When you're washing your car in the driveway, all the soap, scum and oily grit runs along the curb, into the storm drain, and directly into our creeks, rivers and reservoirs. And that causes pollution, which is unhealthy for fish and recreation users. So how do you avoid this whole mess? Easy. If you are able to, wash your car so that it drains to grass or gravel instead of the street. Or better yet, take it to a car wash where the the wash and rinse waters are discharged to the sanitary sewer system to get treated or are recycled on site. Pressure washing your driveway takes a similar toll on our waterways, as the residual oil and car repair fluids from that last driveway oil change, and everyday grit and grime, as well as sediment, are washed down the gutter. Changing a habit here can positively impact our water quality!
Ah, an evening stroll with your pet. What could be better? But, when our pets leave those little surprises, and then WE leave those little surprises on the grass, sidewalk, or street, rain washes all that pet waste and bacteria into our storm drains and directly into our waterways. And that pollutes our reservoirs. So what to do? Simple. Pick it up and dispose of it properly. Throw it away or flush it. Maybe you could put an article in your HOA newsletter about desirable pet ownership practices and mention water quality as an additional benefit to good pet practices. And use the dispensers at the dog park as a routine habit. This small change can make a big difference to water quality in your neighborhood and in the creek just downstream!
Maybe automobile repair is your equivalent of a root canal, not something you ever want to do. Or other everyday factors get in the way and you can't get it scheduled. The problem is that leaking oil from a car that needs repair goes from the car to the driveway or to the streets. Itís washed from these surfaces into the storm drains and into our waterways during a storm event. Now imagine the number of cars in the area and you can imagine the amount of oil that finds its way from leaky gaskets into our water. Yuk. Oily residue in our favorite reservoir. Not fun. Oh, and how about those blessed with the skills to do car repair at home in the driveway? Some of us wish we were that lucky to be do-it-your-selfers. But, the same care must be taken with the drips and overflows on the driveway. So please, fix oil leaks as soon as you can and use a DRY cleaning method (never a pressure wash spray that takes it into the gutter) to clean up those leftover oil spots. Because storm runoff isn't treated, we need to make a little extra effort. But it is worth it. Promise.
Itís time to fertilize the lawn. Grab the bag and get to work. But hey, how much is really enough? One of the keys to water quality during lawn care is the amount of fertilizer to use to just feed the grass versus excess fertilizer that will leave your lawn during a storm event and make its way to our waterway. This excess fertilizer that travels down the curb and gutter to the storm drains causes algae to grow in our creeks and reservoirs, which uses up oxygen that fish need to survive. Another key is the type. How about a low phosphorous fertilizer once the root system is established? And those grass clippings you throw over the back fence into the drainageway also add nutrients that contribute to harmful algae blooms. So please use fertilizer sparingly, and never before a heavy rain is forecast. Your grass may need the nutrients, but our waterways do not!
Permittees: Southeast Metro Stormwater Authority (SEMSWA) including Centennial, Inverness WSD, and East Cherry Creek Valley WSD, Arapahoe County Water and Wastewater Authority (ACWWA); Arapahoe County; Englewood; Littleton; Glendale; Greenwood Village; Cherry Hills Village; Columbine Valley; E-470 Authority; Goldsmith Metro District; Cherry Creek State Park and Colorado Department of Transportation.
SPLASH, 7437 S. Fairplay Street, Centennial, CO 80112