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Keeping Lakes from Becoming Polluted

Protecting our lakes is everyone's job.

Whatever runs down a storm drain goes straight to a creek, then a lake. Pollutants such as:

  • eroded soil
  • antifreeze
  • motor oil
  • lawn pesticides and fertilizers
  • bacteria from sewage and pet waste

boat dock

flow straight to our lakes. That threatens aquatic life and even results in bans on swimming. See the most-recent swimming advisories for local lakes.

Prevent surface water pollution   

Fuel Spills

Petroleum spills from boats hurt lake water quality.

  • Avoid topping off your tank when refueling your boat
  • Ask your fuel dock to install automatic cutoff nozzles
  • Install a fuel/air separator to prevent accidental overflows from the tank vent line


Harmful bacteria such as fecal coliform can come from broken or grease-clogged sewer lines on land or from careless boaters.

  • Install a Type II Marine Sanitation Device (MSD) and empty it at an onshore pumping station
  • Keep your MSD properly maintained
  • Reduce the need to pump out your MSD by using onshore restroom facilities when possible


Litter from boats is not only ugly; it can harm wildlife.

  • Dumping garbage from boats is illegal
  • Install a garbage can on your boat
  • If you see litter in the water, pick it up and dispose of it properly onshore

See a video of lake water sampling and ways you can reduce pollution in our lakes.