How you can help keep our waterways clean
We all play a role in keeping those waters clean in our everyday actions at home, work, school and play. Simple stewardship actions can help keep pollution from reaching waterways. It is important to realize what could get into a storm drain, besides rain water. Learn more to make sure your everyday actions are protecting our watershed.
Pick up pet waste
Pet waste left on the ground can be washed into storm drains that lead directly to our streams and wetlands. This waste carries harmful bacteria, which can affect water quality and the health of aquatic wildlife.
Fix auto leaks
If you see discoloration (like a rainbow) in the water running down the street during a rainstorm, there is pollution up stream. Check your vehicle for leaks and get it fixed. When your car leaks fluids, it is often a sign of a larger problem that can lead to major engine damage and possibly an expensive repair bill.
Oil and other vehicle fluids from cars are toxic. Fix your leak so that vehicle fluids don’t end up in puddles where kids and pets like to play.
Vehicles drip millions of quarts of motor oil into the Columbia River basin every year. Oil and other petroleum products can harm wildlife and habitat. When it rains, stormwater runoff carries pollution to creeks, streams and rivers.
Only rain down the drain
In your neighborhood, streets drain downhill to a storm drain. These drains are connected to pipes that carry the water to a local creek, stream or river. It is important to remember that we need to keep all contaminants and pollution OUT of the storm drains.
Make sure you properly dispose of waste materials like paint or motor oil. Many of these items can be recycled or reused. Also keep soaps, herbicides and pesticides out of water by following directions on the product labels and not using on hard surfaces that can wash to the drain.
Help educate your neighbors by volunteering to mark a message on your neighborhood’s drain “Protect Water – Only Rain in Drain.” Clark County loans out stencil kits for free! These are a great community service, school or scout project.
Water wise farms
If you are a small acreage or farm property owner, there are number of steps you can take to protect the health of your property and your watershed. Our partner at WSU Extension hosts workshops on topics to benefit your property, such as understand your soils, managing stormwater runoff and tips for healthy animals.
Your landscape is part of the solution
There are many great ideas to help you protect water from pollution while creating your dream landscape at your home. Learn about Grasscycling, use of native plants, healthy plant care, gardening tips, and water conservation techniques.