Reduce automobile use by car-pooling, riding the bus, riding your bike, or walking.
Storm drain inlets, located near curbsides and streets, act as a conduit to local waterways, including the American and Sacramento Rivers. Unlike household drains that route directly to a wastewater treatment plant, storm drains travel underground and funnel directly to our waterways untreated. And when water is contaminated with pollutants, it creates stormwater pollution, which seriously impacts our natural water resources. The following practices can help protect our creeks and rivers:
- Reduce automobile use by car-pooling, riding the bus, riding your bike or walking.
- Be a responsible pet owner. Learn about the "Scoop the Poop Program."
- Support businesses in your community who offer or use least toxic alternatives and practice pollution prevention.
- Encourage others to reduce, reuse and recycle whenever they can.
- Have a river-friendly car wash! When you wash your car in the driveway, pollutants from dirty water such as detergent, motor oil, gas, and residue from exhaust fumes wash off cars and make their way into nearby storm drains. These pollutants flow through the storm drain system and drain into local creeks and rivers, without going through treatment. The pollutants that end up flowing into creeks and rivers may end up harming fish and other wildlife.
- Wash your car on a grass or gravel surface to filter runoff
- Take your car to a commercial carwash. Most commercial car wash facilities recycle water or are connected to the sanitary sewer system that will treat dirty water.
- Consider using environmentally-friendly products labeled “non-toxic”, “phosphate free” and “biodegradable.”
- Conserve water by using a spray nozzle with an automatic shut off or shutting off the hose when not in use.
- Use a bucket of soapy water to re-soap rags or sponges throughout the wash rather than adding more soap directly to rags or sponges. Always empty buckets of dirty wash water onto landscaped areas (where the water cannot reach a storm drain) or into sinks or toilets.