Green Neighbors Program

The Clark County Green Neighbors Program was developed and is maintained by Clark County Solid Waste and Environmental Outreach to assist citizens with developing more sustainable lifestyles and building a strong environmental community in Clark County. Solid waste regional planning and programs are a cooperative effort of Battle Ground, Camas, Clark County, La Center, Ridgefield, Vancouver, Washougal, and Yacolt. Funding for this project provided by a grant from the Washington State Department of Ecology.

Clark County makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of the information provided on this web site. However, due to the possibility of transmission errors, HTML browser capabilities, changes made since the last update to the site, etc., neither Clark County, nor any agency, officer, or employee of Clark County warrants the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of any information published by this system, nor endorses any content, viewpoints, products, or services linked from this system, and shall not be held liable for any losses caused by reliance on the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of such information. Portions of such information may be incorrect or not current. Any person or entity that relies on any information obtained from this system does so at his or her own risk.

In offering information on the Web, Clark County seeks to balance our requirement for public access with the privacy needs of individual citizens. Information that appears on the Clark County Web site is part of the public record. By law, it is available for public access, whether by telephone request, visiting county offices, or through other means.

This site contains links to other websites. Clark County is not responsible for the privacy practices or the content, accuracy or opinions expressed on such websites, and such websites are not investigated, monitored or checked by us for accuracy or completeness. Inclusion of any linked website on our site does not imply approval or endorsement of the linked website by us.

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Contact Details

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Conservation

  • WA State Dept of Ecology

    Water is a valuable resource in Washington. Using our resources wisely will help us fill the needs of people, industries, businesses and farms, while also keeping fish and other aquatic life alive and well. Across the state these water users have diverse needs and goals; we must find a way to share limited, fluctuating supplies. For tips and conservation ideas for your home and business, see the Department of Ecology's water conservation website.

  • Clark conservation district

    A great local resource is the Clark Conservation District, whose mission is to protect, conserve, and improve natural resources. The District focuses on water quality, soils management to limit erosion and run off, and critical habitat areas. Staff conduct outreach and education of best management practices, enhancement, and development to benefit present and future citizens.

  • Legacy Lands

    Want to take a stroll along the Washougal River? Explore a trail not too many have seen? Get off the beaten path? See wildlife in its natural habitat? Clark County’s Legacy Lands program secures these spaces so residents can enjoy these wonders now, and for future generations.

    Read more

     

    Related articles: Clean Water | Urban Wildlife

    legacy lands flume creek article

    Clark County’s diverse natural landscape is made up of broad river valleys, narrow creek canyons, wetlands, lakes, riparian zones, forests, mountains, meadows, foothills and farms. The Legacy Lands program protects these lands highly valued for habitat, scenic corridors, low-impact recreation and other qualities that enhance our local environment.

    The county has more than 5,000 acres of protected land. Many of these areas are open for public use while others provide critical habitat for protected species.

    Visit your local conservation properties for adventures close to home including hikes, horseback rides or picnics. We provide you a listing of properties, facilities and features to help plan for a one hour trek or an all-day adventure.

    Check out the Legacy Lands program

  • How to conserve

     

    First, it’s helpful to understand the 3 categories of water and then consider how you can conserve, save, and waste less:

    1. Blue water is fresh water from lakes, rivers, and sub-surface water or groundwater.
    2. Green water is rain which falls directly on crops.
    3. Greywater is water generated from domestic activities such as laundry, dishwashing, and bathing. It may contain traces of dirt, food, grease, and certain household cleaning products. While greywater may look “dirty,” it is usually safe to be recycled or reused for uses such as landscape irrigation and constructed wetlands.

    A note on bottled water: drinking bottled water itself doesn’t negatively affect our fresh water supplies. But, we should be aware that to manufacture the plastic bottle, 6.74 times the amount of the water in the bottle is used. Not to mention the other energy and resources used and the fact that 86 percent of water bottles end up in landfills!

    When looking at your own water use, begin by observing how much you waste. Do you have a leak in a faucet or a shower head that drips? That leaky faucet or shower could be losing almost 14 percent of the total water you use.

    Some no and low-cost tips for saving water inside your home:

    Dishes

    • Run your dishwasher only when it’s full.
    • Don’t run water continuously when washing dishes by hand. The average dishwasher uses about 10 gallons of water per load. Washing the same number of dishes by hand takes about 16 gallons. Newer, efficient dishwashers use as little as 5 gallons per cycle, which means they also consume less energy to heat the water.

    Faucets

    • Fix leaky faucets immediately. A leaky faucet, dripping once per second, wastes six gallons of water a day.
    • Install low-flow aerators on every faucet.
    • Don’t leave the water running when brushing your teeth or shaving. With the tap running at full force, shaving takes 20 gallons of water, teeth-brushing takes 10 and hand-washing takes two.

