Clean Water Tips
Spring Water Tips
Proper Disposal of Pet Waste
Pet waste contains bacteria that are harmful to us and our local waterways. Leaving it on the sidewalk or lawn means harmful bacteria will be transported into the storm drains and then into our rivers. It is highly encouraged that all residents clean up after their pet. Many public places contain a number of signs, bag dispensers, and receptacles that have been conveniently installed to encourage pet waste removal.
How can I keep harmful bacteria out of our lakes, rivers, and beaches?
- Dispose of it promptly and properly
Pick up after your pets before watering your yard or cleaning patios or driveways. Don’t use a hose to clean pet waste off driveways or sidewalks.
- Share the message
When at a dog park, community meeting, or talking with your friends, spread the word about the positive impact picking up after your pet can have on water quality.
- Don’t treat ducks or geese as pets
Feeding ducks and geese may seem harmless but, in fact, can be a nuisance to people and harmful to our water. Feeding the waterfowl causes them to become dependent on humans. This, in turn, creates unnaturally high populations and problems in parks and lakes. Waterfowl waste can pollute our water with harmful bacteria.
For more information regarding pet care, visit www.semcog.org.
Earth-Friendly Car Care
Dirty water from car washing, leaky motor oil, and gasoline can wash from our driveways and roads into the storm drain or roadside ditch.
What Can You Do About Car Care?
Which car care practices can be harmful?
- Washing your car in the driveway or on the street sends polluted wash water into waterways.
- Allowing continuous fluid leaks onto your driveway or street from your vehicle sends hazardous pollution into waterways.
How can I wash my car without harming our waterways?
- Wash your car on the grass
- Washing your car and dumping wash water on the lawn allows the ground to filter wash water naturally.
- Host car wash fundraisers at the car wash
- Commercial car washes are required to send wash water into the sanitary sewer where it can be properly treated.
How can I practice car care without harming our waterways?
- Take your car to the shop for maintenance
- Service centers have the ability to recycle used fluids and properly clean up accidental spills.
- Safely dispose of used fluids if you change them yourself
- Take your used oil, antifreeze, or other fluids to your community’s household hazardous waste collection day or to a business that accepts them. Never dump these fluids down the storm drain.
- Stop drips
- Prevent fluid leaks from reaching paved surfaces. Check for leaks regularly and fix them promptly. Use ground cloths or drip pans to capture leaks until you can get them fixed.
- Soak it Up
- Kitty litter is actually a great way to clean up and absorb spilled vehicle fluids. Once soaked up, sweep it into a bag and throw it into the trash.
- Cover Up
- Always perform vehicle maintenance in a well-ventilated, but covered location (i.e. garage). This minimizes rainfall from washing the inevitable spills and drips into our waterways.
For more easy steps on protecting our lakes and streams, visit
www.semcog.org. Remember, our water is our future ¾ and it's ours to protect!