“We can be a part of the solution:” How you can help keep Milwaukee-area waterways clean

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BROWN DEER (WITI) -- Wednesday, August 6th was a perfect day for landscaping, with temperatures in the 70s and sunny skies, but Mathew Patrick and his family were doing more than making their yard look beautiful. They were doing their part to help keep Milwaukee-area waterways clean.

"It does make me feel good that we can be a part of the solution -- versus the problem," Patrick said.

Patrick and his family are working to help contain storm water run-off, as heavy downpours can cause big problems.

"It could lead to things like basement backups, pollution can get into our waterways, our sewers can become overloaded and then we can have overflows into Lake Michigan," MMSD Project Manager Bre McDonald said.

The Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) is educating the public about what they can do to help through its Fresh Coast 740 initiative.

"We`re on the fresh coast because we`re on Lake Michigan and 740 stands for the 740 million gallons of water that we want to capture every time it rains by the year 2035," McDonald said.

One thing homeowners can do is plant a rain garden.

"From the gutters on your house, you put the downspout right into the rain garden and it allows that water that comes off of your roof to flow right in there and infiltrate the ground," McDonald said.

Another option involves installing a rain barrel.

"You hook it up to your downspout and you collect the rain water off of your roof and then you can use that fresh rain water to water your plants and your gardens," McDonald said.

Both options involve upgrading your yard, while helping to protect the environment.

For more information on the Fresh Coast 740 initiative and how you can get involved -- CLICK HERE.

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