It’s important to keep our watersheds clean. When rain and snowmelt wash pollutants from streets, construction sites, and land into storm drains and ditches, it eventually empties directly into streams and rivers with no treatment. This is known as stormwater pollution and negatively affects our fish and wildlife habitats and drinking water.
- Don’t litter: Make sure that you pick up any trash that you or your family may have dropped on sidewalks or streets. Trash left in these places will end up in our storm drains.
- Drop off hazardous waste: Be sure to always take HHW like anti-freeze, paints, solvents, cleaners and old batteries to a certified collection facility. Riverside County has three permanent collection centers that offer free drop-off service and safe disposal of your unwanted chemicals.
- Pick up after your animals: Make sure you clean up animal wastes, not only on your own lawn but also when you walk your pet. This will reduce the amount of bacteria that gets into our waterways.
- Wash your car over your lawn or gravel: This allows the ground to neutralize the soap and grime from your car rather than sending it directly to our creeks and streams. Use biodegradable or non-toxic soap that is phosphate-free. You can also take your car to a commercial car wash where wastewater is either recycled or treated.
- Keep your septic system well-maintained to prevent leaks: A leaking septic system can leach harmful bacteria into storm drain systems and local waterways. It is important to keep your system well-maintained to prevent costly repairs as well.
Find more tips on how to reduce stormwater pollution here. Share what you know about stormwater pollution with your family and friends. We all live in a watershed. It’s our responsibility to keep it clean.