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What are BMPs?
A watershed is a land area that drains rainfall and/or snowmelt into a stream, lake, or river as shown below. Watersheds provide numerous resources including water for drinking, recreation, irrigation and wildlife habitat.
The well-being of a watershed depends on how well the land and water resources are maintained by the people living within it. Inland homeowners, stream and lake property owners, businesses, developers, municipalities, and farmers play a significant role in shaping the the health of a watershed's land and water resources.
Common problems in watershed areas include flooding, poor water quality and degradation of natural resources. A large percentage of these issues are the result of stormwater runoff from urban, areas under development and agricultural activities. As stormwater runs off the surface of the land it picks up sediments and pollutants before finally making its way to into a nearby stream or other waterway. The pollution in stormwater runoff is called "Non-Point Source" pollution because it does not originate from any one source; it results from a combination of sources.
Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) are used to help ensure longevity and improve the health of Lake County's watersheds. BMPs can be implemented by homeowners, businesses, organizations and municipalities. BMPs can be as simple as using phosphorous-free fertilizer to a more complex activity like a project restoring a large section of degraded streambank.
BMPs can be integrated before, during, and after development. BMPs will not only help the environment, but in many cases they also can save you time and money. Every BMP is beneficial to the environment regardless of its relative cost, but it is the unique combination of BMPs for each property that truly will establish a healthy watershed.
Link to the category below that best describes you as a watershed stakeholder. Each category includes specific BMPs for that category.
De-Icing Trained Provider List Available
More than 400 snow and ice removal staff representing both public agencies and private contractors who plow streets, parking lots and sidewalks have participated in our training workshops. Participant evaluations consistently pointed to how much money can be saved while protecting the environment from overuse of road salt and other chemicals by calibrating their equipment and applying the right de-icing product at the right time.
Workshop participants can voluntarily take the certification exam for those who passed will be placed on a preferred providers list. Preferred providers are voluntarily applying snow and ice control best management practices for parking lots, sidewalks, driveways, and roadways. See 2012 De-Icing Trained Providers for Lake County, IL.
Funding BMP Projects
There is are numerous opportunities to develop and implement BMPs in Lake County watersheds. Private and public organizations are eager to engage in partnership and acquire the appropriate funding for BMP and other stormwater management projects. See Funding Sources for potential funding for your watershed project.