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Home > Residents > Make A Difference > Sustainable Denton > Watershed Protection

Watershed Protection

The mission of the Denton Watershed Protection program is to maintain the quality of each watershed, ultimately protecting our water sources and the ecosystems within our watersheds.

What is a watershed?

A watershed is the area of land that catches rain and snow and drains or seeps into a marsh, stream, river, lake or groundwater, and eventually even to the ocean. Watersheds can range from acres to hundred or even thousands of square miles. Some watersheds extend across county, state, and even international borders. Just as creeks drain into rivers, watersheds are nearly always part of a larger watershed.

Why is watershed protection important?

Surface and groundwater resources are tied directly to all watersheds. Anything that can be picked up with rainfall runoff or any other drainage can end up in the watershed. This includes trash and pollutants that can upset the ecosystem and threaten our resources for water supply and recreation.

Areas of concern for watershed protection

Non-point source pollution is water pollution that originates from surprisingly common sources such as our homes, yards, cars and even our pets. It is generated by a variety of everyday activities and is Denton’s leading cause of water quality degradation. What may initially appear as harmless behaviors such as fertilizing, mowing, taking out the trash and walking the dog can clog or pollute a storm drain which drains to Lake Lewisville a primary source of drinking water for much of the DFW Metroplex.

What you can do to protect watersheds

  • Participate in Ten on Tuesday: Join hundreds of North Texas residents in preventing litter from reaching our waterways by picking up just 10 pieces of trash every Tuesday. It’s easy and effective — if, for just one year, 5,000 residents chunk 10 pieces of litter a week into the trash or recycling bin, the Metroplex will reduce litter by 2.6 million pieces!
  • Avoid Pollution: Properly dispose of used oil, antifreeze, paints, and other household chemicals with the City's free Home Chemical Collection program. Clean up spilled brake fluid, oil, grease, and antifreeze; but do not hose them into the street where they can eventually reach our water.
  • Prevent Litter: Keep litter and debris out of street gutters and storm drains. Following proper cart procedures is an easy way to reduce litter on the streets. Bag your trash before placing it in your green cart, and make sure the lid is completely closed. Do not place items, other than bagged yard trimmings, on the ground for pickup. If you need a larger cart, call (940) 349-8700.
  • Pick up and properly dispose of pet waste: Pet waste can contain high levels of bacteria and pathogens that can be harmful to not only aquatic life, but to public health.
  • Volunteer: Each year, the City offers volunteer opportunities to help protect and maintain our water sources, such as Stream Clean, Great American Cleanup, and Texas Stream Team.


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