    Bath & Laundry

    • Wash only full loads of laundry, or use the proper water level setting for your load size.
    • Take shorter showers and use less water in your bath. A full bathtub requires about 36 gallons of water. A five-minute shower using a water-conserving showerhead will use just 15 to 25 gallons. Showers and baths account for one-third of most families’ water use.

    Toilets

    • Don’t use the toilet as a wastebasket. Each flush wastes water.
    • Check toilets for leaks.
    • Did you know 30 percent of your indoor water is used flushing the toilet? Your older toilet could be using way more than the new low flush toilet. If your older toilet flushes 3.5 gallons per flush, one person can use as much as 7,135 gallons per year just to flush a toilet. But, if you have a toilet that flushes 1.0 gallons per flush, one person can consume as little as 1,928 gallons per year. These “improved” toilets rely on an efficient bowl design and increased flushing velocity — instead of extra water — to remove wastes. If you’re thinking about making the switch, get recommendations about the best models from retailers and plumbers who have installed or used low-volume toilets.

    If you’re willing to invest a little money to use less water, consider installing water-efficient toilets, faucets and showerheads.

    For more information about water conservation, check out the Home Water Works website. It’s packed full of good tips and resources.

  • Conservation resources

    Water Resources Education Center

    Whether exploring Vancouver’s Water Resources Education Center’s website or visiting their beautiful facility overlooking the Columbia River in Vancouver, you'll find a world of information designed to inspire us to become better stewards of our water resources. Teaching people of all ages how to wisely use this important, life-giving natural resource is what the Water Resources Education Center is all about. Visit the Water Resources Education Center: 4600 SE Columbia Way Vancouver, WA.

    Nature Conservancy

    The Nature Conservancy also has great information about the average water footprint in America and the “hidden” water we each consume.

    Clark Conservation District

    A great local resource is the Clark Conservation District, whose mission is to protect, conserve, and improve natural resources. The District focuses on water quality, soils management to limit erosion and run off, and critical habitat areas. Staff conduct outreach and education of best management practices, enhancement, and development to benefit present and future citizens.

    Washington State Department of Ecology

    Water is a valuable resource in Washington. Using our resources wisely will help us fill the needs of people, industries, businesses and farms, while also keeping fish and other aquatic life alive and well. Across the state these water users have diverse needs and goals; we must find a way to share limited, fluctuating supplies. For tips and conservation ideas for your home and business, see the Department of Ecology’s water conservation website.

  • Drinking water

    Residents of Clark County obtain drinking water through public or private water systems.

    • Private water systems (i.e., individual wells) supply drinking water to 24% of Clark County residents which is about 31,000 systems servicing 93,000 people.
    • The majority of residents (75%) are served by large public water systems which include the large municipal systems. The vast majority of our water in Clark County comes from four underground aquifers, which are tapped by wells.
    • The City of Vancouver is the fourth largest provider of drinking water in the state of Washington, serving up 8.95 billion gallons to more than 200,000 people, all provided from groundwater sources. The City of Camas sources water from both surface and groundwater. In addition to 8 wells, water is drawn from Boulder and Jones Creeks. In addition, the City of Battle Ground, the City of Ridgefield, and the City of Washougal each provide water services for those communities and Clark Public Utilities provides public water services throughout most other areas of the community.

    Here is a pdfcross-section of the hydro-geologic structures in Clark County. For more information, call Clark Public Utilities at 360-992-8023.

  • Protecting groundwater

    Ways you can help protect groundwater and personal health

    If your property has a water well, make sure to conduct annual well checkups. In addition to protecting groundwater, yearly water testing and well maintenance can prevent costly maintenance, prolong the life of your well and prevent illness from fecal bacteria, nitrates and other contaminants. See the Washington State Department of Health’s website on safe drinking water and Clark County’s Public Health website for additional water well testing and maintenance information.

    You can also protect groundwater and personal health by:

    • Keeping hazardous chemicals, such as paint, fertilizer, pesticides and motor oil far away from your well.
    • Maintaining a “clean” zone of at least 100 feet between your well and any kennels or livestock operations.
    • Periodically checking the well cover or well cap on top of the well casing to ensure it is in good repair and securely attached. Its seal should keep out dirt, insects and rodents.

    Another way to protect groundwater is to conserve it. Groundwater is a limited resource. In Clark County, groundwater aquifers supply almost all the water for drinking, agriculture, and other uses. Increasing demands on water supplies and droughts have made conserving water more important. Everyone can start by monitoring everyday water use around the home. For water-saving tips, see the EPA’s WaterSense website.

    Residents with on-site septic systems can also protect groundwater by ensuring their system is inspected regularly. See Clark County’s Public Health website on septic systems for more information.

    As residents of the rainy Pacific Northwest, we might assume that clean, fresh water will always be ours for the asking. But pollution, urbanization, and other population pressures challenge this assumption. Clark County administers the Clean Water Program to safeguard the quality of our water and comply with the federal Clean Water Act. For more information, see the EPA’s website about the Clean Water Act.