Public Works Department - Watershed Information

Watershed - Where we Live, Work, and Play

What is a watershed? A watershed is an area of land that drains to an open body of water and in Pinellas County, every square foot of land drains somewhere. For example, rainwater runs from your lawn and driveway, down the street along the gutter to a storm drain, then runs through underground pipes to a neighborhood pond or stream.  It drains to Allen’s Creek, Brooker Creek, Lake Tarpon, Lake Seminole, Cross Bayou, and other areas of water. Eventually, it washes into the open waters of Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico.  As stormwater drains to water bodies, it carries everything we leave on the land: fertilizers, dog waste, trash, motor oil, and other substances. By changing the way we live, work, and play, we make a difference.

Pinellas County has launched a campaign to help county residents better understand the importance of watersheds. The campaign recognizes the link between daily activities and the health of the waterways that are the main reason people live in and visit Pinellas County.

Please visit the link below to learn more about watershed management.

If You live in Pinellas County you live in a watershed.

When you cut the grass, you can leave the clippings on your lawn. This is the recommendation by yard specialists as part of maintaining a healthy lawn, using the principles of Florida Friendly Landscaping. You can also use your lawnmower bag to capture the clippings, or rake them and bag them. When grass clippings are left in the street, they get washed down the road when it rains. The clippings go into the storm drain and continue to be carried by rainwater through the watershed until it reaches a waterway. There, any fertilizers or pesticides affect the health of the water. Algae blooms, which often result in fish kills, are directly attributable to fertilizers from lawns and gardens. In addition to keeping clippings off the road, it is important to follow Pinellas County’s fertilizer ban.

If you work in Pinellas County you work in a watershed.

Taking a cigarette break during the workday is an opportunity to make a difference by ensuring everyone’s discarded cigarettes are put in an ashtray that is properly disposed of on a regular basis.You can also find an alternative to throwing cigarette butts out of the window as you drive. The cigarette butts are carried by rainwater to the nearest storm drain, or it is washed directly into a swale, drainage ditch, pond, lake or bay.  Cigarettes are not biodegradable. They are unsightly and pollute roadways, beaches, and waterways.

If you play in Pinellas County you play in a watershed.

Playing soccer, baseball, and other outdoor sports is a great way to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to enjoy the fun of sports. It is also a great time to coach children – and for children to coach adults - about proper trash disposal. Snack bags, juice boxes, and plastic straw holders belong in the trash. If recreational facilities do not make trash cans accessible, bring a plastic garbage bag along for a team cleanup. Collect plastic bottles separately and recycle them. Remember, practice makes perfect!