Through the following actions, residents can reduce or prevent pollution with the following tips from www.flowstobay.org
Home Maintenance & Remodeling
- Avoid cleaning brushes or rinsing paint containers in the street, gutter or near a storm drain. For latex paint, rinse brushes in the sink. Filter and reuse oil based paint and thinners. Recycle leftover paint at a household hazardous waste collection event, save it for touch ups or give it to someone who can use it.
- Install wood decking, bricks or interlocking stones instead of impervious cement walkways. Install gravel trenches along driveways or patios to collect water and allow it to filter into the ground.
- When working with concrete, cement, or mortar, prevent materials from blowing or flowing to a driveway, street, or storm drain. When excavating and landscaping, protect dirt piles from wind and rain.
Yard, Garden, and Landscaping
- Use a broom rather than a hose to clean up garden clippings. Don’t leave leaves and lawn clippings in the gutter. Sweep any residue after yard waste pick-up, but don’t sweep into the storm drain.
- Minimize grassed areas which require high maintenance. Spread mulch on bare ground to help prevent erosion and runoff. Compost your yard trimmings. Compost is a valuable soil conditioner that gradually releases nutrients to your lawn and garden. Divert rainspouts and garden hoses from paved surfaces onto grass to allow filtration through the soil.
- Reduce or eliminate the use of spray pesticides. Cultivate plants that discourage pests.
- Avoid applying pesticide near curbs and driveways, and store covered, protected from rain, wind and runoff.
- Practice Integrated Pest Management (IPM) techniques both indoors and out, utilizing cultural control methods to prevent pests and using less toxic alternative products if needed.
Trash Disposal and Litter Reduction
- Put cigarette butts in ashtrays not in the street or storm drain.
- Reduce consumption of disposable plastic items in exchange for reusable items like reusable shopping bags, reusable lunchboxes, plates, cups, eating utensils, food containers, and cloth napkins.
- Compost kitchen and yard waste.
- Clean up spilled brake fluid, oil, grease, and antifreeze by absorbing them using kitty litter or sand and then dispose of the material at a local household hazardous waste event. Do not hose them into the street where they can eventually reach local creeks, the ocean, and bay.
- Recycle used oil, filters, and antifreeze with the curbside collection service or by taking them to service stations and other recycling centers.
- Wash your car on your lawn instead of your driveway.
- Regular tune-ups and inspections can help keep automotive waste and byproducts from contaminating runoff.
- Clean up after your pets. Pet waste contains nutrients and pathogens that can contaminate surface water. Dispose of pet waste in a trash can.
- Treat flea problems on your pet by using a flea comb and bathing your pet often to drown fleas. Use the following safer insecticides on your animal only during flea season: Fipronel (Frontline), imidaclprid (Advantage), Lufenuron (Program), or Insect growth regulators (IGRs) such as methoprene (Precor) and pyriproxyfen. Treat flea problems in your home with borate-based carpet treatments. Borates have a low toxicity to humans and pets. Fleanix carpet treatment can control fleas in carpeting for up to a year.