Our local car wash facilities take extra steps to ensure the dirt/salt/fluids from your vehicle are handled responsibly. They use less water than you would at home. The soapy, dirty water is sent to the wastewater treatment plant for cleaning before it hits the waterways.
As you go about the work of winterizing your pool, remember that the chemicals you use to treat that water are bad for fish and wildlife. If you empty your pool into the storm system without treating the water first, you are polluting the waterways. Before you drain your pool, dechlorinate and neutralize pH, then discharge the water slowly to an area where the water can soak in.
Illicit discharges occur when chemicals, fertilizers, and wastes contaminate our drainage system. These can be things like soap, salt, dirt, and engine fluids from washing your car; food grease and oil from a leaky dumpster; paint and other household chemicals; and even leaves and grass clippings. You are the best at helping us keep our waterways clean. Please report any questionable discharges you see; all reports will be investigated. Want to know more?
One common culprit of stormwater pollution is leaking dumpsters. That stinky, sticky dumpster juice flows out of the trash and into our waterways. All dumpsters should be water tight- request a new one from your trash service if yours is leaking.
Next time you are enjoying the river, keep an eye out for strange suds. Bright white, very clean bubbles are an indication of an illicit discharge. You may also see bubbles in large groupings, with a rainbow sheen, or smell a clean smell. Report these strange bubbles to your local stormwater manager to get a handle on where they are coming from and stop the pollution.
What would your life look like if the cleaning staff stopped showing up? These amazing people keep our work lives and living spaces neat, clean, sanitary, and smelling nice. They also do their part to keep our waterways clean by properly disposing of excess cleaning products. Mop water, soapy water, and the mysterious-cleaner-hiding-in-the-back-of-the-cabinet-from-decades-past do not belong in our storm drains. Visit https://www.cleancommunity.org/ for proper disposal information.
The individuals working on a construction site are a first line of defense for our rivers. Fixing leaking equipment, using silt fences and designated construction entrances, and cleaning up as you go can keep your worksite clean. A clean worksite helps keep dirt, chemicals, and trash out of our streets and storm sewers. View the EPA’s guide to federal requirements here: https://bit.ly/2Wsuz4U