Here are some things anyone can do to help keep our stormwater free of pollutants:
The first thing is easy -- DO NOT dump anything into the storm drains. Only rain water belongs in a storm drain. Think of the storm drains like a fish tank. If you would not put the liquid or material in your fish tank, do not put it in the storm drain.
- Consider using water-based paints instead of oil-based paints.
- Dispose of unused oil-based paints, thinners, and solvents at the household hazardous waste drop-off days.
- Clean painting tools in the sink rather than outside on the sidewalk or in the street.
- Keep all hazardous materials or wastes including paints, pesticides, herbicides, chemicals, solvents in a covered and contained area. Routinely inspect containers for evidence of leaks. Clean up using dry methods (kitty litter and rags or mop water to clean the remainder). Dispose of clean up materials as hazardous wastes. Mop water can be disposed of down a sink, but not in the storm drain.
Lawn and Garden Care
- Purchase household and garden products that are "least toxic" to the environment. This can easily be done by using alternatives to pesticides and fertilizers such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices and composting. If you must use pesticides or fertilizers, do so carefully and sparingly. Do not apply them if rain is expected as stormwater will wash them into the ponds and creeks.
- Set your irrigation timers according to season or watering needs, minimizing runoff, avoid overspray onto pavement.
- Dispose of unwanted pesticides or fertilizers at the household hazardous waste drop-off days.
- Clean all green wastes using dry clean up methods. Never wash green wastes down into the gutter or storm drain.
- Sweep or blow into piles for green waste pick up. Never place piles directly in front of storm drains or place directly in the gutter. Place piles with at least one to two feet away from the gutter. Be careful not to block bike paths or other path of travel in the public street.
- Place piles of green waste out in the street as close to pick up days as possible. See Davis Waste Removal for days when your green waste is to be picked up.
- Consider backyard composting for as many green wastes as possible.
- For more details on clean-water friendly gardening tips, see our Healthy Gardens page.
Pool and Spa Care
- Never drain pool or spa water into the storm drain without first de-chlorinating the water first. Never dispose of back wash or flush water directly into the storm drain. This water can be disposed into the sanitary sewer (i.e. a sink in your house).
- If you have a pool or spa, never clean the filter in the street or near a storm drain. Instead, rinse cartridge filters onto a dirt area and spade filter residue into your soil.
- Pick up animal wastes, seal in bags and throw away in a garbage can so that it is not washed into the storm drain. To make pick-up easier, try placing your hand in a plastic bag, picking up the waste, and back your hand out of the bag, turning the bag inside out as you do.
- Never dispose of animal waste (or cat litter) in yard debris piles.
- Place yard waste at curbside on collection day, without blocking the gutter. Be sure to place yard waste piles away about 18 inches from the curb and drain inlets to allow for free movement of stormwater into the gutter. Plant material clogs drains and depletes water of dissolved oxygen that aquatic species need to survive.
- Dispose of household hazardous waste, used auto fluids, paint and batteries at designated hazardous waste collection or recycling locations. Free household hazardous waste drop-off days are held at the Yolo County Central Landfill.
- When you change your oil on your car, take the used oil to a free collection center in Davis. Visit www.davis recycling.org or call 757-5686 to find a location near you.
- When doing any work on your car, be careful to contain any spills. Do not wash spills down into the gutter and storm drain. Clean up excess using paper towels or cloth. Place kitty litter to absorb left over residue. Dispose of all cleaning materials appropriately using dry methods (vacuum or sweep up).
- Take your car to a car wash facility or have the wash water flow into your landscape to prevent soapy water from running off your property and into the storm drain.