions you can take to minimize the impacts of excessive salt use.

Winter Sidewalk Salting Tips

Improved Winter Maintenance: Good Choices for Clean Water

Household Hazardous Waste Disposal