Protect Water Quality

Little Mill CreekAs a resident, you have the power to help protect water quality in Lenexa by learning about keeping our water clean, changing habits at home and volunteering to protect water. Your involvement will help protect our water resources, not just for now, but also for the future.

Poor water quality can be costly to communities. Pollution degrades ecosystems and habitat, affecting aquatic life and wildlife. Polluted water costs more to treat, which results in higher water bills. The good news? It’s easy to protect and restore Lenexa’s watersheds, whether at home, at work or in the community. Get started today!

Pick up after your pet

Pick up after pet

In 2015 there were 3,450 licensed dogs in Lenexa -- that's 1 dog for every 4.6 acres. If each dog deposits about a half-pound (on average) of waste a day, those 3,450 dogs will deposit almost over 600,000 pounds of waste in one year! Each gram of dog waste contains more than 21 million bacteria, and when bacteria accumulate in our streams, ponds and lakes, it can make the water unsafe for fishing and other recreation.

Pet waste is not a fertilizer. In fact, it actually carries diseases that are harmful to other animals and even humans. That’s why we need you and your best furry friend to be a part of the solution to help keep our water clean!

What can you do to help? 

If you are a pet owner, you can help by picking up after your pet and keeping your pooch on-leash when walking them near streams, ponds and wetlands. Help spread the word by sharing this important information with other dog owners in our community.  

Protect water at home

Most homeowners think their actions won't have much effect on larger problems such as flooding, clean water in our streams or protecting wildlife habitat. The truth is, every homeowner and landowner can make a big difference in the health of our environment and in reducing polluted runoff to keep our streams, lakes and wetlands clean. You can help by following these simple tips:

  • Recycle used oil. Never place used motor oil in the trash or pour it down storm drains. Recycle used oil at a used oil collection facility, such as the Johnson County Hazardous Waste Facility.

  • Protect our streams. Mowing close to a stream’s edge damages roots that hold soil in place, causing stream banks to erode. Avoid mowing within 10 to 25 feet from the edge of a stream and keep lawn clipping and leaf piles off banks.

  • Sweep driveways and sidewalks clean. Remove debris and residue that could end up in a storm drain from concrete and paved areas around your house, including grass clippings, leaves and household chemicals.

  • Wash vehicles the right way. Either wash your car at a car wash that filters the wastewater or wash your car in a grassy area. Avoid washing your car on a driveway or in the street, where soap and grease flow into storm drains.

  • Don’t dump. Never put trash or yard waste down storm drains, on stream banks or in the street.

  • Report a problem. If you see something that might harm our natural waterways, call our Municipal Services department at 913.477.7880 or report it through the Service Request System.

Protect water at work

One of the most common types of pollution from businesses is contaminated runoff that comes from cleaning and maintenance activities. Implementing some simple practices can prevent water pollution.

  • Use your drains. Clean floor mats, filters and garbage cans in a mop sink, floor drain or proper outside area, not the parking lot, alley, sidewalk or street.

  •  Properly dispose of waste products. Use nontoxic cleaning products and recycle grease and oil, instead of pouring it into sinks, floor drains or into a parking lot or the street.

  • Dry cleaning is best. Use dry methods for spill cleanup, by sweeping and using cat litter instead of hosing. Have spill containment and cleanup kits available for possible spills on your property. To report serious toxic spills, call 911.

  • Keep a lid on trash. Keep dumpster lids closed and the areas around them clean. Do not fill them with liquid waste or hose them out. Call your trash hauler to replace any dumpsters that leak.

  • Sweep up driveways and sidewalks. Remove debris and residue that could end up in a storm drain from concrete and paved areas, including grass clippings, leaves, dirt and chemicals.

  • Prevent leaks. Use drip pans to catch leaks when pouring and draining fluids such as gas, hydraulic oil and transmission, brake and radiator fluids.

  • Follow safety guidelines. Be sure your employees are familiar with your hazardous materials response plan and are capable of implementing it. Store hazardous materials under cover or inside and keep liquid wastes segregated. Many fluids can be recycled as long as they are not mixed.

  • Compost or mulch mow leaves, grass clippings and other yard waste. Don’t blow, sweep or hose them into the street or gutter.

Volunteer for clean water

Two women standing by a signClean water is everyone’s business and we need your help to help out with some important community opportunities. We are currently seeking schools, businesses, community groups, families and individuals to volunteer in the following areas:

  • Stream cleanup - Tired of seeing your local creek or stream filled with trash? Sign up to host a stream cleanup. Your group will walk the length of a stream or river, collecting trash and recording information about the quantity and types of garbage removed.

  • Adopt-A-Spot is Lenexa’s cleanup and beautification program. Groups commit to cleaning the area they adopt three times a year for two years.

  • Vegetation management - Attention hikers, gardeners and outdoor enthusiasts: we need help with restoration activities in Lenexa’s natural areas. Help us maintain native prairie plants, remove invasive species, collect seeds or transplant native plantings.

For more information contact Ted Semadeni, to find out about volunteer opportunities or visit our volunteer center to sign up today.