What residents can do to help!
Excess fertilizers and pesticides applied to lawns and gardens wash off and pollute streams. In
addition, yard clippings and leaves can wash into storm drains and contribute nutrients and organic matter to streams. Education is essential to changing people's behavior. Signs and markers near storm drains warn residents that pollutants entering the drains will be carried into local bodies of water. The use of a commercial car wash that treats or recycles its wastewater or the washing of a car on the yard allows the water to infiltrate into the ground.
- Don’t overwater your lawn. Consider using a soaker hose instead of a sprinkler.
- Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly. When use is necessary, use these chemicals in the recommended amounts. Use organic mulch or safer pest control methods whenever possible.
- Compost or mulch yard waste. Don’t leave it in the street or sweep it into storm drains or streams.
- Cover piles of dirt or mulch being used in landscaping projects
- Yard waste entering storm drains or streams and other water sources, increases the risk of flooding and adds pollutants to the environment.
- It can also quickly “Super-fertilize” streams and lakes and can lead to algae blooms and fish kills.
- Leaves, grass clippings and other yard waste (Depending on type) should be composted, left on your lawn, or placed in acceptable containers for curbside pick-up.
- If you have to use fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides, carefully read all labels and apply products sparingly.
Auto care and pressure washing
Washing your car and decreasing auto parts at home can send detergents and other contaminants through the storm sewer system. Dumping automotive fluids into storm drains has the same result as dumping the materials directly into a body of water. Pressure washing at your residence will result in cleaning compounds and contaminants being washed into the Stormwater drains. Repair leaks and dispose of used auto fluids and batteries at designated drop-off or recycling locations.
When cars are washed on streets and driveways, that dirty water eventually ends up in Rescas, rivers, streams, creeks, and lakes.
Washing one car may not seem to be a problem, but collectively, car washing activity adds up to big problems for our local water sources.
Pressure washing is used to clean many things around the home like driveways, home exteriors and automobiles.
Discharge of pressure washing wastewater to the storm drainage system is prohibited because it contains pollutants from the cleaning compounds used and/or from the objects or surfaces being cleaned.
Pets and Pet Waste
- Pet waste left on streets, pavement, yards, driveways, or along the sides of the road does not magically disappear or fertilize the ground.
- Improperly disposed animal feces can be picked up by stormwater runoff and carried into storm drains or nearby water sources and be the cause of significant stormwater pollution and present health risks to adults, children and other pets.
- Some diseases can be transmitted from pet waste to humans like Salmonellosis, Toxocariasis, Toxoplasmosis, Campylobacteriosis and Fecal Coliform Bacteria.
Home Vehicle Maintenance
Vehicle maintenance byproducts (i.e. oil, grease, brake fluid, gasoline, diesel, kerosene, antifreeze, etc), contain toxins that are harmful to fish and birds, aquatic vegetation, wildlife and humans.
- Be aware of where you work. Any drips or spills on the ground can be carried away by rainwater to a storm drain and into a nearby waterway.
- •NEVER work on a vehicle in the street or near a storm drain.
- •Work on a flat concrete surface where you can easily clean up accidental spills.
- •NEVER hose down your work area unless the resulting wash water is contained and disposed of properly.
- •Keep storage and work areas clean and dry.
Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)
Recycled or household products that are not properly disposed of contain chemicals, such as insecticides, pesticides, paint, solvents, and used motor oil and other auto fluids. Don’t pour them onto the ground or into storm drains
- Leftover household products that contain corrosive, toxic, ignitable, or reactive ingredients are considered to be “Household hazardous waste" or "HHW.“
- Products, such as paints, cleaners, oils, batteries, and pesticides, that contain potentially hazardous ingredients require special care when you dispose of them. If disposed of improperly, they can pollute the environment and pose a threat to human health.
- Examples of improper disposal of household hazardous wastes can include pouring them down the drain, on the ground, into storm sewers, or in some cases putting them out with the trash.
- Besides being an unsightly health hazard, litter on the ground will pollute our water.
- Whether someone dumps an auto ashtray at a curb, or drops a candy wrapper on the ground, the result is washed, untreated, into storm water systems and then into our waterways and onto our beaches.
- Litter in storm water systems impacts people, animals, fish, and plants.