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10 Tips for Preventing Storm Water Pollution

Recycle used motor oil (for free) by taking it to an auto parts store, hazardous waste collection site or using curbside recycling pickup. When changing your car’s oil, prevent spills by placing cardboard under the oil pan. Use absorbent material such as kitty litter to clean up spills. Never pour used motor oil down storm drains, on the ground, or driveways.

Wash cars on unpaved surfaces, or at a commercial car wash. Leftover soapy water should be poured down a household sink or toilet (to be treated by the sewage plant), not the driveway, gutter, street, or storm drain which lead directly to the bay without treatment.

Inspect and maintain your car regularly to prevent leakage of oil, antifreeze and other toxic fluids. Use a drip tray to catch leaks where your car is parked.

Keep as much of your property landscaped as possible. Planted areas absorb more rainwater and help water percolate into the ground. Bare soil promotes water runoff. As an alternate to concrete driveways, use paving bricks, which help reduce runoff.

Use non-toxic alternatives to pesticides and organic gardening techniques when possible. Plant native plants which need less water than imported varieties. Use herbicides, pesticides and fertilizers sparingly. Follow label instructions carefully. Do not apply chemicals if rain is forecast. Never dump chemicals in ditches, gutters, storm drains, or waterways. Never use motor oil to kill weeds along fences or in yards. Motor oil poured in soil contaminates water. Take unwanted toxic products to local hazardous waste collection sites.

Sweep driveways, patios, and sidewalks rather than hosing them down into the gutters and storm drains. Put lawn clippings in a compost pile or garbage can.

Water only your garden and lawn, not your driveways and sidewalks. Divert garden hoses and rain spouts away from paved surfaces to reduce water runoff from entering storm drains. Consider using a rain barrel to collect water for flower bed and lawn watering.

Pick up all pet waste regularly and dispose of in the trash can, not down the storm drain.

Recycle your car’s antifreeze. Never drain antifreeze directly onto the ground or street. It is poisonous to pets and wildlife which are attracted to its sweet smell and taste.

Take unwanted chemicals like paint and pesticides to your local hazardous waste collection site. Use non-toxic household products, if possible. When using toxic products follow directions carefully and use sparingly. Properly store toxic products away from children. Never dump chemicals down storm drains, ditches, gutters, or waterways.

For more information go to: www.montereysea.org

Engineering Department services are supplied by Creegan + D’angelo, a private engineering firm that has a local office in Monterey.

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