There are several simple changes we can make in our daily lives to improve and protect our local creeks and the San Francisco Bay:
- Don't pour or wash anything down gutters or storm drains.
- Clean up outdoor spills with a broom, not a hose.
- Use absorbent litter, sawdust or cornmeal as needed.
- Rinse latex paint brushes in the sink, not the gutter.
- Buy "non-toxic" products whenever possible.
- Move parked cars from the street side on street sweeping days.
- Maintain your car regularly and keep it free from leaks.
- Drive less!
- Recycle and dispose of automotive fluids properly.
- Wash your car at a commercial car wash. Even biodegradable soaps are toxic to aquatic organisms. Please do not permit soap to enter the storm drain system.
- Eliminate or reduce your use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers. If you must use chemicals, please use them sparingly.
- Never apply chemicals when rain is in the forecast.
- Plant your garden with native plants accustomed to our local climate. Check out EBMUD Conserving & Recycling Plant Book for more information.
- There are many non-toxic alternatives available for pest control in your home and garden. Visit the UC Davis webpage for more information.
- Pick up animal wastes and dispose of them properly.
- Do not over water your yards and gardens. Chlorinated water is toxic to aquatic organisms.
- Keep all work areas clean and pick up litter regularly.
- Contain leaks by using drip pans and splash guards around and under vehicles and process equipment.
- Repair dumpsters that leak and keep areas around dumpsters clean.
- Identify all areas with outdoor equipment and storage of raw or waste materials that are exposed to rainwater and have the potential to be washed to the storm drain system.
- Inspect equipment and vehicles regularly for leaks. Fix the leaks.
- Collect and discharge all wash water to the sanitary sewer system.
- Clean spills with rags, a mop, and absorbents. Never rinse spills to a storm drain.
- Store hazardous materials such as grease, paints, solvents and detergents in appropriately labeled containers.
- Use secondary containment measures for liquids stored outside or inside near a storm drain.
- Establish a clean-up plan for minor and major spills, post it in work area, and have clean-up kits readily available in accessible locations.
- Learn More! Check out the Alameda Countywide Clean Water Program for more information on urban runoff pollution prevention.