September 2021
Backyard Conversation
Connecting Community + Conservation
Welcome to the Backyard Conversation! Each month we'll be sharing a conservation topic from a more personal viewpoint for our readers. To make this successful, I want to hear feedback from you! I'll include a poll at the bottom regarding our topic and share links to some of our partner organizations with similar messages. So, let's get to it!
Stormwater Awareness
Best Management Practices
A big part of what we do at Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District is stormwater program management for local municipalities and townships in Franklin County. Our mission is to promote responsible land use decisions for the conservation, protection and improvement of soil and water resources by providing information assistance through effective partnering, technical guidance and education.

We help our partners achieve the six minimum control measures and permitting requirements for Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s). These requirements are commonly called Best Management Practices aka BMPs, and they are condensed into six minimum control measures. They are a wide range of requirements from technical requirements and reporting to general public education and outreach. These are the six minimum control measures:
  1. Public Education
  2. Public Involvement
  3. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
  4. Construction
  5. Post-Construction
  6. Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping

In order to meet the six minimum control measures, MS4 communities must work in a variety of ways but don't always have the staff, time, or resources to meet all requirements. Many MS4 communities in Franklin County enter into working agreements with us at Franklin Soil and Water to help meet the requirements. Each working agreement is tailored to fit the individual needs of each community.

On the more technical side, we can perform site inspections on active construction sites, provide good housekeeping training for municipal employees, mapping and GIS services. Another part of what we do is public education and outreach. We are also available to residents for natural resources assistance, conservation projects, and general backyard conservation. Have you seen Franklin Soil and Water tabling or presenting at events before? From our various workshops to community events and school presentations, we love to get out and talk with the community and our partners!
Best Management Practices at Home

There's a lot being done on the local and municipal level to prevent stormwater pollution. So, what can you do at home to prevent stormwater pollution? Here's some tips:
  • Check vehicles and equipment for leaking oil, coolant and other fluids. Clean up and fix any leaks as needed. Use drip pans to collect fluid. Don't drip & drive!
  • Wash vehicles at a car wash or in the grass as opposed to pavement. Washing your car on a paved surface sends the soap and particles straight to the storm drains, which lead directly to nearby creeks or rivers. Car washes can filter and recycle wash water. When washing your car at home, wash it in the grass and use biodegradable soap. The soap will soak into the ground and be filtered out naturally. It will not harm your lawn.
  • Reduce the volume of your stormwater runoff. Install a rain barrel to capture rainwater and use it for watering your flowers or lawn. Grow a healthy lawn. Plant native plants and trees. A healthy lawn and native plants are natural filters that will absorb the water and filter out the pollutants.
  • Tell your friends and family! Be an advocate for conservation and best management practices.
Check out Franklin Soil and Water's amazing team in action!
Stormwater Awareness Week is October 17-23

Save the date! Stormwater Awareness Week is a regional effort to encourage communities and partners to raise awareness about how rain water moves through infrastructure and the environment. This campaign also helps reach MS4 permit requirements for education and outreach. Check out this link for ideas on how to celebrate and get involved!
Columbus Blueprint Sump Pump Program

Do you live in a Blueprint Columbus neighborhood? If so, you may be eligible for a free sump pump! Aren't sure if you live in a Blueprint neighborhood? Check out the Blueprint Columbus interactive map to find out.

What is a sump pump? A sump pump is a pump in a small pit typically in your basement that is intended to direct water away from the foundation of your home and out to the street storm sewer instead of the sanitary sewer. The purpose of directing the water to the storm sewer is to alleviate the impact of heavy rain on the sanitary sewer, ultimately reducing combined sewer overflows. Sump pumps did not become a common requirement until the 1960s, and many homes in our older neighborhoods still do not have sump pumps. Installing one can help prevent water from backing up in your basement.

Want to learn more? Check out the video below from the City of Columbus. To request a free sump pump, visit the Blueprint Columbus website here.
Where have you see Franklin Soil and Water recently?
Community Events or Workshops
Professional Trainings, Webinars or Roundtables
School Classrooms
Social Media
Here are the full results from last month's poll about what method readers prefer to Pick Up Poop:


Pooper Scooper

Mikaela Mohr
Outreach Program Specialist
Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District
1404 Goodale Blvd. Suite 100, Columbus, OH 43212 
p: 614-486-9613, ext. 131 | e:
Connect with us online!
Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District | (614) 486-9613 |