The Watershed: H2O

Welcome to!

Welcome to!

Welcome to my home in the Watershed. Here I'll show you how to be an H2O Hero just like me! Just do some exploring and I'll share 11 helpful tips with you. Then use the links or tabs below for even more information.

Clean up after your pets

Did you know that 15 to 20 percent of the bacteria in our waterways come from pet waste? Now that really stinks! Cleaning up after your pet is the simplest thing you can do to keep harmful bacteria from being washed into our storm drains, and eventually into our waterways. For more information, read our "At Home" section.

Make a Rain Barrel

A rain barrel collects rainwater that can be used later to water landscaping around your home. This can save most homeowners over 1,000 gallons of water a year! Collecting and using rainwater helps protect the environment and saves money and energy by reducing the demand for treated tap water. Learn how to make a rain barrel for your home in our H2O Quality 101 section below.

Minimize your use of fertilizers and pesticides

Keep fertilizers and pesticides off driveways, sidewalks, and roads where they would run off into storm drains. Don't apply them near waterways. For more information, read our "At Home" section.

Only Rain Down The Drain

Storm drains connect your neighborhood directly to the nearest stream or body of water. They're different from sanitary sewers, which connect to a treatment facility. it's never a good idea to dump anything into a storm drain because it doesn't get treated and will pollute our waterways. To learn more about storm drains, check out our H2O Quality 101 section.

Recycle Your Oil

When changing your car's oil, please make sure to recycle the old oil. Be sure to clean up any spills by absorbing with kitty litter or sand, then dispose of properly. For more information, read our "At Home" section.

Keep the Pavement Clear of Grass Clippings

Mulching grass clippings or leaving them on your lawn provides a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. Mowing high helps control weed growth. Sweep up grass clippings from roadways and driveways, and DO NOT dump grass clippings or other plant materials into streets, catch basins, or streams — the nutrients will leach from them and enter nearby waterways, spurring unwanted algae growth. For more information, read our "At Home" section.

Mark Storm Drains

Storm drain marking can help deter storm drain dumping and reduce non-point source pollution by informing residents that anything that goes down a storm drain goes directly into a waterbody without being treated. To be an H2O Hero and volunteer to coordinate a storm drain marking event, read our "Get Involved" section.

Maintain a Buffer Strip Along Waterways

Undisturbed (unmowed) vegetation along streams and drainage pathways will capture nutrients that wash off your lawn before they are discharged to the waterway. For more information, read our "At Home" section.

Dispose of Hazardous Chemicals Properly

If your garage is anything like Larry's, it probably has its share of half-used cans of paint, cleaners and chemicals lying around. Some people dump them down the storm drain - or throw them in the trash - just to get rid of them. Learn the right way to dispose of these materials so they don't end up getting into our groundwater and our nearby lakes and streams. For more information, read our "At Home" section.

Visit the Local Car Wash

Sure, Larry likes to keep his wheels looking hot. But he knows that washing his car at the local car wash - instead of in his driveway - is the best way to keep harmful detergents from getting into our local waterways. For more information, read our "At Home" section.

Create a Rain Garden

A rain garden is a planted depression that is designed to absorb rainwater runoff from roofs and driveways. This reduces stormwater runoff by allowing rain to soak into the ground and replenish groundwater. By reducing runoff, rain gardens help protect water quality and reduce erosion and flooding. To install a rain garden in your yard, visit our "Get Involved" section.

At Home
For Teachers
For Kids
H2O Quality 101
About Us
Rochester Embayment
Your Watershed
Downspout Disconnect
Rain Gardens
Rain Barrels
Porous Pavers
Green Projects

Porous Pavers

Walkway with permeable pavers -Scenic Hudson Park, Cold Spring, NY, Image Courtesy of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation

What are Porous Pavers?

Porous pavers are made of brick, stone or concrete and allow the water that falls onto them to drain through the gaps between them into a bed of crushed stone. From there the water soaks into the soil underneath. Other examples of porous pavers include reinforced turf, interlocking concrete modules, and brick pavers. Pavers are generally not designed to treat water runoff from other areas.

How do porous pavers help local water quality?

Porous pavers provide a benefit to water quality by allowing the water to soak into the ground rather than transporting pollutants such as oil and chemicals to the storm drains where this pollution enters nearby waterways without being treated.

Where can I use porous pavers at my house?

Porous pavers can be used for residential walkways, patios, or even driveways. Permeable pavers are more attractive looking than traditional asphalt driveways and walkways. Porous pavers should be used on soils that allow water to soak into the ground quickly. Generally, soils with a lot of sand in them work well.

What type of maintenance do porous pavers require?

Regular maintenance of porous pavers is key to their longevity and effective water quality treatment. Sweeping or vacuuming the joints between pavers should be done at least once a year to prevent them from becoming clogged with leaves and debris.

Where can I find porous pavers?

There are a variety of local porous pavers suppliers. Porous pavers come in a variety of colors and styles. The best way to find the type of porous paver that best suits your needs is to do an online search. If you hire a professional to put them in make sure they have experience with permeable-paver installation.

Porous pavers located at 317 Main Street in front of East Rochester Village Hall.

Upcoming H20 Hero Events and Workshops

For pictures and information about local H2O Heroes and Projects, visit Larry's Facebook Page!