Clean Ways for Waterways

Clean Water Starts in Your Backyard!Image of boat dock and lake

Water pollution has many sources. Up to half of all pollutants come not from factories or wastewater treatment plants, but from many diffuse sources resulting from our own everyday activities. What we do in our own backyards and our own communities can make all the difference to the quality of our lakes and streams. Clean Ways for Waterways is a partnership between Washington County, the Village of Germantown, and the Cities of West Bend and Hartford to clean up local waterways. Waterways are the lakes, streams, rivers, creeks, and wetlands that drain the areas where we live, work and play.

SPARKLES the Water Spaniel Blog - Respect Our Waters


Where Does Washington County's Stormwater Go?

A watershed is an area of land that drains to a particular waterway, be it a lake, stream or river. Your neighborhood, school and workplace are all part of a watershed; the roads we drive on and the parks we play in are also part of a watershed. Most of the stormwater runoff in Washington County eventually drains into the Rock River or the Milwaukee River. Eventually, the Rock River flows into the Mississippi River and discharges into the Atlantic Ocean at the Gulf of Mexico. The Milwaukee River flows east into Lake Michigan. In many areas, runoff first goes to a smaller creek, river or stream that feeds into the Milwaukee or Rock River. For example, most of Germantown's stormwater runoff drains to the Menomonee River, and flows east in the Menomonee River before discharging into the South Milwaukee River.

Do You Know Which Watershed You Live In?
My Water Drains West...                         My Water Drains East...
Rubicon River                                               Milwaukee River North Branch
Ashippun River                                            Milwaukee River East/West Branch
Oconomowoc River                                   Cedar Creek
Rock River East Branch                           Menomonee River