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You Can Help

Although individual homes might contribute only minor amounts of nonpoint source pollution, the combined effect of an entire neighborhood, let alone a city, can have serious consequences. You can help reduce the amount of pollutants that enter local waterways by following a few simple measures.

Properly dispose of household hazardous waste

The City of Mishawaka operates a household hazardous waste disposal center facility located at 1105 E. Fifth St . It is open from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. , Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, contact the Mishawaka Street Department at 574.258.1660 or e-mail

Limit use of pesticides and lawn fertilizers

Limit use of pesticides and lawn fertilizersFollow manufacturer’s direction when using chemicals and apply only the recommended amount. Don’t spread chemicals on your lawn if a storm or heavy rain is forecast. Landscaping with disease and pest resistant plants can reduce the need for pesticides and fertilizers.

Practice conservation in landscaping and lawn care

Altering the natural contours of your yard during landscaping and planting non-native plants that need fertilizer and extra water can increase the potential for runoff and soil erosion. Grasses and natural groundcover can be attractive and practical substitutes for non-porous surfaces, such as asphalt driveways, walkways, and patios. Incorporating natural grasses, trees, wooden decks, crushed stone or brick paths, rain gardens, and mulch into landscape reduces runoff and prevents erosion by allowing rainwater to slowly seep into the ground. Additionally, don’t rake leaves, grass clippings or litter into streets where they can enter storm drains or be washed into the river .

Prevent automobile fluid leakage

Have your vehicle serviced regularly to prevent problems that lead to leakage. Clean up any spilled brake fluid, oil, grease, and antifreeze from garages, driveways, and streets. Do not hose these fluids or any cleanup residue into the street. If you change your own oil, be careful to avoid spills and collect waste oil for recycling. Take your vehicle to a car wash to prevent soaps and waxes from being washed into the storm drain. Car washes send dirty water to the wastewater treatment plant. If you wash your vehicle at home, wash it on the lawn, not the driveway.

Dispose of pet waste

Dispose of pet wastePet waste is a significant source of bacteria and nutrients that lead to harmful algae and plant growth in waterways. Clean up pet waste in your yard or when walking your pet. The best way to dispose of pet waste is to bag it or flush it, which ensures that it will be properly treated.

Get involved

You can help protect local waterways and keep Mishawaka a clean environment in which to live by volunteering for community projects.

  • Participate in local meetings to help develop cleanup strategies
  • Volunteer for river and stream cleanup groups
  • Help restoration efforts by planting trees