As the weather becomes nicer, Town residents start thinking about spring “to do” lists. Some of the projects, such as car washing, fertilizing the lawn, and driveway cleaning can pollute our local waterways and harm fish.
Steilacoom’s stormwater drainage systems are designed to capture rain from roads and other hard surfaces and channel it to natural waterways such as lakes, streams, rivers and Puget Sound.
This runoff picks up pollutants, such as auto oil, fertilizer, and car wash soap, and goes directly into our local waterways, in many cases without treatment.
You can help prevent water pollution by following these simple actions:
• Wash your car at a commercial car wash or on a grassy area. Commercial car washes send the wash water to a treatment plant so it doesn’t end up in local waterways. Do not wash your car on driveways or in the street.
• Having a fundraising car wash? Borrow a free “Fish-Friendly Car Wash Kit” from Pierce County Public Works and Utilities at 253-798-2725. Car wash soap and dirty wash water harms fish.
• Minimize the use of lawn chemicals. Sweep fertilizers off sidewalks and driveways so it doesn’t get into storm drains.
• Sweep your driveway, sidewalk, and patios and put the debris in your trash. Hosing it down with water sends debris and pollutants into our local waterways.
• Pick up pet waste, bag it and place it in the trash. Pet waste contains bacteria, viruses, and parasites that harm people and fish.
• Encourage rain to soak into the ground by redirecting roof downspouts to drain rain into a rain barrel or rain garden.
• Attend a free workshop on maintaining stormwater systems for homeowner associations. Call 253-798-2485 for dates and locations.
For more information, visit www.piercecountywa.org/pssh or call 253-798-2725.