Our planet’s most precious resource…the water we have today is all the water we will ever have.
Water is so much a part of us and our daily lives that we often take it for granted and forget that…WATER IS LIFE.
We need to wonder what happens to the oil we see on roads and highways after it rains. Or what happens to detergent suds after we wash our cars. What about leaves and grass clippings that clog up our street gutters, or the litter and grime left in our parking lots? Day after day, substances such as these are washed into our storm drainage systems. These pollutants flow directly into our streams and rivers untreated, where they contaminate our water sources and negatively impact aquatic life.
We need to think about our actions and what impact they will have on our environment. Each of us can be a part of the solution by making small changes in our daily activities.
- Service your car regularly: Motor oil, antifreeze, and other auto fluid leaks eventually reach the nearest stream or river.
- Don’t dump used motor oil down the storm drain: Take used motor oil and antifreeze to a facility or service station that recycles these products. Remember, anything entering your storm drain goes directly into our rivers and streams untreated.
- Wash your car at a professional car wash: If you wash your car at home, use a low-phosphate soap and be sure to wash it on the lawn so that the grass can filter the soap.
- Maintain your septic system: Inspect your septic system annually. Pump it out every 3-5 years.
- Manage animal waste properly: Fecal matter from pets and livestock is a major source of bacteria in urban and rural waterways. Restrict pets from streamside areas, and flush fecal matter down the toilet or wrap it up and place it in the trash. If cattle, hogs or other livestock are located near a stream, river, lake or pond, a dense vegetation buffer is recommended for filtration.
- Use garden and lawn chemicals wisely: Use pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers carefully and sparingly. Fertilizers promote algae and weed growth in streams, and pesticides are toxic to people and fish.
- Don’t put leaves or grass clippings down a storm drain: Leaves, grass, and litter clog our storm drains. Compost leaves, grass and shrub clippings-they will decompose and return natural nutrients to the soil, which could eliminate the need for fertilizer.
- Prevent erosion: Never leave soil exposed. Place straw over newly seeded areas and cover your garden during the winter months. Sediment (clay, silt) is the number one source of water pollution. Bare soil easily washes into storm drains and streams.
- Never litter: Litter is unsightly and it pollutes and clogs our waterways.